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Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey (41) drives to the basket. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
March 7th, 2022
Are things finally beginning to turn around in Motown? After losing 30 of their first 38 games, the Detroit Pistons have now won two straight and are slowly but surely rising from the Eastern Conference cellar.
Detroit’s latest win was a 111-106 squeaker against Central Division rival Indiana, in which the Pistons held the Pacers to 39% shooting from the floor and 25% shooting from beyond the arc. Sophomore small forward Saddiq Bey led the way with 25 points in 36 minutes, and first overall pick Cade Cunningham turned in another solid, all-around performance with 20 points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
The Pistons are still far closer to the lottery than the play-in tournament, but they’ll have a chance to build on their recent momentum when they host the Hawks tonight.
Much like Detroit, Atlanta has also won two straight contests, and is fresh off a narrow 117-114 victory over Washington. The keys to the game were ball control and aggressive play, as the Hawks committed just four turnovers and made 25 more trips to the charity stripe than the Wizards.
Tip-off for Hawks vs. Pistons is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET, and we have the three best player prop bets below.
Few players have been hotter lately than Bey, who is averaging 22.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists since the calendar flipped over to March. The Villanova product entered the league as a 3-point sniper, but has expanded his offensive game considerably in his second season in Detroit. His growing arsenal now includes step-back mid-range jumpers, floaters in the lane, and a variety of back-to-the-basket moves that are so effective because of his immense strength.
SADDIQ BEY WILD GAME-WINNER 🤯 pic.twitter.com/2vE58SaRZC— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 2, 2022
SADDIQ BEY WILD GAME-WINNER 🤯 pic.twitter.com/2vE58SaRZC
Bey paced Detroit with 21 points the last time the Pistons and Hawks tangled on Oct. 25, and is an excellent bet to show out again tonight. Take the Over.
Cade Cunningham has proven himself to be capable of great feats during his rookie season. The 20-year-old phenom has already scored 20 points or more 16 times, and has recorded a pair of triple-doubles. And yet, as impressive as he’s been, the one area where Cunningham still lags behind fellow point guards is his playmaking.
Tons of good stuff from Cade Cunningham during Detroit’s win over Toronto last night. Spot 3s, mid range pull ups, putting pressure on the rim, making plays defensively. Cunningham’s last 5 games (3-2): 20.6 PTS, 7.8 REBS, 5.0 AST, 53% from 2, 24% from 3. Firmly in the ROY mix. pic.twitter.com/HHNcpj3z5C— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) March 4, 2022
Tons of good stuff from Cade Cunningham during Detroit’s win over Toronto last night. Spot 3s, mid range pull ups, putting pressure on the rim, making plays defensively. Cunningham’s last 5 games (3-2): 20.6 PTS, 7.8 REBS, 5.0 AST, 53% from 2, 24% from 3. Firmly in the ROY mix. pic.twitter.com/HHNcpj3z5C
Cunningham is averaging just 5.1 assists per game, which places him a distant 33rd in the NBA, and well behind virtually every lead ballhandler in the league. The Oklahoma State alum has dished out five assists or less in four of his last five games and is likely to go Under that total again tonight. Cunningham will eventually become a better distributor, especially as the talent around him improves, but he still has a long way to go before fulfilling his potential as an elite playmaker.
Nearly everyone expected Jerami Grant to be dealt at the trade deadline, including Grant himself. The well-traveled forward had one foot out the door before the Pistons surprisingly pulled him back in for the stretch drive. He’s since had several notable performances, including three-straight 26-point games, but his overall production has dropped over the past month and a half.
The biggest dip has been in Grant’s rebounding numbers, as he’s gone from averaging 4.5 boards per game before the deadline to 2.9 boards per game since. That includes three rebounds in two of his last three outings. Is it possible that Grant is no longer interested in doing the dirty work after being dangled by Detroit? Possibly, but until he shows more willingness to mix things up in the paint, the Under is the right play here.
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