Diallo stands out, Jackson bounces back in Pistons win
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.