Standard declaimer: It’s just the preseason, folks are just back from being out, yada yada. But this one was awful hard on the eyes.
This preseason game just validated every Pistons fan’s fears. In their first game playing together, the team’s engine of Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson is busted. The decorative pieces of this team look more structurally sound than the foundation. That’s definitely concerning.
Jackson finished the game with a team-worst -30 plus-minus. He finished with a box score of 6 points on 3-8 shooting, two assists and two turnovers. He wasn’t effective at any part of the game. It didn’t seem to be a matter of effort. It seemed like he wanted to be a good player. He just wasn’t.
For Andre Drummond, it was effort. After all of his big talk in the offseason, it only took one preseason game for the big man to lose interest in playing hard. His counterpart Jonas Valanciunas posted 18 points in 21 minutes on 8-12 shooting as Drummond showed little effort and poor decision-making on defense. He wasn’t engaged on the offensive end either, posting a 4-10 shooting line and three turnovers. But hey, at least he shot 6-6 from the free throw line!
But Drummond’s issues at the stripe have just been the most visible part of his issues during his career. His issues the past few years have been disinterested defense and lousy offense. Those issues were very much on display tonight.
Yes, Drummond is listed as day-to-day with an eye injury, but I’m looking forward to his matchup with Valanciunas anyway. For one, Jonas always seems to get it going against Detroit’s big man
Yeah, other teams are starting to take notice that Andre Drummond isn’t very good.
Also concerning was the team’s struggles rebounding the ball with Jon Leuer at center. It seems to be a lineup that Stan Van Gundy has been going to regularly this preseason, but it’s not worked. It’s looking like Eric Moreland or Boban Marjanovic has to be in the game when Drummond isn’t.
The bright spot of this blowout was the bench. The turd in that punchbowl is that was the case last season too. Still, the bench unit combined for 24-39 shooting.
Ish Smith continued his excellent preseason and is going to make it difficult for Stan Van Gundy to stick with Jackson as the starter. Henry “Biff” Ellenson and Jon Leuer also gave solid minutes on the offensive end, but showed why they’re considered a defensive liability.
The Pistons have one preseason game remaining, coming up this Friday traveling to the Milwaukee Bucks. Well, it’ll be a Friday the 13th in October. But it couldn’t be any scarier than this game was, right?