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The Pistons win that doesn’t quite feel like a win

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Detroit just ran out of time to give this game away to Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Pistons win over the Atlanta Hawks was a really bad game.

It was so bad that halfway through the first quarter I knew that I needed to make notes about the game in real-time, or else I was going to fall asleep or get up and go out to walk the dogs again. It took me until late in the second quarter to talk myself into sticking around and staying awake, and eventually the real-time notes took off. So, here I went.

Late 2nd quarter

Let’s pick it up with three minutes and change left in the second quarter — the Pistons are beating the Hawks, 36-26. This is supposed to be an NBA game, not a Big Ten conference basketball game.

Note: I’m listening to the Hawks’ Fox Sports Net broadcast team of Dominique Wilkins and Bob Rathbun.

I’m starting to think that I will need a stiff drink to get me through this one. It’s been 36-26 for about 3 minutes it seems like.

Detroit is launching so many quick jumpers...

As I type that, Ish makes two straight jumpers...

And then another one (Ish with 12 points, six feeds for the half).

The Hawks guards just aren’t very good shooters. Isaiah Taylor and DeAndre’ Bembry are putting up brick after brick. They’re both exceptionally quick players, however.

6’7 Andrew White III (two-way player) is making his NBA debut and is playing pretty well. Made a couple of nice drives to the basket and is not shy about looking for his own shot.

The Hawks, without Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore and Ersan Ilyasova, aren’t very experienced or good (I mean, they are only 18-40 with those guys usually in the lineup, anyway), though tonight’s team is really moving their feet, staying active and competing. Most of their guys are trying to stick around in the league (or, you know, they have pride), so them working their butts off isn’t exactly surprising.

45-33 Pistons at half, Pistons shooting 38% and Hawks shooting 33% (2-of-19 from three).

3rd quarter

Andre snuffed out an off-the-dribble jumper by John Collins. Quality block. He probably saw that Colllins’ move a bit on tape... knew it was coming based on Collins’ habits.

Stanley went coast to coast for a strong lay-in. Pistons up 51-35.

...

...

… (forgot I was supposed to be keeping track of things in real-time)

Pistons were up by 30 at one point, really playing unselfishly and quickly. Blake, despite too many turnovers, is getting the ball to where it needs to go. The Hawks aren’t as energized as before and still can’t shoot. Maybe playing five games in seven days has something to do with it. Also missing three starters, so..

Blake is out of the game here late in the third, just four assists away from a triple-double. The Hawks don’t have anyone athletic or strong enough to stick with him in any way.

Will Stan insert him back in the lineup to get a little more reps in with his teammates?

Andrew White III has 12 points and is leading the Hawks in scoring at this moment. Reminder: it’s Andrew’s NBA debut. Fun fact: he was undrafted.

4th quarter

Dominique has some comments on Luke Kennard’s shooting form. He mentions that Kennard is rushing some of his shots and is off balance quite a lot. Makes sense then why Kennard is pretty hot and cold with such a solid stroke. He needs to focus on his core and use his dribble to get a more controlled, less rushed shot off.

The Pistons guards can’t stay in front of anyone.

Griffin is back in there.

Mike Muscala had been shooting the three well (45% coming in, 40% for his career), but tonight he’s mostly not even close. Front or side-iron blues. He’s 1 of 4 from three currently.

Hawks cut the lead to 17 on two Collins’ free throws, 7 minutes and change left..

Jameer Nelson has not looked sharp in this game. Just threw a pass away with almost no on-ball pressure.

Dominique says that Luke Kennard plays zero defense. I’d have to agree. It’s been obvious that Kennard doesn’t play any defense for a while now. He’s slow-footed.. rather weak compared to most other guards and wings.

Hawks have cut the lead to 89-74 with 6:58 left. Forgot who just scored.

I never did get that stiff drink, but the time has long passed for that...

Tolliver has gotten two offensive boards the last two possessions, one resulting in a Tolliver three-pointer.

Taurean Prince scored in the lane and ATL is only down 12. Taurean, averaging 12 points on the season, has just 7 points up to this point, but has scored two buckets just in the last minute using his strength and handles to maneuver in the lane.

Hawks down 8 with 2:50 left. I’m not a math guru, but I think that’s a 22-point swing from when Detroit was up 30 in the 3rd quarter.

Stanley went coast to coast again and gave a fine pass to Andre at the rim. Muscala was right there though and had other ideas as he blocked Andre’s attempt.

Andre with the sly block as Prince once again easily got to the basket trying to get ATL within six.

With 28 seconds left, Prince gets fouled by Stanley while shooting a three. ATL with a chance to go down just 7...

Now Ish fouls Delaney at the three point line. Delaney hits two of three. The Hawks announcers keep saying the Pistons are so checked out right now. They’re incredulous at Detroit’s incompetence.

Ish fouls Delaney on a lay-up...and Delaney makes the shot (and free throw). It’s a four-point game… 100-96.

….I’m so CHECKED OUT.

Bob Rathbun says that “Stan Van Gundy might walk home tonight.”

Bob had other jokes throughout the game... but I’m a slow typist and I don’t always remember quotes too well.

The clock runs out, Pistons end up with more points than the Hawks. 104 - 98 is the final.

The Hawks scored 65 points in the second half. Andrew White III led the Hawks in scoring with 15 points. Ish Smith finishes with 22 points on just 13 shots. Good thing Ish was knocking shots down tonight, because he couldn’t guard anybody (and don’t get me started on Jameer’s defense tonight either).

I’m finally going to stretch and go grab whatever drink I can get my hands on.

(settled for some 100% orange juice)