Detroit Pistons fans almost had nightmarish flashbacks when the Pistons almost collapsed in the 4th quarter, but thankfully the Pistons pulled away in the last four minutes of the game for the 109-103 win. The Pistons finish the preseason 5-2, their best mark since 2008-2009.
Going into the game, a lot of us fans likely had some preconceived thoughts:
- This is Philadelphia, we should likely blow them out of the water.
- SPENCER DINWIDDIE!!!! WOOOOO!!!!
- Ugh, limited or no Moose. This is going to suck.
- Why do half of the names on the Philly roster not ring a bell to me?
Well, it should have been a blowout. And at one point, it looked like it. With 4:46 to go in the 3rd quarter, the Pistons were up 80-67 after a 7-0 run. However, Philly would go on an 8-0 run to end the quarter only down by eight.
With eight minutes to go in the 4th quarter, the Pistons were still up by nine. Then something happened. Sadly, I can't exactly tell you what that was, but I blame myself for it. It being way past the kids' bedtime, I went to go read to them and get them in bed. When I came out, we were down two, 93-91. Reading the Play-by-Play, it looks like sloppy play and some missed bunnies (couple missed layups, a missed tip, turnovers). Thankfully, not long after I got back, D.J. hit a three and we never looked back (aside from being tied 99-99).
I'm trying to temper myself with what I saw during the game and what the box score says, but that isn't easy. This was Philadelphia, who was playing without their starting PG and has quite a few players on the roster that may not stick in the league long (if not on a tanking team). But there were too many things to like.
First and foremost, his name is Spencer Dinwiddie and don't you forget it. The Mayor only played 15 minutes and change, but it isn't even what his box score says. He looked entirely comfortable out there running plays. The first few plays had me concerned because not long after crossing half court he would pass to Josh Smith and Josh would orchestrate, but that seemed to subside later. He was looking to pass more than get his shot. The ball movement when Dinwiddie was in just looked beautiful. To end the first quarter, he drove down the lane as the quarter was coming to an end and kicked it out to a wide open Jerebko. Jerebko missed, but it was the vision that was important.
Dinwiddie's box score looks quite efficient. He was 2-4 (2-3 from deep) for 8 points, but one of those shots was with the clock running out and a player in his face. He also had 6 assists against only 2 turnovers.
Also showing up tonight: all of our small forwards.
Cartier Martin likely got the minutes he did thanks to injuries to Meeks and KCP, but he made the most of them (which is I believe exactly what SVG said about him when he signed him in Free Agency). In 32 minutes, he was 5-10 (3-4 from deep) for 17 points, 4-4 from the line (all in the last 2 minutes of the game), and had 6 steals. He also got on the floor for a few balls, once drawing a jump ball against Noel (Noel won that easily).
Singler, who has been struggling pretty bad this preseason, had himself quite a night. Kyle finished 7-12 (4-8 from deep, mostly from the corners) for 19 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in 39 minutes (played mostly SG if I'm not mistaken).
Old Man Caron also had a pretty good night. Butler finished 5-9 (only 2-6 from deep) for 18 points (6-7 from the line) to go along with 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in 26 minutes.
If our SFs show up like this in the regular season...
Josh Smith was even having a good night, until DBB jinxed it. As people were starting to talk about how he was playing really well tonight, he then starts throwing up shots. He finished 6-14 (1-2 from deep) for 17 points, 10 boards, 7 assists and a block.
Though he finished with a double-double, Andre seemed off tonight. That might have something to do with him being blocked on the Pistons first possession of the game by Noel. He finished 5-11 for 10 points and 11 boards. He also had 5 turnovers (at least two of them were due to double teams).
With Jennings out, D.J. strengthened his case for the starting gig. Again, this is against Philly with MCW out, but he finished with 11 points (2-6, 2-3 from deep), 11 assists against 1 turnover, 1 rebound and a steal.
Overall, the Pistons had six players in double figure points, three with 8+ rebounds, and 3 with 6+ assists. Joel Anthony also got 18 minutes (Moose didn't play) and did what he was brought in to do, a couple boards (4) and a few blocks (2).
The Pistons kick off their regular season next Wednesday in Denver against the Nuggets. By then, hopefully both KCP and Jennings will be back from their injuries.
|25||Kellen Moore Our Savior?||4|
|43||OK from J||1|
|44||I Got Munnyz||1|