As Johnny Kane best put it after the game, the Pistons (9-14) won a battle against their Central Division rival, the Indiana Pacers (14-8) 108-101 in Detroit. Hopefully, the Pistons will continue their post-Milwaukee massacre revenge tour with a win against the Pelicans (6-16) on Monday night in New Orleans. Before we get to that, here are 3 makes and misses from tonight’s slug-fest.
First Make – The First Half
Early on, the Pistons were playing with the same level of ruthlessness they showed against the Cavaliers and Spurs, scoring 32 first-quarter points. Capitalized by a late three from Langston Galloway to end the period, it looked like the Pistons were taking control of the game.
Even though the Pacers would keep up with Detroit in the second, Luke Kennard and Blake Griffin weren’t letting that come easy. Both had highlight plays during the quarter, where the Pistons ended with a 55-44 lead.
(I don’t like using the word vintage, but Blake really didn’t give me a choice on this next play)
First Miss – The Third Quarter Collapse
Oh Detroit sports, you can’t let us enjoy things for too long can you? Despite the first half, the Pistons had an abysmal third quarter, which brought Indiana right back in the game. Detroit was outscored 31-16 in the period, as turnovers ravaged the offensive play.
Second Make – The 2011 All-NBA Team
If you told 12-year-old me that we’d have Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin (not forgetting Joe Johnson) on the same team, I wouldn’t have believed you for a second. If you told me that they would struggle together to start out, I wouldn’t have believed you either.
But tonight was a night that 12-year-old me would’ve dreamed about for days upon hearing your news, as both Blake (25 points) and Rose (14 points) played extremely well together. Both had major shots in the fourth that iced the game for Detroit, including this beautiful two-man action that secured the lead.
(If only this was 2011…)
Second Miss – It Takes Time For Roses To Grow
That title pains me a ton, because I love Derrick Rose as much as anyone else. Unfortunately, Rose didn’t play well to start out the game. For the first three quarters, Rose struggled from the field, hurting the Pistons in a big way as they failed to create separation from Indiana.
Third Make – The Blossoming of the Rose
D-Rose rebounded (literally) in the fourth quarter, making huge plays that made a major difference for the Pistons down the stretch. On two possessions, Rose scored directly off an offensive rebound. While four points doesn’t seem like a lot, it makes a world’s difference in a tight game like this. Rose had the aforementioned assist to Blake Griffin, followed by a beautiful floater in the final 20 seconds to put this game to bed.
It’s quarters like these that remind us why we love you so much, D-Rose.
Third Miss – Turnovers
Despite the win today, the Pistons had a slew of turnovers that made this game much closer than it should’ve been. With 17 compared to the Pacers’ 11, this is an issue that the Pistons must work on addressing in future games. Other teams won’t be so forgiving, and this reckless play could lead to more losses down the road. That’s something that the Pistons can’t afford.