On a night when none of Detroit’s three primary point guards were active, the Pistons found a way to walk out of Little Caesars Arena 113-109 victors over the Brooklyn Nets. In what was quite the intriguing game, we here at Palace Of Pistons are bringing you the next installment of our three makes and three misses series. Let’s begin.
First Make: Andre Drummond Continues To Dominate
Detroit rolled into their matchup with Brooklyn incredibly short-handed. With Reggie Jackson, Derrick Rose, Tim Frazier, and Blake Griffin in street clothes, the spotlight fell on Andre Drummond to shoulder the load.
The former UConn Husky responded as he has all season, with authority. Drummond dominated the glass, finished around the rim, and continued to attack off the dribble.
Drummond finished the night going 10-16 from the floor and 5-6 from the line. His strong defensive showing supported the whispers of Defensive Player of the Year that have quietly swirled around the center this season. The Pistons needed every minute of the 39 he played last night, as his great night was vital in the team’s success.
First Miss: Second Quarter Woes
Not much can be said about the Pistons’ second quarter other than yikes. The Nets dominated the second period, outscoring Detroit 28-13. Interestingly enough, turnovers were not the culprit for Detroit in their second quarter slide. The Pistons shot 4-21 in the second frame and only attempted 4 free throws.
The Nets took advantage, shooting 14-27 from the floor to take a 54-46 lead into the half. Mercifully, Brooklyn went 0-6 from deep in the second quarter, which allowed the Pistons to remain within striking distance heading into the second half.
Second Make: Bruce Brown… Point Guard?
After showing out in the Summer League as a primary ball-handler, many Pistons fans were clamoring for Brown to run the offense heading into last night’s matchup with Brooklyn. Those fans got their wish, as Brown ran the show in the Motor City last night.
The former Miami Hurricane responded admirably after being thrust into the point guard role. Brown tallied 22 points, while grabbing seven assists, but perhaps the most eye-catching stat he had last night was zero turnovers. He led the Pistons in minutes, playing 40 of the 48, while displaying the defensive chops Detroit expects out of him. His strong showing was a major factor in the Pistons moving to 3-4 rather than being 2-5.
Second Miss: Where Was Christian Wood?
Even though the Pistons were short-handed, one player who barely featured was early fan-favorite Christian Wood. The power forward/center saw only seven minutes of court time. Wood’s stat-line for the night read as such: 7 minutes, 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, and 1 foul.
Dwane Casey’s rotations this season have been confusing at times and his use of Wood has been downright confounding. Given 22 minutes of playing time against Indiana earlier in the season, Wood tallied 19 points and 12 rebounds, showing he has the capability to produce at a high level against strong post players like Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis.
The four-year pro has shown multiple flashes of brilliance this season, bringing Pistons fans flocking to the bandwagon. However, one of the few who hasn’t jumped on board appears to be Coach Casey himself, who continues to pull the reins on Wood. The former UNLV Runnin’ Rebel has shown he can score points in bunches and his lack of playing time last night certainly left many scratching their heads.
Third Make: Taking Care of the Rock
Detroit came into this matchup with Brooklyn averaging roughly 18 turnovers per contest. That number had them sitting in the bottom half of the league and was a major sticking point against the team.
Last night was a major flip of the script. With the team down four major ball handlers, the Pistons had their lowest amount of turnovers on the season, with only 8 the entire game.
Although we can’t expect only 8 turnovers a night from Detroit, this a definite step in the right direction. The Pistons took care of the ball, turned Brooklyn over 15 times and played a solid game, even though they were quite short-handed. Rumors are swirling that Detroit may get Blake Griffin back very soon but that remains to be seen.
Third Miss: Still No Khyri
7 games into the season, and Khyri Thomas has not seen a minute of the floor yet as a Piston. The second-year pro out of Creighton was subject to numerous rumors regarding his future with the team before the eventual cutting of Joe Johnson.
It’s frustrating to see, given Detroit made the trade in last year’s draft to acquire Thomas. Langston Galloway has played well enough this season to merit some playing time and it appears he has absorbed any minutes that may have potentially fallen to Thomas.
By holding onto Khyri, Detroit made it clear that they valued their young talent and liked the potential they saw in Thomas. The former Bluejay played well in the Summer League, shooting well and playing strong defense. However, it appears that his strong play was not enough to earn Thomas any time on the floor. The next opportunity Khyri will have to make his season debut is this upcoming Monday against Washington.
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