On a night that celebrated the title-winning 2003 Detroit Shock, the Detroit Pistons played anything but championship basketball against the Charlotte Hornets Thursday at Little Caesars Arena. The young, injury-depleted Pistons committed too many unforced errors and played too little defense, eventually falling 113-103. The loss was Detroit’s 10th in a row.
Making matters worse, the players that were able to return after injury absences definitely showed some accumulated rust from their time away. Both Killian Hayes and Jalen Duren struggled in their first games back from injury. Hayes made inexplicably poor decisions with and without the ball, and he missed all six of his shots. Duren struggled mightily on the defensive end and left some easy points on the floor because of an inability to finish a couple bunnies.
The Pistons committed 19 turnovers and surrendered 62 points in the paint. The Hornets, who stretched their lead to as many as 18 in the third quarter, were led by 27 points from Kelly Oubre Jr.
Detroit was able to crawl its way into the game thanks to some veteran-led runs in the second and third quarters, but the mistakes from the young, overwhelmed players forced into larger roles because of injury was just too much to overcome.
James Wiseman scored 16 points and collected 13 rebounds, but he struggled again with defensive positioning and surrendered some offensive boards that would have been easy to prevent if he’d established better position and boxed out.
Still, his face-up drives and back-to-the-basket power it evident, and he was able to get some pick-and-roll chemistry with Hayes on the floor. Jaden Ivey had several stretches where he displayed all the early season rookie mistakes, but also was able to score in bunches. He finished with 16 points on 5-of-17 shooting and had more turnovers (seven) than assists (six).
The Pistons were led by veteran guard Cory Joseph who scored a team-high 17 points off the bench and was a plus-10 on a night where the team lost by 10.