The Pistons are a young team and things like this happen. It's a learning process and this was a tough lesson, on the road, against a Portland Trailblazer team that typically plays well at home. The Blazers went up as many as 18 points late in the first half and put it in cruise control from there. Pistons look to bounce back Monday at Golden State.
That should've been the storyline but these Pistons are
becoming the story of the league.
Outscoring the Portland Trailblazers 41 - 11 in the fourth quarter, Detroit won their second straight on the road with a 120 - 103 win.
Reggie Jackson totaled a career high 40 points including 26 in that huge fourth quarter and Andre Drummond continued his monster year with 29 points and 27 rebounds, his third 20-20 game of the early season.
While the unconscious late game scoring will grab the headlines, it was defense that ignited everything. Late in the third, the Pistons started to string together defensive stops -- somerthing that alluded them the entire game -- and used that momentum to springboard the comeback. Once the Pistons turned up the heat, the Blazers wilted under the pressure and shot 4-19 while committing 11 turnovers in the fourth quarter.
On the offensive end, Andre Drummond played with a purpose the entire night. Using a variety of post up moves mixed with the typical put backs and follow ups, Drummond was no match for any Blazer big man. On defense, he swallowed rebounds, challenged shots and intimidated fully grown men. It was as dominate as he's ever been in his short four-year career and this is exactly the type of performance that makes Piston fans so giddy when speaking of Dre.
With big endings against Chicago and Phoenix, Reggie Jackson made a case to be the Pistons closer moving forward.
Case closed. He's that dude.
Throughout the game, Jackson penetrated the paint at will and it just became a matter of making the shot or not. Early on, the ball didn't bounce his way as Jackson started the game shooting 4-14. He finished making eleven of his final twelve shots and did it every way possible including drives, mid range and the three ball. At one point in the fourth, he had a personal 16-0 run that sealed the comeback.
For what's it's worth, John Wall went 6-16 shooting and committed seven turnovers in an ugly loss to Altanta on Saturday night.
It's early, I know... but he started it.
Jackson and Drummond are no longer the future of this team, they're the now. The Pistons had no business winning but they simply did not give up or give in. It's quite the difference in mindset compared to years past. It starts with Stan Van Gundy and the players, led by Jackson and Drummond, have bought in.
The difference between good and great teams, good and great players, is the ability to perform consistently. Can they keep this effort up? The Pistons have put the league on notice just in time for a matchup with the defending champs in Golden State. For the first time in a long time, all NBA eyes will be on Detroit in arguably their biggest game in seven years. It's early, but this is too much fun not to be excited.