The Detroit Pistons entered tonight’s contest against the Chicago Bulls with an 11-18 record, one game out of the eight spot in the Eastern Conference. After an extremely short-handed loss to the Boston Celtics, where the Pistons had 25 turnovers, Detroit came out tonight poised. The game finished with a 119-107 score, where the Bulls prevailed.
First Make: Andre Drummond’s Energy
On the second leg of a back-to-back, big man Andre Drummond came out of the gate with a lot of energy. Drummond started off the game strong, putting up 14 points and five rebounds in the first half, along with two blocks and one steal.
Not only did Drummond’s energy boost his personal numbers, but it got his team more engaged, forcing nine first half turnovers from the Bulls. Drummond’s energy continued in the second half, as he finished the night with 19 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and five steals.
First Miss: Turnover Troubles Continue
The Pistons continued to have trouble holding onto the basketball tonight, especially early. Detroit had eight turnovers at the halftime break, five of them coming in the first quarter.
The turnover issues continued throughout the rest of the game, as Detroit finished the night with 15 turnovers all together. Detroit currently ranks 26th in the NBA in turnovers per game. If the Pistons want to find themselves winning games any time soon, it starts with holding onto the ball.
Second Make: Bench Production
The Pistons had a very short bench tonight with Christian Wood out due to a knee injury and Markieff Morris starting in place of Blake Griffin who was sick. However, Detroit’s bench still found a way to make a large impact on the game. The bench was highlighted by the play of Tim Frazier who finished with a season-high 13 points, including nine points in the first half.
Along with Frazier’s productive play, Langston Galloway had 10 points and Thon Maker doubled his scoring average, putting up seven points in ten minutes. The Pistons shorthanded bench found a way to still put up 24 points. Normal role player Markieff Morris was inserted into the starting lineup tonight with Blake Griffin out, tallying a team high 23 points, including seven three pointers.
Second Miss: Three Point Defense
Detroit has struggled immensely this year guarding the three ball against Chicago. In their first two matchups of the season, Detroit allowed Chicago to shoot 40 percent and 58 percent from deep. Unfortunately for the Pistons, that trend continued tonight as they allowed Chicago to shoot 51 percent from beyond the arc. Coby White and Zach Lavine each shot 5-7 behind the arc tonight, tallying 30 points from deep between the two of them.
Third Make: Sharing The Basketball
One thing that was great to see out of the Pistons tonight was how well they shared the basketball. The Pistons converted on 40 shots tonight, 30 of which were assisted. Coming into tonight, Detroit ranked 24.7 assists per game, good enough for 12th in the league. However, tonight, the ball seemed to be flying a lot more. Tim Frazier led the way for the Pistons with nine assists. Except for Thon Maker, everyone who played tonight had at least one assist. When the ball is moving like that, open shots will be available.
Third Miss: Third Quarter Woes Continue
For some reason, this seems to be a common issue with the Pistons. It seems like almost every game, Detroit buries themselves in a hole coming out of the halftime break. Chicago outscored the Pistons 40-30 in the third quarter, led by Zach Lavine who was relatively quiet in the first half. The Pistons’ defense was non-existent during the third quarter, as they allowed the Bulls to shoot nearly 80 percent in the third. Third quarter struggles have been a huge issue in a lot of Detroit’s losses, as they are now 2-14 this season in games where they are outscored in the third quarter.
The Pistons are 0-3 against Chicago this season and 11-19 overall. Their next game is December 23, 2019 against Philadelphia.