Can the season honestly end already?
Welcome back to POP On The Clock, your weekly rewind of all things Pistons. This week was a rough one for the Pistons (this phrase is getting old), as they dropped three games in a four game week. With the trade deadline approaching, time’s running out for this team to decide on a direction. Here’s what the Pistons went through last week.
The Week In Games:
To open the week on January 27th, the Pistons took a depressing loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-100 in Detroit. This was the first Pistons game after Kobe Bryant’s passing, and to be completely honest, it wasn’t a game Kobe would be proud of.
Detroit struggled in the turnover battle, and the absence of Derrick Rose didn’t make matters any better. Detroit was led by Reggie Jackson in scoring with 16 points.
Following that loss, the Pistons were defeated by the Brooklyn Nets 115-125 in Brooklyn. While Detroit’s bench performed well in the first half, the most notable issue with the Pistons was the absence of Sekou Doumbouya. As noted by numerous fans and observers, Doumbouya didn’t play in a single minute of action, which could be considered a questionable decision on Dwayne Casey’s part. One can only wonder how leaving a first round pick on the bench creates any sort of development.
To add on to the defeats, Detroit took its third loss to the Toronto Raptors 105-92 in Detroit. The Raptors, who are undefeated in their last ten games, dominated from the get-go. The Pistons were led by Andre Drummond with another 20-20 performance. While Toronto has been excellent this season, frustrations have mounted for Pistons fans as Detroit slowly falls out of the playoff race.
Fortunately, not all hope was lost for Detroit, as they pulled out an OT victory against the Denver Nuggets, 128-123. Detroit was carried by the youngsters throughout the course of the contest, as 38 of the 68 first half points were scored by Svi Mykhailiuk, Sekou and Bruce Brown. This was a game that can give fans hope for the future ahead. Detroit ends the week 1-3.
The Bad Boys Breaking News
Once again, it was a busy week for Detroit in terms of trade rumors, as reports emerged that Detroit is seeking a lottery pick in return for any trade package involving Derrick Rose. Rose has been a strong contributor for this struggling Pistons team, and teams that need an extra scoring push might need the services of the former MVP.
In other trade news, Luke Kennard has been made available for trades per James Edwards III. In his third season, Kennard is averaging 16 points per contest while dishing out 4 assists per game. The Duke product is an interesting trade piece for the Pistons, as he might offer the most in a potential return. However, his youth and production are something the Pistons might need going forward. We discuss the Kennard trade situation in the video below.
Speaking of Kennard, Dwayne Casey has told the media that he anticipates Kennard being out for at least a few more weeks, per James Edwards III. Kennard has been out since around Christmas with knee tendinitis. Only time will tell as to how quickly the sharpshooter can return to action.
For All-Star Weekend, Svi Mykhailiuk was selected to represent his country, Ukraine, and the Pistons for Team World in the Rising Stars Game. Mykhailiuk has found a stable role in the Pistons’ rotation, where he currently averages nine points per game on an efficient 43.3% shooting behind the arc. He will be the second Piston to be featured in All-Star weekend, joining Derrick Rose who’s in the Skills Challenge.
The Weekly Piston Awards:
Game of the Week: Pistons defeat Denver, 128-123 in OT.
With this game being the only win of the week for Detroit, there isn’t another game to choose. Fortunately, this was a fun nail biter that gave fans at LCA some free basketball. This game was ruled by the youngsters, who carried much of the load in the first half.
Player of the Week: Andre Drummond
This was a pretty pedestrian week for Pistons across the board, but Andre Drummond nabs the award this week with his typical production output. Drummond recorded a 20-20 game against the Raptors and had 21 points and 17 rebounds in a win against the Denver Nuggets.
Play of the Week:
Pistons Twitter Tweet of the Week:
RIP to the legend.
The POP Podcast:
This week’s podcast can be found here, and features discussion regarding the report of Kennard’s availability and the importance of this trade deadline for the Pistons.
The Week Ahead:
Detroit will look to recover from a rough week in alternating home and away games, facing the Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks.
(Featured Image by Carlos Osorio/Associated Press)