The Detroit Pistons just can’t seem to solve Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets, dropping their third in a row to them already this season. The Pistons didn’t go down without a fight, but their execution (or lack thereof) was evident in the 98-86 defeat. The 16-15 Hornets now sit in the sixth spot in the Eastern conference, as the 15-15 Pistons drop down to the seventh spot. The Hornets also now own the tie-breaker as the season series winner.
During the first half, Detroit had a habit of throwing passes at each others’ ankles or into the tenth row. Their clean looks at the basket didn’t often result in makes, either — instead they resulted in ugly misses. Luke Kennard (0-3 from the floor) and Stanley Johnson (1-6 from the field, all threes) couldn’t hit a broad side of a barn tonight.
After the game, Dwane Casey wasn’t pleased with the team’s effort:
Dwane Casey lamented Pistons’ “give a crap” level in the loss at Charlotte— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) December 22, 2018
If you enjoy charges, lots of strips, butt fouls (well, only one courtesy of Cody Zeller) and lots of Piston possessions going down to the late stages of the shot clock, then this game was FOR YOU.
The first half was a snoozer, but this play from rookie Miles Bridges kept my eyes open just enough:
Through three quarters Detroit shot 6-of-25 from the three-point line. I thought it was going to get better in the final quarter, as it did against the Timberwolves last game, but it didn’t. Detroit finished 8-of-34 from deep.
Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb and, to a point, the Hornets team defense, took over in the final quarter as the Pistons tried to hang around only down a couple of baskets. Lamb only scored 11 for the game, but scored eight of them in the fourth. Walker really heated up — no surprise there. Marvin Williams was hot the entire game, knocking down a career-high seven three-pointers, including a corner dagger with under just a few minutes remaining.
Andre Drummond was, for the most part, quite solid this game in his 38 minutes. He was engaged and had active hands on defense. His decision making on offense left a lot to be desired, but the same could be said for anyone wearing the Piston uniform tonight. Blake Griffin didn’t hit a three-pointer in four tries, but did have some success inside. Marvin Williams needs to get credit, though, as he made Griffin earn most of his points. Griffin scored 23 and only committed two turnovers, but wasn’t allowed to wreak havoc on the break, as he is prone to do.
Bruce Brown played some very active and reckless (according to the referees) minutes tonight, and even drained a three-pointer. Jose Calderon finally knocked in a couple treys (in three attempts) in his 20 minutes (Jose had been 2-of-28 from three entering the night)
The Pistons have a home date with the Atlanta Hawks this Sunday.