The Pistons were scorching hot on offense. Jon Leuer was 7-of-11. Andre Drummond had 20 points and 14 rebounds. Reggie Jackson looked like his old self with 20 points and 12 assists. Tobias Harris was 9-of-14 off the bench.
And the Pistons got crushed. Again. Losing 121-116. They lost because the team doesn’t play any defense.
Certainly not Jackson, who allowed a gimpy Jeff Teague (17 points, eight assists) to look like an All-Star. Not Drummond, who allowed Myles Turner (17 points, many from the perimeter) to look like the best young big man in the NBA. Not any poor jamoke who attempted to guard Paul George (32 points, including 10-for-10 from the line), who showed what it’s like to have a true star player on the floor.
Nothing about this team will change until the team provides a more consistent, intense defensive effort, and that starts with Jackson and Drummond.
The perimeter is leaky, the rotations are late and the close outs are half-hearted.
The Pistons allowed 58 percent shooting. They allowed the Pacers to shoot 28 free throws. They allowed Indiana to shoot 56 percent from deep. These are not conducive to winning basketball.
The Pistons clawed back a few times, even cutting the lead to 119-116 with 22 seconds to play. But make no mistake, the Pistons were outplayed for the large majority of the 48 minutes. That’s what happens when you don’t play any defense.
Something needs to change. Lineup changes. Trades. Overhauling the defensive scheme. Something. Because there is absolutely nothing indicating this is going to work without significant changes. Both Stan Van Gundy the executive and Stan Van Gundy the coach have a hell of a lot of work to do.