One team showed up to play defense. One didn't.
It was a game with two teams fighting for a playoff spot, and it wasn't a close game. Charlotte jumped out to a 10 point lead in the first three minutes of the game and never gave it up.
It was the second night of a back-to-back after beating the Hawks at the Palace last night, so the flat performance wasn't entirely surprising - but it was disappointing. Former Stan Van Gundy disciple and defensive guru Steve Clifford did a nice job shutting down Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond, but both also made it easy on him.
Jackson had a miserable night, shooting 3-16. His shot selection was just horrid as he was blocked 5 times and took a number of bad jumpers. Jackson also dished out 8 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds. And last night his minutes against Atlanta were limited due to being sick plus played most of the game with an ankle that had been stomped on by Bismack Biyombo. But 3-16. Terrible game by Jackson.
Drummond was also disappointing, especially for a guy angling to be a franchise player in a key game for their playoff run. He finished with a team-worst -22 +/-, quite an accomplishment considering how bad Jackson was.
Drummond missed most of the second quarter due to foul trouble, and his third foul was pretty indicative of his game for the night. With 8 minutes left in the half and knowing he's heading to the bench if he picks another up, he committed a bone-headed over-the-back where he leveled Biyombo.
For such an important game for the Pistons, it would have been nice to see him more focused. Sensurgency Dre, sensurgency.
With bad games out of their two key players, the rest of the Pistons couldn't make up the slack. They finished with the second lowest scoring game of the season at 78 points.
The season series between Van Gundy and Clifford has been pretty interesting, particularly considering all four of their meetings fall in the final 30 games of the season with both on the fringe of the playoffs.
Detroit won the first meeting in Charlotte by nearly the same score they lost by tonight, 106-78. Then they lost a close one at home in the middle of their 10 game losing streak. Tonight's blowout loss puts them 5 games out from Boston for the eight seed with only seven games left to go, pretty much ending their playoff hopes.
For their part, the Hornets spread around the wealth evenly with six players scoring in double figures.
Quincy Miller made his first appearance in a Pistons uni, coming in during garbage time in the final 2:20.
Detroit heads to Chicago next on Friday for an 8 p.m. Eastern.
|21||the red pill||2|
|31||ghost of Dumars||1|