The night didn’t begin very well: Andre Drummond missed shootaround and was benched for Thon Maker to start the game. Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown both sat out due to injuries. Philadelphia came in a 20-10 basketball team that is still trying to find what works and what doesn’t.
More bad news was that Blake Griffin started and played. As the 76ers announcers lamented from very early in the game, Blake is a shell of himself right now. Anybody can see that. Blake was short on his perimeter shots nearly every single time, could not finish inside due to zero lift, and offered little defensively.
Detroit stayed competitive in the first half, and down just eight at the break. Andre Drummond was strong and didn’t let Joel Embiid dominate him as is usually the story.
Tim Frazier came out of halftime blazing with three jumpers from all over the court after going scoreless in the first half. Problem for Detroit was that Tobias Harris could not miss. With 6:32 left in the third Tobias had 26 on 11-of-16 shooting.
Furkan Korkmaz had himself a flurry at the tail end of the third with a strong drive and a couple of threes. Korkmaz scored 21 for the game (career-high).
Detroit and Philadelphia both had their offenses working to the tune of 34 points a piece in the third. Though, in the fourth Philadelphia imposed their will on Detroit and put all kinds of pressure on its defense, which turned out to be non-existent. Drummond provided zero rim protection and his teammates might have been even worse on the perimeter.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
Blake Griffin shot 2-of-14 from the field in 27 minutes. Griffin is playing his hardest but he’s not even close to full strength. I wrote that a few games ago and it’s still true. It’s ridiculous. This team is now 11-20 and no path forward to anything worthwhile for the season. Shut Blake down.
Tobias Harris scored 35 on 14-of-21 shooting. He had his mid-range game going as well as his 3-ball. Tobias also was erroneously called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter that was actually a small skirmish between Griffin and Simmons.
The 76ers’ shot 54-percent for the game and outrebounded Detroit 48-30.
While Ben Simmons still can’t shoot worth a lick from most anywhere outside of 10 feet, he’s still a supreme talent and orchestrates the offense with the best of them. Simmons scored 16, dished 17 assists and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Derrick Rose recorded the only Detroit block of the game. That should tell you all you need to know about the lack of interior defense and lack of contesting shots from Detroit.
Drummond wasn’t present on defense tonight, but don’t be fooled by his 27 points. It was the most empty 27 points you will ever see. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. He didn’t play awful (and certainly didn’t get much help from his teammates), yet he rarely imposes his will on games.
Svi Mykhailiuk drained 4-of-5 from downtown, looking more aggressive than usual.
Wish Tony Snell would shoot more — I write that seemingly every recap that I do. Though maybe he’s going to only be an efficient shooter with limited attempts.
Happy Holidays, Pistons fans. We only have 51 more Pistons games to go.