The Pistons came into Wednesday's match with the Bulls knowing they'd have to be just about perfect to win. After all, not only were the Bulls undefeated in their first three games, Derrick Rose was also playing his first game at the United Center since April 2012.
Unfortunately, the Pistons weren't perfect, trailing the entire game before losing 96-81. And Rose, well, good news, Bulls fans:
"He looked like the old Rose," Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "In front of our bench, he got a handoff and two or three dribbles he was at the basket. He was as fast as he ever was."
He finished with 22 points in 22 minutes, shooting 6-9 from the field and 9-10 from the charity stripe. Considering the Pistons' backcourt was missing Rodney Stuckey (lauded by Cheeks as the team's best defensive player in training camp before fracturing his thumb), Brandon Jennings and Chauncey Billups, it's actually a blessing for Detroit that this was the preseason and Rose didn't play the whole game.
But now some good news: rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did play (virtually) the whole game, and with solid results. He finally found his 3-point stroke, hitting 3-4 from long distance, while finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds, an assist and a steal in 40 minutes. Granted, he shot just 6-17 from the field -- that's 3-13 from 2-point land -- but hey, it's still progress.
Only two other Pistons broke double-digits: Jonas Jerebko scored 14 with four rebounds in 25 minutes, while Greg Monroe finished with 10 points and six boards in 26.
Other notable performances: Peyton Siva played very well with nine assists and just one turnover in 26 minutes, although that was slightly mitigated by the fact he also shot just 1-7 from the field. And Andre Drummond led the team with 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. He shot just 1-7 from the field, but his 3-6 performance from the free-throw line was still encouraging (relative to his putrid rookie percentage).
As a team, the Pistons shot just 32.5 percent from the field with just 16 points in the paint. That's not going to happen on most nights, so let's just chalk this up for what it is: a preseason game against a tough opponent who was led by a motivated former MVP.
The Pistons don't have to wait long to rinse the stink off -- they play tonight in Cleveland at 7:00 p.m.
Now your thoughts.