Diallo stands out, Jackson bounces back in Pistons win

The Pistons have had their struggles this season, but they haven’t come against…

Diallo stands out, Jackson bounces back in Pistons win 1
Diallo stands out, Jackson bounces back in Pistons win 2

Detroit — The Pistons have had their struggles this season, but they haven’t come against the Toronto Raptors. In each of the three games, the Pistons have shot better than 50% from the field and better than 40% on 3-pointers.

They shot 51% from the field and 50% on 3-pointers in Monday’s 118-104 win over the Raptors, giving coach Dwane Casey a 6-3 record against his former team, with sweeps in 2019 and this year.

Here are some observations from Monday’s win:

Diallo dally: Hamidou Diallo was the standout, with 19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Casey pointed out that Diallo, who is coming off a groin injury, provided a spark of energy that amped up the rest of the lineup. Diallo brought a defensive presence that showed in guarding the Raptors’ wings, but he also got to the basket with his athleticism and had some creative finishes, in going 6-of-10 from the field. He also went 1-of-2 from beyond the arc, showing some improvement in an area of his game that could make him a bigger offensive weapon.

Short bench: Casey used only 10 players, with Sekou Doumbouya and Josh Jackson not playing. Casey said he wanted to get a longer look at Diallo, who was on a minutes restriction in his first game, but seemed to be more energized on Monday. Doumbouya had migraine issues before the game, but that didn’t seem to be a factor in him not playing. It makes sense that Casey would take a longer look at Diallo and Tyler Cook, who signed a second 1-day contract.

Another piece: Saddiq Bey is becoming harder to guard when he’s hitting 5-of-7 from 3-point range and going 6-of-10 from the field overall. In recent weeks, he’s showing more ability to drive to the rim with a strong finish or find an open teammate. That’s a nice addition to his game to keep defenders off balance and to give him more options. He’s becoming a nice offensive player and just as good on the defensive end, giving Pascal Siakam some difficult possessions.

Frankly speaking: Frank Jackson had a good bounce-back game with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers. He seems to be getting more comfortable in his role as a reserve shooter and found different ways to score, both off the dribble and as a spot-up 3-point shooter. He’ll have some more opportunities for the remainder of the season and he’s taking advantage of the looks.

Another point: In his short time with the Pistons, Cory Joseph has found a niche as the backup point guard and in adding some scoring. He had 17 points, four rebounds and five assists in Monday’s game — against his former team as well — and has been solid in getting the offense set and running the team.


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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