It wasn't a great start to the day, as the Pistons had to fly in this morning because of poor weather last night. It was very obvious from the way the Pistons played that they were on the back end of a back-to-back. They were in the game for the first quarter, but that was about it.
The Hawks implemented everybody's favorite strategy, Hack-A-Dre, late on in the first quarter and it threw off the Pistons' entire offense. Andre Drummond was 3-6 from the line before being pulled for Aron Baynes, but would finish 5-16 from the line. Aron Baynes, allegedly the anti-Drummond, was only 2-5 from the line, and the offense just fell apart with him out there.
When Baynes came in, the Atlanta Hawks had already swung momentum into their favor from Hack-A-Dre and began to pull away. They never looked back, as the Pistons simply failed to hit open shots, and the Hawks were scoring off misses and turnovers.
The Hawks built their lead up to 61-45 at halftime. They stayed on the throttle in the second half and went on to win 107-100. As annoying as it is having to watch a player struggle at the line, while the rest of the team has to stand around and not be able to play basketball, it worked for the Hawks.
The Pistons did one of their usual fourth-quarter runs and made the game close in the end, but the final score is not an accurate reflection of how poorly they played.
Marcus Morris was 9-16 from the field and had 22 points. Even with his struggles from the line, Andre Drummond finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Reggie Jackson also ended up with 19 points and seven assists.
For the Hawks, Paul Millsap had 18 points. Jeff Teague had 23 points and nine assists. Dennis Schroder came off the bench and provided a spark with 14 points.
Surprisingly, the the Pistons had fewer turnovers than the Hawks, 14 to 15. During the second quarter run that sealed the win for the Hawks, it seemed like every possession was a turnover, and the Hawks were getting out and scoring on them.
It was a tough road game against one of the top teams in the East. It was the end of a back-to-back, which shouldn't be an excuse for playing this bad. It's time to celebrate Christmas and rebound against the Celtics on Saturday.