Let’s make this quick. The Detroit Pistons were without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. They were also without an offense, a defense, or an answer for TJ McConnell and Jahil Okafor.
They lost 97-79 in embarrassing fashion.
The Sixers blitzed Detroit to beginthe game and were leading 56-31 late in the second quarter.
Detroit played marginally better defense in the second half, but could get nothing going on offense, save for Marcus Morris (game-high 28 points). Detroit shot 39 percent overall and 26 percent from 3.
The biggest problem was Reggie Jackson who is still a step slow as he gets back into game shape. Without his typical explosiveness, Jackson struggled to convert in the lane and couldn’t force defenders to overreact to his drives.
That meant a lot of dribbling and a lot of questionable shot selection. He finished the night 5-of-17 and only three assists.
His counterpart, TJ McConnell, however had himself a game. McConnell picked apart the Pistons’ apathetic defense, constantly losing Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith and then finding teammates cutting to the basket for easy looks and others wide open on the perimeter. McConnell finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Jahlil Okafor also stepped on Detroit’s throat early, embarrassing Andre Drummond with a power face-up game that left Drummond look clueless on D.
Detroit was able to apply defensive pressure in the second half, but in a sign of just how dreadful this game was they blew two wide-open breakaway fastbreak opportunities. First, Jon Leuer used quick hands to jar the ball loose but couldn’t re-establish possession before it squirted out of bounds without a defender with 15 feet of him.
Next, Drummond was able to steal the ball and threw a touchdown pass down the court to a streaking Stanley Johnson. But Drummond led Johnson too far and all Johnson could do to prevent it from going out of bounds was to softly toss it backwards to nobody in particular. The Sixers eventually recovered the ball.
The Pistons kept fighting on D, eventually getting it to an eight-point deficit. But they couldn’t execute on either end and Philly eventually stretched the lead back to a comfortable margin.
If there was any silver lining in this disaster of a night, it is that perhaps this is the first step back for Johnson, who played hard-nosed defense and made decisive moves on offense. Johnson played 26 minutes and had five steals, four assists, a block and six points.
Also, enjoy this tweet I made. I quite enjoy it. And then wipe this game from your memory.