It's late, I pulled an all-nighter yesterday, and the Pistons were down 20 heading into the fourth quarter in the second game of a back-to-back in Portland. I'm not going to lie, but I cheated and started writing a recap titled, "Brick City in Rip City," early in the fourth quarter (which still applies to some -- ahem, Stuckey), before I got c-teased by a strumpet named Karma. That'll be the last time I try my hand at her.
Similar to last night, the Pistons had one last-ditch effort to open the heavy eye-lids of east coast fans and put us back on the edge of our seats, only to unhappily slouch back in them moments later. Trailing by 20 heading into the fourth quarter, after scoring 12 points in the third, Detroit put up 31 points, held the Blazers to just eight through the first nine minutes, and pulled as close as one point!
And that's when I really thought they might actually pull this sucker out, but when Portland's Steve Blake had an offensive rebound bounce right back to him with under 30 seconds to play, that "too good to be true" feeling started to sink in like Blake's ensuing three pointer. Pistons would go on to lose 87-81 after the Blazers hit their free throws down the stretch.
So what happened the first three quarters?
The Pistons looked gassed and Portland, despite their normal slow pace, started pushing it on the Pistons resulting in easy points. As I was hoping before the game, the Pistons got Charlie Villanueva involved early (five quick points), but he picked up two fouls just four minutes into the first and had to sit the rest of the quarter. It really deflated any early momentum the Pistons might have had. As I put it in the thread, early on this game felt like it was going to be one of those nights where we might hang around, but then one Blazers run would put us out of our misery. That was the case, but the Pistons didn't completely peel over without first putting up a fight.
Musings after the jump, alright?
- I want Ben Gordon on the floor late in close games. I assume Kuester wanted to stick with the guys that made it the one-point game, but at some point you have to make the decision, "they brought us back into the game, now it's time to live and die with the big guns." I don't know if Gordon, who had a sub-par night shooting (4-12) would have made any difference, but he's a guy I want to see taking the shots at the end of games, not Rodney Stuckey.
- Bynum's another guy we didn't see a lot of in crunch time, despite being the crunch time player for the Pistons so far. He played just over 21 minutes, had only eight points on 4-8 shooting, but also had four turnovers.
- Austin Daye is a guy I can get used to playing 20 minutes a night. His long arms on defense are a major perk and his shooting stroke is about as pure as they come. He played a great game, I thought.
- Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 20-a-piece.
- I want whatever energy juices Jonas Jerebko takes/drinks. He never stops running around. He fouled out tonight, much to his dismay.
- Ben Wallace another solid performance. 12 rebounds for the ol' timer.
- Thoughts and prayers go out to the Blazers/Seahawks owner, Paul Allen (not the character in "American Psycho"). He was recently diagnosed with cancer. Pistons fans know how it feels to lose an owner, so here's hoping to a speedy recovery for Mr. Allen and that the Blazers/Seahawks fans don't have to deal with that for a long time.
- NBA.com box score.
- NBA.com highlights (only the first half are up right now):