The Detroit Pistons could not overcome a poor first half and fell to the Charlotte Hornets 107-94. Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball and Malik Monk had not played in weeks after suffering injuries, but both made their return against Detroit and both had a positive impact. Detroit was without the services of Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee and Wayne Ellington and every other veteran player you can think of.
The Pistons trailed 26-18 at the end of an ugly, very 90’s-like quarter. If you had kept watching, you would have enjoyed a fairly good basketball game. Detroit didn’t make many shots, but they more than competed. It was a stealth tank.
After Detroit’s 14-4 run to begin the second quarter where they pulled ahead by two, Detroit went cold and Charlotte started to drill their 3-balls and get easy deuces in the paint. This stretch coincided with Isaiah Stewart picking up his third foul and Detroit having no choice to stick Tyler Cook at center for extended minutes while Stew was planted to the bench. All of a sudden it’s a 19-point deficit and Detroit had no answer.
Charlotte would take a 58-42 advantage into halftime. Miles Bridges led all scorers in the half with 18 points, scoring on a variety of nifty post moves and alley-oop dunks (playing with LaMelo is fun). Frank Jackson led Detroit with 14 points, however it took him 13 shots to get there.
This was one of LaMelo Ball’s five first-half assists…good golly:
Detroit played a tough third quarter. They were active on the glass and shared the ball better than in the first. AND they hit a few more shots. That helped. Once down 21, Detroit drew within seven late in the quarter. They would trail 79-70 going into the final 12 minutes despite shooting a blazing 34.7-percent from the floor and 64-percent from the charity stripe.
A 13-0 run by the Hornets after Detroit drew to within three was the deciding factor in this one. Although Saddiq did try to will his squad back into contention with seemingly 15 triples in the fourth quarter.
Terry Rozier hit eight 3-pointers and led all scorers with 29. Miles Bridges scored 27 and has come a long way from his earlier years where he was just dunker and a 3-point shooter. Bridges has many quality tools in his bag.
The Hornets blocked 15 Pistons shots, and quite frankly it seems like more.
Killian had a beautiful floater early on. He did some good things in 31 minutes. There was some ball watching that got him into trouble a few times, as well as a variety of indecision on offense. Killian is playing and learning and certainly improving, and that’s all you can ask for.
Bey had an up and down game. But as is always the case with an elite shooter, you never can count them out. Bey drilled triple after triple in the fourth quarter to keep Detroit close. In 40 minutes, Bey straight filled up the stat sheet tonight.
Text book bully-ball from Beef Stew against P.J. Washington:
Foul trouble plagued the rookie in the opening half — he played well but only was able to log 11 minutes. Beef Stew finished with 26 minutes. He has had much better nights.
Josh didn’t attempt a shot in his first 10 minutes played. In a game where Detroit was without Grant, Ellington and Plumlee, Josh not shooting is not ideal (but quite ideal for THE TANK). Josh played 33 minutes but just didn’t have any rhythm.
As is often the case — it was a mixed bag for Sekou. He was decisive with most of his opportunities and had nice defensive moments.
Frank has a few ugly misses in the first — but the second half he was more of the Frank Jackson Pistons’ fans have fallen in love with. Frank scored 25 and grabbed seven rebounds — he was everywhere.
When this team is serious about winning games, Frank Jackson better be a part of it
— Tim Forkin (@tim_forkin) May 2, 2021
Saben picks his spots to penetrate a defense and more than effectively ran the team — seven assists to zero turnovers on the night. Saben will absolutely need to work on his jump shot (and his confidence in it) in the off-season to take his game to another level.
Cook scored two paint buckets in the first quarter. He was also forced into the center spot for a large chunk of the second quarter and that’s when Charlotte took off. Cook finished with 12 points and seven rebounds — it wasn’t a bad night for Tyler all things considered.
Dave played eight first half minutes and didn’t embarrass. He had a couple good contests. He did not see the court in the second half.
What did everyone think about the Hayes-Ball matchup?