The Miami Heat looked like the defending NBA Champions, and the Detroit Pistons looked like a lottery team. Playing in front of their home crowd since winning the title, the Heat looked every bit as dominant as might have been expected.
The Heat came out confidently, struck early and often, and led wire-to-wire en route to a 105-78 victory. And the game never looked any closer than the final score suggests.
Almost nothing worked for the Pistons on offense tonight. Credit to Miami's defense - it was stifling and held the Pistons to 31-88 shooting and an embarassing 2-16 from beyond the arc. Yes, it's early, but poor three-point shooting is close to becoming a trend. The Heat didn't force the Pistons into an excessive amount of turnovers (16), but they made things tough on every possession. It certainly didn't help that the Pistons couldn't throw the ball in the ocean when they did manage to get an open look.
Defensively, the Pistons let the Heat do anything and everything they wanted - at least through three quarters when the team's A Squads were playing. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade picked Detroit's defense apart at will, scoring 34 points on 24 shots. LeBron added 8 assists and 4 steals for good measure, and Bosh chipped in an efficient 17 points, doing most of his damage from the free throw line where he shot 9-10. The Heat played all 15 of their players, and all of them scored at least once, except for Robert Dozier, poor guy.
On the upside, Andre Drummond would have recorded another double double had fouls not limited him to 19 minutes of play. Dre recorded a humorous 5 fouls in 9 minutes in the first half, but hey, it's preaseason, and he still wound up with 9 and 8. Somewhat surprisingly, no blocks, but foul trouble likely had something to do with that.
Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight were the only two Pistons to crack double digits (15 and 12 respectively), but neither of them played particularly well. Moose only grabbed 2 (!!) rebounds in 25 minutes and turned it over 3 times. He just didn't look like his typical Moose-ish self. Knight managed a relatively efficient 12 points on 8 shots, which could have been better if not for missed free throws, and more than doubled Moose's rebound total with 5 to go along with 4 assists. Viacheslav Kravtsov, aka Ktrl-V, snagged 3 boards in 4 minutes, and Singler shot 100% from the field! Yep, I'm reaching at this point.
Other than that, it was just painful all around. If I am counting correctly, the Pistons played 16 players - all but Terrence Williams, of course - and I'm having a hard time finding other highlights. Perhaps haunted by memories from two years ago when he tore his Achilles tendon against Miami in the preseason, Jonas Jerebko struggled all game, Corey Maggette left the game early with a strained calf (although it doesn't appear serious), Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva were true to form, shooting a sterling 2-12 in 19 combined minutes, and, well, you get the idea.
It was truly a night to forget, a night of tragic, a night of painful. But, it's the preseason, and as far as records go, this never happened. And Hey! There's always the next game that doesn't count for anything but hopefully still goes a lot better than this one.