The Detroit Pistons have fallen to the Washington Wizards 133-119 at Little Caesar’s Arena. While injuries to Detroit’s All-Stars certainly made this one harder to win, this loss continues a troubling trend of losing to lesser team’s – both at home and on the road.
First Make: Kieff’s Revenge Quarter
Markieff Morris had an opportunity to showcase his offensive skills with Detroit’s starting frontcourt sidelined, and took advantage.
With an array of moves inside and a three-pointer, Kieff carried the Pistons’ offense in the first quarter when everyone else looked out of rhythm. He finished the first quarter with 11 of Detroit’s 32 points, keeping the team in it early when Washington got hot.
First Miss: First Quarter Defense
The Wizards, to the surprise of many, have the NBA’s fourth-best offense in the midst of another lost season. Much of that offensive success is due to All-Star Bradley Beal, who effortlessly dropped 15 points in the game’s opening period.
He wasn’t the only one on fire, however, as the team combined to shoot EIGHTY (80) percent from the field as Detroit looked lost without Andre Drummond manning the paint.
Second Make: Second Quarter Defense
Following a pitiful defensive performance in the first quarter, the Pistons turned it up in the second. Limiting the scorching hot Wizards to only 24 points, everyone seemed to up the intensity after getting embarrassed by nearly everyone in the opening quarter.
Despite holding Washington off from running away with this one in the second, they still went into halftime with some… impressive shooting percentages:
Unsurprisingly, this would go on to be the Pistons’ only positive defensive quarter of the game.
Second Miss: Mental Lapses Continue
Detroit’s turnovers weren’t as plentiful as usual, with the team showing mostly good judgement when it came to moving the ball.
Turnovers are almost more frustrating when it doesn’t involve a bad pass or losing control of the ball. Stepping out of bounds, an off-camera unforced inbound turnover, and too many moving screens to count, the Pistons cost themselves with mental lapses that could’ve been avoided, again.
These lapses weren’t limited to just turnovers, either, as Markieff Morris earned his first flagrant foul of the season. A senseless foul, considering one of three other Pistons would’ve corralled the rebound.
Third Make: D-Rose in His Bag
Derrick Rose continues to carry Detroit’s offense in the midst of the absence of the team’s top players, despite the loss.
In his usual 25 minutes per game, Rose finished the contest with 22 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds, keeping the Pistons in it until their disastrous defense overtook his late-game heroics.
Another positive of Rose’s game is his recent chemistry development in the pick-and-roll, as Rose’s clever passing chops helped elevate Wood’s otherwise underwhelming performance.
Third Miss: Don’t Forget About Dre
Andre Drummond missed his second straight game due to an allergic reaction in his eye; but unlike last game against a shooting-heavy Rockets team, Washington took advantage of Detroit’s weak rim protection.
It’s become evident just how important Drummond’s rim-running and paint protection are for this defensively-troubled roster. Tonight’s abomination showed just how much this team will struggle without him – even if the offense is clicking.
Only 46 of Washington’s 133 points came in the paint, but without Dre’s quick hands and the team’s pitiful perimeter defense (outside of Bruce Brown, it seems), it was more optimal to attack from the outside.