Saturday, June 3 2023

BOSTON — Nearly a week after the Detroit Pistons traded for him, James Wiseman made his debut against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

But it came during a blowout road loss for the Pistons. Jayson Tatum erupted for 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to lead the Celtics to a 127-109 win before both teams take time off for the NBA All-Star break. The Pistons cut a 19-point deficit to five in the third quarter, using a 29-15 run powered by Bojan Bogdanovic and Isaiah Stewart. Bogdanovic scored 14 of his 28 points in the period, and Isaiah Stewart added a trio of 3-pointers en route to a 14-point, six-rebound night. Stewart finished 4-for-6 from 3.

But Tatum hit three 3-pointers in the final three minutes of the third, giving Boston enough momentum to close the game out strong. In his debut, Wiseman finished with 11 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes.

The Pistons return to play Feb. 23 in Orlando. Here’s what we saw from Wiseman:

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Did Wiseman look good in his debut?

It was an encouraging debut, if nothing else. The third-year center was eager to make an impact when he checked in with 3:29 remaining in the opening quarter. His first shot, a 3-pointer, came nearly two minutes later. It was an ill-advised shot with 14 seconds remaining on the shot clock, but he made up for it.

Wiseman scored his first points as a Pistons on the following possession, driving from the free throw line and finishing a layup through Celtics center Luke Kornet. In the final seconds of the corner, a blocked stepback 3-pointer from Cory Joseph ended up in Wiseman’s hands, and he calmly sank the midrange jumper to give him four points in the opening period.

Early in the second quarter, Grant Williams and Kornet double-teamed Wiseman after he caught the ball on the left block. Instead of passing out of it, Wiseman finished a high-arcing hook shot over both defenders. A pass would’ve been a safer option, but it highlighted his soft touch with the ball. His final bucket of the night was a layup after bumping Williams out of the way with a post move.

Defensively, Wiseman played with effort and handled himself on a handful of switches. He looked gassed when he checked out for good with about nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter following 19 minutes of action, but checked back in with fewer than five minutes to play.

How did Wiseman affect the rotation?

Dwane Casey staggered Wiseman and Duren throughout the game. He checked in for Duren late in the first quarter and was the lone big on the floor before Duren checked back in for him early in the second. When Wiseman checked back in toward the end of the second, he shared the floor with Stewart.

Wiseman checked back in for Duren midway through the third quarter, and shared the floor with Stewart until Stewart checked out a couple of minutes later. He was once again the lone big on the floor until Duren spelled him with around nine minutes remaining in the game. When Wiseman re-entered the game at the 4:29 mark of the final period, he shared the floor with Stewart before Stewart checked out for good at the 1:23 mark.

Can he fit alongside Duren and Stewart?

Detroit Pistons center James Wiseman and forward Isaiah Livers battle the Boston Celtics for the ball during the first half at TD Garden in Boston, Feb. 15, 2023.Detroit Pistons center James Wiseman and forward Isaiah Livers battle the Boston Celtics for the ball during the first half at TD Garden in Boston, Feb. 15, 2023.

Detroit Pistons center James Wiseman and forward Isaiah Livers battle the Boston Celtics for the ball during the first half at TD Garden in Boston, Feb. 15, 2023.

It remains to be seen if Wiseman and Duren can play together, given that they shared all of the available minutes at the five. But Stewart knocked down four of six 3-point attempts, and that spacing made him a fit next to both centers.

Before the game, Casey said Wiseman will have to prove himself as a shooter when asked if he can play the four and five. Wiseman missed his lone 3-point attempt of the night, and looked more comfortable at the rim and from midrange. It’s possible we’ll see him play power forward down the road, but the coaching staff utilized him as a center in his debut.

Catch our podcast “The Pistons Pulse” every Tuesday morning at 5 and on demand on or wherever you listen to podcasts. See all of our podcasts and daily voice briefings at

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.

Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: James Wiseman encourages in debut, Detroit Pistons swept by Celtics

Source: Yahoo Sports


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