The Pacers shot 71 percent in the first quarter, and were pesky and sound on defense, making Detroit work hard for every bucket. However, lots of times, Detroit didn’t even come close to putting a shot up, dribbling to nowhere and giving the ball to Indiana over and over. Detroit turned the ball over 12 times in the first half.
The Pacers outscored the Pistons 33-24 in the third quarter, hiking their lead up to 22. The Pistons did not have any fight in the fourth. Zaza Pachulia played awful, but at least he showed that he cared a little, throwing his hands up and yelling at an official after a questionable foul call, drawing a technical.
Doug McDermott looked quicker and more energetic than just about every Pistons player tonight. No offense to Doug — he’s a solid rotational NBA player — but that should never happen.
Check this: Pacers frontcourt players Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner, Bojan Bogdanovic and Domantas Sabonis were a combined 30-of-46 from the floor. Darren Collison was a perfect 7-of-7. No Pacers starter played more than 27 minutes.
I ran out of booze yesterday, sadly. I’m not even a big drinker, like maybe one six-pack per month tops, mostly socially. But I could have had a few tonight with just me and myself. I’ve had better Fridays and I know those who watched this clown show tonight have had better Fridays too.
This was the first half in gif form:
Domantas Sabonis— Justin Jett (@JustinJett_) December 29, 2018
And the Pistons have just given up on guarding him pic.twitter.com/JhQGdcIFTU
He dove on the floor in the first quarter for a loose ball, but it got progressively worse from there.
Three first-half fouls limited Andre to 10 first-half minutes — was a shame because it seemed like Andre came ready to play.
Blake played 32 minutes, which was about eight too many. This guy needs more rest, and there was zero reason to have him on the floor in the final quarter. Casey’s reason for it wasn’t that good:
Reggie took advantage of rare lackadaisical Pacers defense in the first half by taking his defender off the dribble for a lay-in. Otherwise, Reggie only shot the rock three times in 11 first-half minutes. Unbelievable. Reggie got his shots up in the second, though he was overall pretty careless with four turnovers.
Bruce Brown Jr.
Bruce is a good defender, who is only going to get better with experience. He made Victor Oladipo work for his shots, but Indiana was so good tonight it wasn’t much of a factor.
Stanley was a bull in a china shop tonight, shooting nine times (and only making two) in his 16 minutes of play.
A couple wild shots from Langston in the first half (0-of-5 shooting), plus a dribble off his foot. When Langston is hot, he’s HOT.
When he’s cold...
Zaza was not any good in his 14 first half minutes, which were “highlighted” by three turnovers (should have been four but scorers gave it to Blake),
nearly non-existent defense, and some chipped paint off the rim by a brutal brick of a jump shot.
11 first half points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes. A game after a DNP-CD, this was the exact best response imaginable for Luke. For a team like Detroit with very few capable shooters, Kennard should never see a DNP-CD.
Seven assists and little else in 23 minutes.
This team needs something, anything. This is getting silly. You just don’t know which Piston team will show up on a night to night basis.
What does this team need?
Talent? Leadership? Pride? Mediocre point guards? This team realllllyyy misses Ish Smith.
Detroit (16-17) will try to end 2018 on a high note with a road tilt in Orlando on Sunday afternoon.