In their preseason opener, both the best and the worst of this year’s Detroit Pistons were on display.
In the first half, the Pistons had the ball zipping while scoring 59 points on 58 percent shooting. Andre Drummond was dominant, scoring 15 points on 7-11 shooting with 10 rebounds. He even flashed some nice passing out of the post.
After halftime, Detroit scored just 35 points on 30 percent shooting. Once again Drummond was the weathervane scoring 2 second half points on 1-9 shooting.
But the entire team struggled to get the ball through the rim down the stretch, which let the Nets pull away in the second half. The scoring struggles kept the Pistons from taking advantage of a dominant performance on the glass - Detroit finished with 17 offensive rebounds and a 52-37 overall rebounding advantage.
The difference was turnovers and perimeter defense. The Pistons turned the ball over 23 times and allowed 14 three pointers to the Nets, while making just 5 three pointers of their own.
Marcus Morris showed no ill effects of a dislocated finger or knee tendonitis, scoring 17 points on just 8 shots and collecting 6 rebounds. Jon Leuer led the offense for the second unit, scoring 12 points on 6-10 shooting and also dishing out 3 assists.
Andre Drummond collected a nifty 17 points and 21 rebounds, including 11 offensive boards. But it was with an inefficient 8-20 shooting - he also went 1-3 from the free throw line.
In the battles for rotation spots, we didn’t learn too much last night. Reggie Bullock made the best case for himself with 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. He was particularly active in the second half, when the rest of the team was sleepwalking.
Ray McCallum put together a decent box score with 5 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds, but he was outplayed by rookie Yogi Ferrell and wasn’t able to make much of an impact for a sputtering offense. He turned in a team worst -15 +/-. Lorenzo Brown didn’t get on the floor last night, which suggests that Ray probably holds a slight lead in the competition to start the season at backup point guard.
Aron Baynes and Boban Marjanovic split the backup center minutes, both posting mixed results. Baynes offered his usual physical play and was mostly steady, but had 3 turnovers. Marjanovic showed just how tantalizing his talent is with 5 points on a perfect 2-2 shooting and 1-1 from the free throw line. But he also had 4 turnovers.
Seven turnovers out of your backup centers isn’t acceptable.
Pistons will have their preseason home opener on Monday, hosting the San Antonio Spurs with a 7:30 tip.