Aussies in NBA: Back with a Banger
Aron Baynes made his first appearance for the Detroit Pistons as they defeated the Chicago Bulls on the road 114 – 91.
Ankle surgery delayed Baynes’ debut with the Pistons, after he signed as a free agent during the off-season. However, he has progressed well with his recovery and his return was moved forward after impressing in practice recently.
While limited to 13 minutes of action, the Pistons coaching staff would have been happy with what they got from Baynes in his first hit out.
He entered the game at the beginning of the second quarter and immediately made his presence known, hitting an early bucket by showing his nice touch outside the paint.
His physicality was obvious, although a little unrefined in his first run. Baynes picked up a moving screen foul and then a loose ball foul, in quick succession. He took a seat after 5 minutes of play, looking noticeably tired after his extended layoff.
Baynes returned at the court at the end of the third quarter, again throwing his weight around but this time with positive results. He converted this baby-hook after treating Joakim Noah like a rag-doll, bouncing him out of the way after setting the pick.
He then used his wide body to create a path for his teammate Spencer Dinwiddie to drive the lane for the and-1.
Baynes finished the game with 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 fouls and a +13 during his time on the floor (box score).
Although it was only a short run, Baynes gave the Pistons a glimpse of the nice touch on offence and strong physical play around the basket, which is predominately why they recruited him. Hopefully he can build from here towards a strong regular season.
Cameron Bairstow didn't see any action tonight, due to the return of Taj Gibson for his first game of the preseason. Things might change, but it will be hard for Bairstow to find minutes this year in a Bulls stacked front court, now that formidable rookie Bobby Portis is added to the mix.