It’s a Make or Miss League: Three Observations from Detroit’s Defeating Loss to Washington

The Detroit Pistons matched up with the Washington Wizards for the fourth and final time this season, culminating in a hotly-contested game that ended the Pistons small win streak, 106-100. This contest was similar to the last three meetings of these teams, high on the offense and low on the defense. Nothing too surprising in a match-up between two rebuilding teams in a lost season, but the Pistons were able to get back in the mix with the rest of the East’s lottery teams.

First Observation: The Best and Worst of Andre Drummond

Matched up with lesser centers in Ian Mahinmi and Thomas Bryant, Andre Drummond had an opportunity to enforce his will on offense. He did take advantage, starting the contest with 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field in the first half. Dre also shared the load on the glass, but hauled in 16 rebounds as well.

Dre’s defense was solid also, as he used his quick hands to corral four steals and also added a block, proving again why he is an integral part of Detroit’s defense (despite being crossed by Bradley Beal). Overall, he was great, but his biggest issue was a glaring one…

Drummond proved to be overzealous with the ball in his hands, committing a whopping six turnovers. He, not always to his own fault, sometimes takes it upon himself to create his own plays – which hasn’t worked more than it has recently. A combination of bad passes, getting his pocket picked, and committing offensive fouls led him to his large number of giveaways.

Second Observation: Offense Happened, Defense Didn’t

Washington showed the Pistons why they stand as the NBA’s fifth-best offense (114.5 PPG), Detroit also looked as lackadaisical as ever on defense, for the most part, allowing the Wizards to shoot 53.5 percent from the floor in the first half, an unacceptable number for any team.

The Pistons’ similarly hot offense kept the game competitive throughout, as they also shot above 50 percent in the game’s opening half. Regardless, both teams showed they were more interested in scoring than locking down the opposition – not much of a surprise for a match-up of rebuilding teams.

Washington was led by the usual suspect, Bradley Beal, who carried the team with a casual 29 points. The All-Star also received some help inside in the forms of Ian Mahinmi (21 points, 9/10 shooting) and Thomas Bryant (13 points) – yes, the two bigs referred to as “lesser centers” in the beginning of this recap. When Andre Drummond is forced to come out of the paint to help for a teammate on the perimeter, leaving the inside open for a rolling big – resulting in this.

Detroit was led by the usual veterans – Dre and Derrick Rose – alongside contributions from Tony Snell (14 points), Svi Mykhailiuk, and Markieff Morris (10 points each). Sekou Doumbouya struggled offensively for his second straight contest, missing badly on his three point attempts and failing to find a groove elsewhere.

Third Observation: These Teams are Still Boring…

The final game between these two teams this season didn’t show us anything new. Both teams are in a similar boat, as Bradley Beal and Andre Drummond are forced to lead during a lost season while the team’s stars (John Wall and Blake Griffin) rehab for the next season.

Both of these teams will likely finishing just outside of the playoffs and don’t have much to play for other than internal development. So, in a game where both team’s young players were either hurt or struggled, it’s inevitably going to be a bit of a snooze-fest.

However, with a few promising pieces and hopefully healthy stars returning next season, maybe both the Pistons and Wizards can be a bit more entertaining during the next campaign.


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