Detroit struggles from the 3-point line while Kawhi Leonard shows why he is an MVP candidate.
Earlier, Detroit made official that starting point guard Reggie Jackson had begun his treatments for knee tendonitis and would be out 6-8 weeks. Anyone hoping Detroit might not miss a beat while Jackson convalesces did not see many encouraging signs against San Antonio on Monday night at the Palace.
Detroit's starting back court of Ish Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined to go 4-of-18 with some particularly ugly misses on open 3-pointers. Smith's cold shooting was disheartening but shouldn't be unexpected. The Spurs knew of Smith's well-known reputation as a lackluster shooter and played way off of him on the perimeter. Smith had a number of wide open looks and bricked them badly. Backup Lorenzo Brown didn't do much better, going 3-of-9 with some bench-heavy units suffering from extended scoreless droughts.
To make matters worse, Marcus Morris, who often served as an offensive safety valve for Detroit last season fouled out in a mere 12 minutes of action.
While Smith's shot was broken, he did manage to do some good things on the floor. He was aggressive all night, pushed the ball in transition and was adept at finding open teammates on drives even when defenders were playing way off of him. Smith finished with 2 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
The biggest bright spot for the Pistons might have been the surprisingly effective all-around play of Jon Leuer. The perimeter-shooting big man showed off a good shooting stroke, athleticism and aggressive play. He finished with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists and had a couple nice dunks that got the sparse Palace crowd excited.
Andre Drummond finished with a team-high 17 points and 13 rebounds. Dre was 1-of-3 from the foul line.
Tobias Harris chipped in 11 points on just eight shots.
The Spurs were in control nearly the entire game thanks to quality ball movement and 20 points from star Kawhi Leonard. Michigan State's Bryn Forbes was able to put the game away late with a couple dagger 3s in the fourth quarter. He finished with 8 points.
So Pistons, fans, what do you think through two preseason games? Are we worried or excited?