On an off night for Anthony Davis, the Detroit Pistons desperately needed to take advantage and steal away a victory. Instead, the Pistons were easily outclassed by Jrue Holiday on the perimeter and Julius Randle in the paint on their way to a 116-108 loss for their fourth consecutive defeat.
Davis took a Blake Griffin knee to the hip early in the first half and went immediately to the locker room. He came out in the second half to play but scored just six points in 25 minutes.
It turns out, though, that you don’t need one of the best players in the NBA when you’re playing a team that has no offensive identity outside of letting Blake Griffin do whatever he wants, and tries to stem the point of attack with a combination of Reggie Jackson and Jose Calderon.
In completely related news, Holiday exploded for 37 points and nailed six 3-pointers to go with five assists and three steals. Randle, meanwhile, used quality footwork and solid energy to have his way in the paint. He scored 28 points and added five assists of his own. The Pelicans completely outclassed and out-executed the Pistons, finding wide open shooters and willing cutters.
the Pistons were only able to make a game of it thanks to Griffin continually making something out of nothing, scoring 35 points and taking about three games worth of punishment as he tried to drive the lane and absorb as much contact as he could in the hopes that he could squeeze a few more points out.
The Pistons’ play also perked up once Reggie Jackson went to the bench in favor of Jose Calderon. Jackson played 26 minutes and scored two points while being primarily responsible for letting Holiday get whatever he wanted on the other end. In a bad season for Jackson, this might have been his worst game, and it came at a time when Detroit desperately needs to steal away a victory when the opposing team’s best player is out. Kinda like they should have done against the Sixers — also a loss.
If you’re looking for any sort of silver linging — and you’re probably not, honestly — Langston Galloway had his best game of the season. Galloway, whose birthday was today, scored 24 points and seemed like the only member of the Pistons willing and able to hit an outside shot other than Blake. Galloway still can’t finish at the rim — he missed at least two easy attempts — but on a team desperate for catchers and shooters, he is a born bucket getter.
Jon Leuer also played a nice game off the bench as he tries to fight his way into a more permanent spot in the rotation. He made four of his five shots for nine points and, as is his habit when his game is on, he always found himself in the right spot at the right time to make an effective play.
Jose Calderon scored zero points, also known as two less than Reggie Jackson, but you could still convince me he should get the start over Reggie at this point. Calderon gets others involved and the offense flows better when he is on the floor. Sort of like how Ish Smith looked like a much more effective point guard compared to this year’s version of Jackson.
We’ll save that debate for another day because I’m just too depresesed to keep thinking about this dumb game. But whatever you’re feeling now, you better get used to it because the Pistons have the Sixers, Hornets, Celtics, Bucks, Wolves and Hornets again before their first “easy” game against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 23.
Hopefully they’ll ask Santa for some shotmaking for Christmas. Or playmaking. Or defense.