Detroit Pistons (a lot of them) play small, play sloppy in blowout loss to Lakers

Detroit Bad Boys

Is a game really a game if the head coach treats it like an open scrimmage at the YMCA and wants to give everyone some run? Is a game really a game when the two least dangerous offensive players are the only two to find any actual offensive success? Well, I can tell you that Detroit’s 125-111 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers counts in the standings all the same.

I’m not sure what the game plan was going into the night, but it was clear early in the second quarter head coach Monty Williams had decided to basically punt on the night after his starters delivered nothing on either end of the floor, and he started cycling through nearly his entire roster.

Maybe it was a pre-emptive plan to get Evan Fournier and Malachi Flynn, making their debuts since the trade with the Knicks, as well as a bit more floor time for former Wolves Troy Brown Jr. and Shake Milton. Maybe it was waving the white flag early, throwing everything, and I mean everything, at the wall, and seeing if anything stuck.

What I do know is that with 2:52 left in the first quarter, Mike Muscala enetered the game for Simone Fontecchio, and that meant 10 players logging minutes for the Pistons. Shake Milton would make it 11 minutes later. By the end of the game, 10 players had played between 17 and 29 minutes.

While the seemingly random lineup combos didn’t do much to help, it’s hard to lay too much blame at Williams’ feet when even his most reliable players delivered nothing in their time on the floor.

The Pistons couldn’t make shots, couldn’t get back down the floor on defense, and couldn’t do anything to impede a path to the rim. Through three quarters, the Pistons were shooting under 40% from the floor, 25% from the perimeter, while surrendering 53.7% and 40% to the Lakers in those areas, respectively.

The typically reliable Marcus Sasser delivered a 1-for-10 stinker, and Detroit’s starting backcourt, which had playing at such a high level since mid-January, was 9-of-31 from the floor.

The Pistons were led by Ausar Thompson scoring 19 points, but was otherwise invisible in the box score and on the floor. A player who typically makes his presence felt, he couldn’t do much to flow down the momentum of the players he was guarding, and he didn’t tilt the game with his rebounding, grabbing only two boards on the night.

James Wiseman, who played 23 minutes as the first big off the bench, scored 18 points and had nine rebounds. He was part of a second-unit push in the first half who tried to make a game of it.

After a pair of Ivey free throws cut the deficit to seven points with seven minutes remaining in the first half, the Lakers went on a 17-2 run to put the game out of reach for good.

The Lakers were led by 25 points and eight assists from LeBron James, 21 points from D’Angelo Russell, and 20 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks from Anthony Davis.

Articles You May Like

Potential Detroit Pistons Offseason Targets: Davion Mitchell
Final: Pistons clinch worst record in franchise history with loss to Bulls
Report: Pistons will hire new president to oversee basketball operations
The Pindown: The Offseason Shopping List
Detroit Pistons players conduct exit interviews, talk tough season and bright future

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *