The Pistons started celebrating the holiday early, so DBB's staff followed suit. A couple of days late (and solely for posterity's sake), here's a quickie recap for Detroit's embarrassing loss Wednesday against the Bulls, 99-79.
• 29, 24, 15, 11.
That's Detroit's scoring output by quarter.
• 68.4, 50, 36.8, 17.6.
That's Detroit's shooting percentage by quarter.
I think you see where this is going. The Pistons started playing very well, taking a two-point lead into halftime. But that's when the wheels completely came off. The Bulls, meanwhile, were steady throughout, scoring at least 23 but never more than 26 in a quarter. Consistency wins in the NBA.
Mo Cheeks after the game (courtesy of Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press):
"They obviously were a lot better in the second half," Cheeks said of the Bulls. "We couldn’t score the ball, and a lot of it had to do with their defense. Their defensive pressure picked up in the third and fourth quarter. We talked early on about keeping the ball on one side of the floor and not allow their defense to stymie us on the side. When the ball didn’t swing, their defense loaded up, and you put a lot of pressure on your offense to score."
Rodney Stuckey said the same thing in fewer words (courtesy of Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News):
"Once the third quarter came, they kicked our butts," Stuckey said. "We have to take a page from what they do and try to get better."
Stuckey, for what it's worth, was one of the few silver linings to this game, finishing with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting. He scored only 10 after halftime, though, shooting 2-for-6.
Stuckey did provide one of the few highlight-worthy plays for the Pistons, though:
The Pistons had a special guest in attendance. From MLive.com's David Mayo:
Boxing pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather sat courtside. The Grand Rapids native was home for the basketball game with family and friends, then whisking the entourage to Las Vegas for a Thanksgiving feast prepared by his personal chef.
The Pistons held a 90-minute practice on Thanksgiving -- Mo Cheeks denied it was punishment for Wednesday's loss (wink, wink). Again, from David Mayo:
"It wasn't like it was punishment or anything," Cheeks said after the 90-minute session. "It was just something we needed to do and we did it. We didn't go hard, it was just something we needed to do."
We won't have to wait long to see if it worked -- the Pistons are back on the court Friday against the Lakers. The Pistons have been frustratingly inconsistent this year, but all things considered, their 6-9 record is pretty impressive when compared to their slow starts from the last few years. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
Now your thoughts. Talk about the game, or better yet, talk about your favorite Thanksgiving sides. I'm ranking them: stuffing, green bean casserole (with a bunch of crispy fried onions on top), mashed potatoes, cornbread, dinner rolls and way, way, way down at the bottom, cranberry sauce. That stuff is awful.