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Pistons vs Timberwolves final score: If Pistons can’t defend, returns from injury don’t matter, lose 120-114

Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose don’t fix the 25th ranked defense, surprisingly.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons offense survived admirably without Blake Griffin to start the season. Andre Drummond had some monster games. Luke Kennard was living his best life.

Getting Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose back makes the Detroit Pistons better. To be sure. But does their return do what the Pistons need? Well. Not tonight.

It was a game that was rarely competitive, thanks to what is becoming a recurring problem in the team’s defense - not to mention lousy games from Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond.

The Timberwolves scored 41 points in the first quarter. Andrew Wiggins carried the way with 33 points, with Karl-Anthony Towns close behind with 25 points. The Timberwolves finished with 61 percent true shooting percentage.

That was enough to keep the Pistons on the ropes for most of the game, but some Langston Galloway offense let the Pistons make their move late. He scored 11 points in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, pulling the game to double digits.

A clutch Tony Snell three pointer gave the Pistons their shot at a game they had no business winning, pulling it to five points with 2:30 to play. But Blake Griffin was rusty down the stretch, letting the Wolves coast to the win.

Derrick Rose looked springy in his return from injury, including this:

But he also took a ton of jumpers that he had little chance of making, giving him a pretty bad showing against his former team.

Andre Drummond...well. Drummond was bad. 12 shots, 41 percent true shooting percentage, three turnovers, um, that’s not what you want from your center. Let’s just leave it at that.

Blake was impactful in his return from injury, but in a Sisyphean kind of way.

It’s not particularly surprising that Griffin and Rose’s return didn’t fix the Pistons problems defensively. There’s deeper issues on that end. They’ll need to figure those things out to have a shot at the playoffs this year.


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