Well, that sucked.
The Pistons looked to be headed to overtime when Jerian Grant fouled Reggie Bullock on a game-tying three-point attempt, followed by Bullock making all three free throws. Then, this happened:
Detroit falls to 16-18 this year, and 4-11 for the hellish month of December. Luke Kennard (alongside Bruce Brown Jr. as the lone bright spots in this game) led the way with 16 points, Andre Drummond had the most lethargic 14 points and 15 rebounds you will ever see, and the Pistons (8-31 from downtown) went under 30 percent from three-point range.
The story of this game was the Pistons’ bench out-performing the Magic bench thanks to Kennard, Zaza Pachulia, and Jose Calderon, and the starters being unable to capitalize. The starting lineup gave up a 16-0 run early in the first quarter, and the bench spent the rest of the first and most of the second clawing their way back into the game, fueling a 38-point second quarter for Detroit that got them into a three-point halftime deficit.
Then, the Magic and Pistons went back and forth for two quarters and the Magic came out on top. Blake Griffin only shot 10 times, Reggie Jackson was 5-15 and one of six from three, and even the usually reliable Reggie Bullock was 4-14 from the floor. I feel very strongly that a trade is coming - not the Reggie Jackson salary dump that we clamor for (read Ed Stefanski’s lips on that one) - but certainly a tweak that will attempt to rouse this team from its malaise.
This is a team that says they want to win, but cannot play like it for 48 minutes, for the litany of reasons we go through nightly. If they find a way to make more shots - if they can find personnel more suited to creating and making shots - they’ll benefit. If not? They’ll continue to stumble in 2019.