Tonight, the Detroit Pistons (1-1) played a rollercoaster of a game that ultimately crashed late, as they fell to the Washington Wizards (2-0), 115-111. Coach Stan Van Gundy summed up the game in his post game interview stating, “Not a very hard game to analyze, guys. Turnovers and fouls. That’s the game.”
During the first half, the Pistons outplayed the Wizards in every way but they quickly lost their led in the third quarter when Washington outscored Detroit 33-16. Down the stretch, Avery Bradley and Reggie Jackson kept the Pistons in the game with timely shots but they could not stop John Wall or Bradley Beal.
Wall hit his stride in the second half, scoring 20 of his 27 points while finishing with 10 assists. Wall flashed his “MVP candidacy” when he sealed the victory with a block on Jackson.
During the post game, Wall explained the block as him “just playing defense” and,
“I think I’m the best shot-blocking point guard in NBA history, so I’m trying to set records. Just trying to make a play.”
Otto Porter led the Wizards with 29 points, while Bradley Beal poured in 24 points. As a team, the Wizards got to the line 15 more times than the Pistons and they forced 19 turnovers. Ultimately, the closing plays were sloppy and the ball bounced the Wizards way.
Reggie Jackson led the Pistons with 21 points and 5 assists. Jackson also showed leadership stating, “We definitely fouled a lot, had some crucial turnovers. We wish we could get it back, but we have to move on and get ready for tomorrow.”
Avery Bradley added 18 points while Tobias Harris poured in 15 points. After a bizarre shooting game opening night, Stanley Johnson scored 10 points on 3 of 3 shooting. Andre Drummond fouled out late in the third quarter and only had 9 points and 12 rebounds.
Off the bench, Ish Smith led in scoring with 12 points and three assists. Rookie first-round pick, Luke Kennard, made his career debut and he did not disappoint. Kennard hit his first four NBA shots and finished 5 of 8 with 11 points, two assists, two steals, and two turnovers.
“My teammates and coaches, they just kept telling me to be ready and that’s what I did,” Kennard said. “I’ve listened, I’m taking this opportunity that I have and I’ve learned a lot. Now I’m just going to stay ready and if my name is called, just play and I want to make an impact however I can.”
Van Gundy continued to play Eric Moreland over Boban Marjanovic and in twelve of minutes of play, Moreland finished +/- -8 with 0 points (0-0), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and three fouls.
Tomorrow night the Pistons will have a chance at redemption as they play their first back-to-back of the season against the New York Knicks (0-1). Tip-off is at 8pm EST at the world renown Madison Square Garden.