In what was the third game since the Detroit Pistons traded franchise centerpiece Andre Drummond and Detroit continued to struggle on both sides, losing 87-76. In what was a tough game to watch, I was able to come up with three things that I observed from tonight’s contest.
1. The Pistons live and die by the three ball
Detroit struggled immensely shooting the ball tonight as they finished the ball game shooting 35.8 percent from the floor. If you thought that was not bad enough, take a look at Detroit’s three-point percentage: 20 percent. Detroit hoisted the ball from beyond the arc 35 times tonight and converted on only seven of them.
Watching the game, there were times when the Pistons had a lane to the hoop or could have made an extra pass, but elected to shoot a contested three instead. Markieff Morris, Reggie Jackson and Tony Snell were the three main cases of this tonight as they shot a collective 4-18 from three-point land.
Coach Dwane Casey’s offense is predicated on shooting threes and moving the ball. However, the Pistons only did one of those things tonight, and even that was unsuccessful
2. Thon Maker showed flashes of potential
One bright spot from tonight’s game was the play of Thon Maker. With Drummond out of the picture now, more and more minutes are going to go to the 22 year-old Maker. Maker has caught a lot of flack in the past due to his inconsistent play, especially in last year’s playoff series against Milwaukee. However tonight, Maker showed a lot of potential and why he was a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Maker went on to finish tonight’s game with 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, along with two emphatic blocks when the Pistons needed them.
Not only was Maker making solid plays on both ends, but he also showed a lot of grit and hustle in 23 minutes tonight. There were numerous times where Maker fought for loose balls and tried to play passing lanes.
Maker looked like a valuable piece of this rebuild tonight and if he keeps playing like this, he might carve out a role for the Pistons in the future.
3. Turnovers, turnovers and more turnovers
Once again, the Pistons really struggled to take care of the ball tonight, committing 21 turnovers to Charlotte’s 11.
Going into tonight’s contest, the Pistons were ranked 24th in the NBA in turnovers per game with 15.3 of them per game. With the Pistons now being a relatively young team at 25.3 years old, it is expected that they will turn the ball over frequently. However, Detroit had five guys tonight with three or more turnovers. If they want to win some ball games during this rebuild, it is extremely important that they cut down on that turnover number.
Detroit is now 12-27 and on a three game losing streak. They next play Wednesday, February 12 against Orlando.