Detroit has had a a very, very, rough start to the season, and after back to back losses against the Hornets, the Pistons and their fanbase felt like they had hit a new low. While tonight’s win doesn’t truly fix any of the Pistons’ major problems, at the very least, it felt good.
1st Make: Cool Hand Luke
Luke started the first half, “en fuego,” going for 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Shooting 3-5 from three and 5-9 total, Kennard shot 55% from the field. Kennard ended the game with 20 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds. He also ended the game shooting 66.7% from the field. Kennard has been one of Detroit’s consistent bright spots, and tonight was no exception. Not bad for a bust, right?
1st Miss: Off Game for Blake
Blake Griffin has had a bit of a slow start upon his return from injury, which caused him to miss the first 10 games of the Pistons season. He had a solid performance against Charlotte Friday night, putting up 26 points in the outing. It appeared he had started to get his footing back, but as for every step forward this Pistons team, there are 5 steps backward. Blake had a shaky game tonight, and was even missing layups. Not to mention, he took a rough shot to the groin to end the first half after a collision between him and Andre.
2nd Make: Point Bruce continues to blossom
As for any young player, getting thrown into a position you weren’t prepared to play can be difficult. Bruce Brown has had his ups and downs as Detroit’s starting point, becoming Detroit’s starting point after Reggie Jackson went down with back injuries. Tonight, his growth continued, and could be considered an up. Bruce displayed remarkable court vision and even nailed a three-pointer to the elation of the Detroit Pistons’ bench.
2nd Miss: Turnover, Turnover, Turnover
In the first half, the game was a much closer one than the final score would let on. Aside from an outstanding first half from Demar Derozan, the main reason the game was tight was due to Detroit’s turnover issues, which has become a recurring problem for this team. Detroit had some costly turnovers at the end of the second quarter to the dismay of George Blaha. Though the turnovers would slow by the second half, the turnovers still hurt them in the first two-quarters of action.
3rd Make: Career Night Wood
July 15th, 2019, The New Orleans Pelicans waive Christian Wood. Wood was claimed by the Detroit Pistons, and has fought for every opportunity he’s been given since. Christian Wood has quickly become a fan favorite, but his minutes have been limited, as Dwane Casey favored, (not so popular with Pistons fans) Thon Maker. Wood got 22 minutes tonight and in that span, he managed to score 28 points, have an assist, and grab 10 boards. That’s incredible production off the bench, and Wood continues to show that he’s worth the opportunities being given, and that he has potential to be a building block for the future.
3rd Miss: Why Did it Take This Long For Wood to Get Minutes?
This isn’t a knock on tonight’s game, but rather a knock on our rotations. Though tonight our rotations were solid, the fact that it took this long for someone of Wood’s talent to get playing time over Thon Maker is a bit concerning. Though there may be some off the court issues that had prevented Dwane Casey from putting his trust in Wood, as Casey has alluded to, it’s still a bit puzzling. Casey may have felt justified in his decision, but seeing Thon Maker’s production (or lack there of) it would seem obvious to, at least, give Wood a shot. Hopefully, there was a lesson learned for both parties. Wood can continue to grow along with his playing time, and hopefully, Casey can be more open to adjusting his rotations.
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