Whether it was turnovers, too many missed 3-pointers or not enough Derrick Rose in the final quarter, the Pistons just couldn’t rise to the occasion. The Bulls, coming into the game with the conference’s worst record, hit big shots down the stretch. Leading scorer Zach LaVine was that guy a few times tonight to hit that big time shot, as he is known to shoot from anywhere and on some nights he’ll drain it from anywhere. The Bulls gave LaVine a ton of help with Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. all scoring at least 14 points on very efficient shooting from the field.
The Bulls turned the ball over 17 times, however, they shot 16-of-40 (40%) from 3-point range. The Pistons turned it over 16 times and to make matters worse, shot 6-of-29 from 3-point range. That’s 20.7% shooting. Turnovers matched with not being able to hit a broad side of a barn is not a winning combination in any basketball league.
For all the offensive wizardry that Derrick Rose has provided so far this season, he coughed up another four tonight and two were in the last four minutes, including one where he stepped on the sideline as he had just received the ball. With Blake Griffin out with his injury, Detroit’s margin for error is razor thin and their turnover issues are killing them.
Let’s get to some individual breakdowns:
Andre played like an All-Star center on both ends of the court. He blocked three shots, altered or bothered many more, and finished with 25 points and 23 rebounds in 35 minutes. His offensive mindset and ability to make decisive, agile moves for baskets moving towards the hoop or with his jump hooks is getting better and better. A sour note is his five turnovers, and some were certainly of the tear your hair out variety.
Post-up Markieff is good Markieff. Settle for 3-pointers (1-of-6 tonight) Markieff isn’t exactly what we want to see, although he had been shooting better from there since the first two games. Markieff sure seems like a tough guy, but this team could use more of a smart guy right now. Markieff just isn’t a very smart player right now.
Got it going toward the end of the first half with a few bunny lay-ins and a straight away triple, the Pistons first after missing their first 14 in the game. I’ll take six shot attempts in 16 first half minutes, but more mid range jumpers would be nice. In the third Luke nailed two more threes and took Markkanen for a ride on a drive, but overall Luke was over-matched on defense by much bigger, longer players.
15 first half minutes when Tony didn’t do a ton. Some decent defensive possessions but then others where Otto Porter really got the best of him. Tony is so light that certain players can out muscle him the closer to the hoop they get. But you already knew that. Tony did not drill a three tonight in three tries.
Tim tried to do too much in half number one, including a couple of forces on the fast break (and secondary fast break). In just 11 first half minutes Tim was a plus-minus -9, while Rose in 13 first half minutes as a plus-minus 4. Tim only played six second half minutes and didn’t fair much better. Tim isn’t as bad of a player as he looked tonight, but getting benched for Bruce Brown at the point guard spot (which happened tonight) isn’t a good sign.
Rose played another efficient offensive game if you can look past the turnovers. He scored 23 on 8-of-13 shooting. Look, he’s not going to play more than 25-27 minutes this season — we have to remember his injury history and that he’s 31. We also have to remember it’s a very long season with 82 games and what sometimes can feel like 182. Once in a while though, Casey is going to be so tempted to play Rose 30 or more minutes because it could be the difference between a win or loss. I didn’t like how Casey waited so long in the fourth (just under six minutes left) to bring Rose back into the game. It felt rushed for Rose to regain his flow as he had earlier in the game. This felt like one of those games where Rose could have played another three minutes and it would have meant a win.
Shot 4-of-10 on a variety of looks, some forced and some just fine. He battles on the floor and you take the good with the bad. Langston was a team-high plus-minus +14 tonight, thanks in large part to sharing most minutes with Rose.
Thon sometimes makes the little plays that make all the difference, but then other times he’s a complete flailing mess who can’t catch the basketball.
Had a back-to-back possession sequence on defense in the first half where he contested a shot and swatted a shot, showing his potential as a defensive force, if he can ever learn to better position himself. It’s becoming increasingly obvious though, that the big man is offensively gifted and should be giving more chances in the post and on secondary fast breaks to take his man one on one. Wood’s length and touch can do wonders against most NBA backup big men.
He played a better second half than first half — and nearly hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. He’s been shooting them with more confidence this season and am glad to see that continue.
Detroit will host the (2-3) Brooklyn Nets tomorrow at 7pm and try to beat a team not named the Indiana Pacers. Brooklyn took down the Rockets tonight with Taurean Prince and Caris Levert leading the way.