It has been so long since I’ve written a winning recap that I don’t even know what to do here. Do I make a joke? Tell you that the final score was 119 to 96 in favor of the Pistons? Do I actually like this team now? (Big Yes) Am I mentally prepared for the inevitable letdown against an opponent like Cleveland? (Still Yes). Am I budgeting for playoff tickets as I type? (Even bigger Yes). I feel a lot like this.
So despite a sluggish first quarter, the Pistons offense stayed hot against the Miami Heat just 24 hours after a tough victory over the Atlanta Hawks and Quavo’s chirping. The big story tonight was the Pistons bench dropping a season high 66 points on the night. Yes, 66 points.
Blake Griffin still didn’t look like his All-Star self, and I’m starting to convince myself that Team Giannis threw him alley oops on purpose to screw up his legs, but yet again, it was a total team effort to get the win.
Don’t get me wrong, Blake still got his, racking up 20 points and six assists. It just took 27 attempted shots to get there. Keeping with the theme, Reggie Jackson’s offensive step is back, as he’s getting to his spots with ease in the pick and roll. He put together a quietly solid night with 13 points on 4 of 10 shooting with only one turnover. But if you really want me to highlight three guys that fueled this win, it’s Ish Smith, Luke Kennard, and Langston Galloway.
The second and fourth quarters were where this game was won, specifically with the Pistons bench play. In the second, they stepped on the gas with Ish leading the charge, getting easy transition looks to give the offense life after a slow start, and ended up outscoring the Heat 34-17 in the quarter. When Miami came creeping back in the third, Ish came back in to knock down unexpected threes or tough midrange pull-ups to keep padding the lead all the way to a 35-20 fourth quarter advantage. He finished with a team-high 22 points and nine dimes to show for the night.
More than a couple of those dimes were to Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway, both of whom stayed aggressive with the three point shot, dropping 17 points each on a combined 7 of 10 shooting from deep.
Like I said, this team is fun now. It’s weird.
Combine a Detroit win and a Charlotte loss, and the Pistons are all the way up to seventh in the East. Detroit comes back home Monday to take on the Pacers.
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