Pistons observations: Slow start left Detroit little chance against Golden State

Detroit News

Rod Beard
| The Detroit News

The Pistons started their five-game western trip with a dud Saturday.

After their biggest win of the season, the Pistons followed with their worst loss, dropping a 118-91 decision to the Golden State Warriors.

Here are some observations from the Pistons’ loss:

►Slow start: The Pistons have had their share of slow starts in first quarters this season. None seemed as bad as Saturday’s opening period, when the Pistons started 5-of-20 from the field and 2-of-7 on 3-pointers. Even Wayne Ellington, who had been money for the past two weeks or so on his first shot — usually a 3-pointer — would be off. Coach Dwane Casey said that he sensed that something was off after the first couple of plays, but with the issues they had on offense, coupled with some defensive breakdowns, it was the perfect storm for a lopsided loss, especially against the Warriors. 

►Starting issues: Jerami Grant was the only starter to score in double figures, and only he and Mason Plumlee shot better than 40% from the field. Blake Griffin had a rough start, going 1-of-8 from the field, with a 3-pointer his only make. Ellington was 0-of-6 and Delon Wright was 2-of-6 with only seven points, coming off an encouraging week. Casey said the second unit played well, but with a double-digit deficit early in the game, it was hard to work out of that and build momentum.

►Getting a rhythm: Josh Jackson continued his return with a good offensive game. In 24 minutes, he was 4-of-9 from the field and got to the free-throw line eight times, which was tied for the team high. He was aggressive going to the rim and made a couple of 3-pointers as well. He’s becoming a better option in the second group and defensively, he’s still a premium option.

►More Stewart minutes: Isaiah Stewart looked more comfortable even than he has in recent weeks, with 20 minutes and finishing with eight points, five rebounds and two blocks. He’s starting to look more in a rhythm as he’s getting more playing time with the second unit, and even some with the starters. Casey lauded Stewart’s comfort level and noted the improvement that he’s making.

►Splash reporting: Klay Thompson, out for the season because of an ACL injury, joined the Warriors broadcast as a sideline reporter during the second quarter. It’s good to have him back in any capacity, but he gave some A-plus commentary on a fast-break opportunity when his Splash Brother, Steph Curry, pulled up for a long 3-pointer.

Thompson has done stints before as a sideline reporter, but he may just have been finding his post-playing career, if he so chooses.


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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