Tonight just wasn’t the night for the Detroit Pistons as they lost to the Chicago Bulls 109-89. Detroit looked at times rusty, out of sync and unmotivated to come out and make a statement after three days of rest, with some much-needed practices to iron some of the kinks out of their offense. But yet they started the game flat and allowed the Bulls to control the contest for the majority of the game. On a night where more bad than good happened for the team, let’s take a look at the 3 makes and misses for the Pistons.
1st Make: Langston Galloway is Starting to Become a Walking Bucket
When the Pistons started the game on a bad note, they needed a spark from the bench. Now normally that role is assigned to Derrick Rose, but lately this season Langston Galloway has started to become instant offense!
Allah, Vinnie Johnson-Esque for this team if you will.
Not trying to say that Galloway is exactly the same player as the famed Piston sixth-man…but he is starting to play like it.
When he entered the game, he immediately got busy scoring on 2 of 3 field attempts but still helping to create some offense for a team that was struggling on offense tonight.
Even though Galloway cooled off as the game progressed, shooting 3 of 12 from the floor, his offensive game has elevated this season and he is starting to solidify himself as a primary scoring option outside of Derrick Rose coming off the bench.
1st Miss: Markkanen and Satoransky Were A Problem!!!
Before the game tipped-off, the one thing that George Blaha and Greg Kelser (reporters for the Pistons on Fox Sports Detroit) made sure to make the viewers aware of…was to “WATCH OUT FOR ZACH LAVINE”!
Only thing is, I don’t think Lauri Markkanen and Tomas Satoransky caught that telecast.
On a night when Chicago’s leading scorer Zach Lavine (20.9 PPG) was essentially a non-factor, Markkanen and Satoransky were constant headaches for Detroit. Markkanen with his three-point shooting ability—making 3 out of 4 threes, he was able to draw Detroit’s big men away from the rim and out to the perimeter, thus allowing his teammates to attack the hoop without the threat of a shot-blocking presence nearby. He ended the game with 24 points and 6 rebounds.
Satoransky, on the other hand, was a constant playmaker, whether creating shots for himself or for his teammates. His deceptive speed and ballhandling ability keep Detroit’s guard honest and off-balance—he dished out 7 assists and scored 15 points.
With Lavine struggling this was the Pistons moment to take advantage, but they allowed Chicago’s secondary scoring options to command the reins of the game in this loss.
2nd Make: Derrick Rose is the Lifeforce for the Pistons
Who would’ve thought that a 32-year old former NBA MVP with a history of knee injuries would somehow be the spark and lifeforce for a team that already has two All-Stars and coming off a playoff appearance last year?
Not me…well, at least I didn’t think he needed to be.
For what starting to become a recurring theme, the Detroit Pistons start the 1st quarter slow. The starters came out the gate sluggish and didn’t seem like they were a team that’s had four days of rest. They looked lost and uninspired to start the game—falling behind to Chicago, 12 – 4 before Dwane Casey needed to call a timeout to get his players to regroup.
The Pistons appeared so lackluster and stagnant on offense that they brought Derrick Rose midway into the first quarter and he got the entire team running, moving the ball and scoring. Even when having Blake Griffin supposedly healthy and back on the team, Derrick Rose appears to be the offensive catalyst at times for this team. With Rose on the floor, there is always constant movement—his ability to create plays for himself and others is something the Pistons desperate require to stay competitive in most games.
Eventually, they’re going to have to find more collective resources to help generate points on offense.
2nd Miss: Detroit Got Out Worked
All throughout the game, Detroit looked as if they seemed to lack urgency and concentration needed to help them win this game.
They simply were out-hustled by Chicago.
The Bulls out-rebounded the Pistons 43-34 and outran them in the open floor scoring 18 fastbreak points to Detroit’s 9 points.
Even with three days of much-needed rest and time to practice, Detroit seemed a bit lethargic and unfocused when it came to completing passes or staying in concert with each other on defense.
This was supposed to be a game that Detroit needed to win to get back on a winning streak and have some positive energy heading into their next game. This level of effort is unacceptable and can’t continue if they plan on stringing together consecutive wins in the future.
3rd Make: Christian Wood Continues to Do the Most with Less Minutes
The human Energizer Bunny that is Christian Wood was on full display again. After coming into the late in the second quarter, Wood logged in 18 minutes of play, scoring 12 points and 10 rebounds.
At times he appeared to be the only Piston on the floor who showed any signs of life and will to compete—even when the game was officially out of winnable reach.
Snatching rebounds down low and making athletic plays with highlight-reel dunks, Wood played like a man on fire. He continues to prove that no matter when he is checked into a game he will give 110% and play his heart out.
Dwane Casey continues to provide Wood with inconsistent game minutes, but Wood continues to show that he is able to make the most out of those minutes with his knack for scoring, and ability to be active on defense. Hopefully, his minutes will persist to grow and he can exhibit more facets of his game.
3rd Miss: Andre’s Drummond Attitude (Again)
Another lackluster game by Piston’s center Andre Drummond—even though he grabbed 14 rebounds—he only scored 6 points and registered a plus-minus of -7.
And what has become the custom for any Piston’s viewer…when Drummond starts to play poorly or gets frustrated—his body language becomes less positive.
He starts to complain to referees for the lack of calls not going his way, his frustration with his inability to score and he starts to become inactive and engaged more and more as his frustration grows.
Drummond is in a contract year and wants to be paid like a top-tier player at his position next season. But in order to do that he needs to learn that he can’t expect to command that respect from potential suitors if he is going to constantly show lack of effort and interest during times where the game starts to become rough for him. He needs to gain better control of his emotions and learn how to help his team even when he isn’t dominating the game.
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