The Detroit Pistons shot 45 threes and made TWENTY-ONE of them. That’s 47 percent for a full game, and that’s the big story of tonight’s win over the Kevin-Love-less, Cedi-Osman-less Cleveland Cavaliers. Blake Griffin scored 29 points (on a mere 17 shots) in three quarters, Andre Drummond put up 21 points and 15 rebounds (oh-fer from three), and Langston Galloway put up 15 points (four of eight from three) off the bench for Detroit.
Takeaways from this game:
That Blake Griffin guy is good at basketball
Blake was dominant tonight, getting to the rim off post mismatches at will, going three-of-four from downtown, and dishing out five assists. He had three dunks of varying levels of posterization, and just generally looked healthy and ready for the season to begin. The Blake Griffin who showed up for the Pistons tonight is an All-Star, easily.
Blake don't waste those dunks in preseason your legs are made of glass according to everyone dontcha know— Lazarus Jackson (@lazchance) October 12, 2018
The Pistons look good when their threes go in
The last time a Pistons team put up at least 129 points, it was March 4, 2017, in a game I have zero recollection of, against the no-Embiid, no-Simmons, T.J. McConnell-and-Nik-Stauskas-led Philadelphia 76ers. Before that, it required four overtimes. Before THAT... it was 2008.
My point is, it’s been a while since we saw a Pistons team score this many points, no matter who their opponents were.
A big part of the scoring outburst tonight, as mentioned, was the 45 attempts from three. It’s not just one person gunning away, this is the whole team internalizing Dwane Casey’s shot spectrum. Ish Smith? Four-for-six from three. Langston Galloway? Four-of-eight. Luke Kennard? Two-of-four. Reggie Bullock? One-for-five. Reggie Jackson? Four-for-nine. Glenn Robinson III? Two-of-four.
Of course, you can’t expect Ish to hit two thirds of his threes every night - but you should expect Reggie Bullock to shoot better than that, as well. The decision to hire a coach that alters the team’s shot profile has raised what this team is capable of offensively.
It’s time for the real games to begin
The questions we had about this team before the preseason have generally been answered. It appears Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock will be the starting wing duo. Langston Galloway has gone from forgotten to unleashed. Glenn Robinson III and Stanley Johnson, who I spent the entire summer calling the only “true” small forwards on the roster, will spend a not-insignificant amount of time at power forward. Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard look like they’re going full speed. Blake and Andre are co-existing nicely. Bruce Brown, Khyri Thomas, and Henry Ellenson are going to spend a lot of time in Grand Rapids developing.
Now, all we can do is wait for the season to begin, to see what seven months and 82 games do to the best laid plans of Dwane Casey and Ed Stefanski.
Detroit’s regular season starts October 17, against Brooklyn, in Little Caesars Arena.