The 0-1 Detroit Pistons faced the 0-1 Dallas Mavericks October 9, 2019 at Little Caesars arena. Detroit prevailed winning 124-117 in an up and down game.
Dallas came out of the gates hot, jumping to an early 14-7 lead three and a half minutes into the game, in what was the debuts for Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis looked 100 percent healthy, connecting on his first two three point attempts and scoring eight of the Mavericks’ first 12 points.
Doncic led the way for Dallas with 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals on 7-18 shooting. Porzingis added 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists on 7-18 shooting as well. Off the bench, Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed 17 points, including three triples.
One thing that really stood out to me for Dallas is how dangerous the tandem of Doncic and Porzingis could be. Those two had a nice two-man game going all night, especially on the pick and roll.
On the Pistons side of things, Detroit did not look the greatest in the first half. Both Reggie Jackson and Blake Griffin struggled in the opening two quarters as they only combined for 11 points on 3-11 shooting. Jackson and Griffin both seemed to not have their legs under them, as the pair were very stagnant and sloppy in the first half.
However, big man Andre Drummond looked like he was in mid-season form, putting up 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal in only 23 minutes of action.
Detroit’s main contributors on the night were the leaders of the bench brigade: Derrick Rose and Luke Kennard. Rose and Kennard combined for 37 points on 14-20 shooting, including five threes from Kennard.
The biggest takeaway for me from this game is how well the bench unit works together. This is only the second preseason game and they have already seemed to start gelling. The bench unit of Rose, Langston Galloway, Kennard, Markieff Morris and Thon Maker prompted a 13-8 run to close the third quarter and tie the game up at 86. They then scored nine straight points to start the fourth quarter and Detroit never looked back from there.
Detroit’s next preseason game will be Friday, October 11 against the 1-0 Cleveland Cavaliers. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. The game can be viewed on Fox Sports Detroit and heard on 97.1 The Ticket.