The Detroit Pistons lost a game they should've won against a 10-win (now 11-win) team at home on Friday night in double OT. George Blaha called it a heck of a basketball game; I call it a kick in the Amundsons.
After a slow start, it looked like the Pistons were going to coast to an easy victory, building a really quick and quiet 18-point lead, 51-33, with a few minutes left in the first half. The Knicks chipped it to 12 before the break.
In the third quarter, the Pistons started to play defense like the main image in the GameThread or inoperable cones sensitive to defense, allowing the Knicks to come all the way back in just nine minutes of action. As if soft defense wasn't bad enough, they scored 16 points thanks to 13-percent shooting. Okay, yeah, that was worse than the defense.
From the three-minute mark of the third through the finish, the game was pretty much a back-and-forth affair. A game that was far too exciting given the competition. It looked like the Pistons were going to finally pull away when the Knicks once again made another remarkable comeback.
With the Pistons up three and with it with under 30 seconds remaining, Reggie Jackson threw up a failed hero-ball chuck, which clanked to Langston Galloway. Galloway then took the rebound to the other end and put up an equalizer with six seconds left. Anthony Tolliver missed a three at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
The Pistons were saved in the first overtime by a couple tough baskets, one by Jackson, a reverse layup, and another by Greg Monroe, who was mugged and yet still put it in for an and-one. Unfortunately, Monroe was not clutch at the free throw line, missing five of his final nine attempts. (He finished 10-15 from the line.)
In the second overtime, the Anthony Tolliver Effect (TM) almost happened. Tolliver hit a huge three with a little over a minute left to cut a four-point deficit to one, 112-111. After a timeout, he forced a turnover by taking a charge and appeared to take another one on the ensuing defensive possession (after missing a three) but was instead called for a block on Shane Larkin. Larkin hit the floater and the wrongly allowed free throw to make it a four-point game.
Game. Blouses, which were blue!
WHAT. THE. FUCK. HAPPENED.
Well, let me tell you: Kenneth Faried called and said Reggie Jackson shot the Pistons out of this game. Jackson was an abysmal 5-24 with four turnovers. He was also blocked SEVEN times -- I can't remember the last time I've seen that many blocks against.
Some people might try to blame Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond's defense on the Knicks' big men, because I guess somehow that will make those people feel better, but Drummroe combined to be 18-24 shooting for 49 points with 28 rebounds. Sure, Lou Amundson and Andrea Bargnani were too good offensively and were allowed some ill-timed second-chance points, but the Pistons' duo more than outdid them.
Fact of the matter is, you can't have a point guard shooting 5-24 and only dishing out five assists opposite four turnovers. The Pistons had no business losing this game. Jackson had no business chucking 24 shots.
Now what originally looked like a winnable back-to-back given the struggles of the Washington Wizards lately could turn into a 0-2 nightmare on little sleep. The Pistons will arrive very late (or early) in DC after this pathetic loss and play a playoff team who's pretty desperate for a win after losing to the Sixers.
Let's hope for the bounce back, though.
Bounce Back Tomorrow.— BRANDON JENNINGS (@BrandonJennings) February 28, 2015
Now your thoughts.