The Pistons lost to the Sixers 109-99. The Sixers came out early operating through Joel Embiid, Detroit was down 22 points at halftime, and The Oracle Rod Beard called #StartWriting halfway through the second quarter.
Blake Griffin led the way for Detroit with 38 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists (to seven turnovers), and Langston Galloway was the only other Pistons in double figures with 13 points. Andre Drummond only played four first-half minutes due to foul trouble and ended up with eight points and nine rebounds.
The story of this afternoon’s game was the officiating. I am not usually one to complain about refereeing. There’s usually very little you can do to control it, calls even out over time, the referees are professionals who have no vested interest in the outcome, complaining about it is tantamount to making excuses, etc. However, the foul calls in this game were plentiful, sub-standard, disadvantaged the Pistons, and legitimately made the game a worse viewing experience.
Don’t take my word for it:
If Shaq would've gotten these kinds of whistles, he'd have smashed the NBA career record for FTAs by midway through his third season— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) November 3, 2018
Most boring record I’ve ever watched live. pic.twitter.com/YJPJfFqHrb— Mike Snyder (@M_James_Snyder) November 3, 2018
(Joel Embiid ended the first half 15-17 from the free throw line.)
Crew is struggling, leading to barking player, leading refs to have rabbit ears. Ish hit with a T. #Pistons down 15.— Vince_Ells56 (@Vincent_Ellis56) November 3, 2018
#Pistons Dwane Casey is going ballistic on that last ref call for a turnover. Officials have been terrible (both ways) today.— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) November 3, 2018
The two teams combined to shoot NINETY-TWO free throws.
I expected to spend this recap chastising Andre Drummond for his substandard play in the matchup with Embiid, but the way Embiid was officiated this afternoon, it was impossible to expect anything else. Don’t be surprised if Dre (or Blake Grifin, or Dwane Casey) gets fined after this game for offering his perspective on the officiating.
Don’t get me wrong, the Pistons still lost this game on their own. Turning the ball over 17 times, shooting 17 percent from three (five-for-30) and 68 percent from the line will result in a loss most nights anyway. Blake Griffin being the only starter to score more than 10 points means they’ll lose most nights anyway. Bruce Brown starting, but only playing the first six minutes of the first and third quarters (affectionately known as “The Keith Bogans”) means they’ll lose most nights anyway.
The Pistons will look better when they play worse competition and aren’t actively being savaged by the referees, but you’d be forgiven for a lack of enthusiasm surrounding this team’s current four-game losing streak.
Detroit’s next game is at home, against the Miami Heat, on November 5.