It’s Gut Check Time for the Pistons
The Detroit Pistons have now lost five straight games. I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone that the world champs are coming in to town on Monday — albeit off of a back to back, but as you can see it’s not getting easier.
The Pistons fell to the Golden State Warriors 119-113. There are NO moral victories in the NBA, but can the Pistons hang our hats on the fact that it wasn’t a blow out?
We know about the players only meeting last week.
We’ve been scratching our heads at a certain player coming back off of injury, firing—but not on all cylinders.
And, if you’re like me, you expected the 10 games leading up to last nights Warriors game to be indicators of the Piston maturation, and progress as a team.
The enigma that is the 2016-17 season.
About Last Night
Stan Van Gundy shook up the starting line-up, replacing Tobias Harris with Jon Leuer. Leuer came out with energy, and provided a shot of aggressiveness in the opening quarter. He ended the game with 8 points and 7 rebounds. With Harris coming off the bench, he did not fret, but he played better by surpassing his season average by 9 points. Ending the game with 26 points, 7 rebounds, on 57% shooting in 32 minutes. Some say watching the game off the bench, helps a person see the flow of the game better — thus helping you see where you fit in to the game. This could be a great sign of things to come.
Reggie Jackson again pushed the issue, going 9-17 (4-11 from distance) with 17 points 6 assist and 5 turnovers. When Jackson wasn’t shooting ill-advised three’s he was actually more effective.
Andre Drummond had 15 points and 9 boards and KCP had 25 points.
There were 10 ties and 18 lead changes. Detroit showed heart. More heart than they showed against weaker competition. Maybe it was the magnitude of the game.
Concept of Team Ball
The truth of the matter is, Detroit isn’t playing fundamental, team basketball. As I’ve stated in my last piece (Pistons Need a Tune Up), the Pistons are in the bottom 10 in team assists. Out of the 6 teams worse than them in that category, only 3 of those teams have winning records. Toronto, Memphis, and Utah.
The team that leads the Association in assist happens to have the best record in the league, and that unselfishness helped them pull away in the fourth quarter. It was the difference all night really.
The Warriors made 43 buckets on 35 assists. The Pistons made the same number of field goals but only had 22 assists. My point? Isolation basketball gets you an L in the end.
Another big difference was the free throw discrepancy. Pistons going 17-28 (60%), and the Dubs shot 22-24 (91%) from the stripe. Granted 6 of those missed free throws came from Andre, so take that tid-bit how you see fit. But it’s the little things the average person doesn’t think about, that makes you a winner in this league.
As inconsistent as this team has been, after the upcoming game against Cleveland on Monday, there is another crop of highly winnable games on the horizon. So, there is time to right the ship, but time is of the essence for Detroit.
Follow David Allen on Twitter: @DavidMaxAllen