The Detroit Pistons looked lost once again on offense, ambivalent to defense and dropped their seventh game in the past nine, falling to the Houston Rockets 99-96 at a quiet Palace of Auburn Hills on Monday night.
The Pistons were led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who scored 26 points and played admirable defense on superstar James Harden. The bearded one scored his requisite 28 points, but hit only 6-of-17 from the field. He was able to get to the free-throw line 19 times, however.
The reason the Pistons lost yet again will sound familiar to Pistons fans – they lost the rebounding battle (45-38) and Andre Drummond and Ish Smith were offensive black holes. The duo combined to shoot 9-of-27 with Drummond getting the ball almost exclusively with his back to the basket, not the ideal spot for him, to put it mildly.
Drummond did have 16 rebounds but struggled at the free-throw line hitting just 1 of 6 attempts. None was more crucial than at the end of the game when Drummond had a chance to tie the game at 98 with four seconds left after being intentionally fouled. He missed the first and intentionally missed the second, but Detroit couldn’t secure the rebound.
The Pistons shot just under 42 percent overall and the offense can’t seem to find its way. Detroit is also not getting any rebounding from its starting forwards, with Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris combining for four rebounds.
The good news for the Pistons is that Reggie Jackson will be back shortly and the Eastern Conference seems to be a sea of mediocrity. The bad news is that Detroit, now just 6-9, are digging themselves a hole that is getting harder and harder to get back out of.