The Pistons got back their star in Blake Griffin, were playing their fist playoff game in Detroit since 1985, and had a sellout crowd. Things were looking good for the Pistons to maybe steal a game from the Bucks. The Pistons got out to a solid start and looked engaged and ready to put up a fight against the Bucks, except for Andre Drummond.
The Pistons rushed out to an early lead on the back of Blake Griffin, who imposed his will on Giannis Antetokounmpo on both ends of the court. However, the Bucks are just too good and they took advantage of a bad stretch by the Pistons to close out the first to take a 32-24 lead and they never looked back.
Andre Drummond has been the victim of a lot of criticism lately from people from many different platforms, whether it is warranted or not (it is not). Drummond is not a perfect player, but he is a huge reason why the Pistons made the playoffs this year. It sucks playing bad on the national stage in front of your home crowd, but this game is just going to give more fuel to the Andre Drummond haters, which is unfortunate.
Drummond wasn’t the only Pistons player who struggled in this game, basically the rest of the team did. The Pistons got torched by Brook Lopez because all of the Pistons bigs were either leaving him open for three or falling for his slow pump fake to dribble drives. Eric Bledsoe drove to the basket at will on whatever Pistons guard was defending him. Khris Middleton caught fire in the second half.
The only player who did not play well for the Bucks is the Greek Freak, which would make you think I would be writing a post about the Pistons winning instead of another blowout loss. The Bucks just further reaffirmed how good of a team they are because their supporting cast is just as much of a reason for their success as Antetokounmpo is.
The Pistons put up a decent fight in this game, but it is very difficult to overcome a very good team, especially when they have the whistle on their side. I won’t get into it too much because complaining about refs is not the way to handle blowout losses, but the refs were not good. The sellout crowd made that very clear with chants of “Refs you suck” throughout the game.
The only player on the Pistons who really deserves a shoutout is Blake Griffin. He was clearly hobbled out there, but he brought it the best he could on both ends and played some surprisingly solid defense on the Greek Freak. He ended the game with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. He appeared to injure his knee a bit late in the game, so I highly doubt we see him again this season. Luke Kennard had been the only bright spot for the Pistons in the playoffs, but he continues to struggle to play with Blake Griffin in the starting lineup. He only scored 9 points on 4-for-9 shooting and only took one three pointer.
The Pistons tied the Knicks for the longest playoff losing streak at 13 games. They will have one more chance on Monday to not own that losing streak by themselves and try to keep their season going.