In half number one, Detroit showed an extra gear — and an extra collective will, dare I say— than we’ve seen. The Bucks seemed dialed-in, it was just that the Pistons were crisper, quicker, feistier, and the ball was going in the bucket a bit more than it was for the Bucks. It wasn’t a fluke — the Pistons had a lot to do with it. Detroit led 62-56 at the half.
Reggie Jackson scored 20 scintillating first-half points to pace the team.
The bench chipped in with pesky defense and timely shooting with Langston Galloway and Luke Kennard both shooting 3-of-6 from the field. Thon Maker continued to struggle shooting the ball, but battled his best on the defensive end.
Andre Drummond came out uber-aggressive, trying to atone for a Game 3 performance that wasn’t close to Andre’s standard. He had a few positive stretches, but foul trouble for the big man (and just about every Piston) put a stink in things. Zaza Pachulia didn’t see a second of action tonight, though he still picked up four fouls probably. Somehow. Milwaukee is clearly the superior team (understatement of the playoffs), they certainly didn’t need any extra help. But they sure did get it tonight.
The Pistons six-point lead at half felt great — but in the back of your mind you knew it wasn’t going to hold up.
So we know how the story went — that pesky quarter called the third quarter bit the Pistons in the butt yet again. Milwaukee put up a sweet, wholesome 39 points, while Detroit managed just 23 points, and it was a torturous, scrap for everything you can type of 23. My eyes bled watching that struggle. That effectively was the ball game.
Again, Milwaukee got several kind calls from the referees, no doubt — however, Milwaukee was by far the more aggressive team. In the third, Milwaukee shot 14-of-15 from the foul line, while Detroit shot 1-of-2. Giannis Antetokounmpo kept attacking the rim, and like a superstar does, he got most of the benefit of the doubt with the whistles. Giannis is already a massive problem. Once his jump shot becomes more consistently lethal, he will put himself down as one of the best players in the history of the game. Giannis scored 41 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked four shots, but it seemed like he blocked 14.
That’s that. The season is over. Pistons fans can hopefully enjoy the rest of the playoffs, which should be a treat. I know right now might not be the best time to try and say that. But let’s try and enjoy watching the best sport on earth.
The Pistons organization, as we all have realized over the past few years (or since longer), is in a no man’s land right now. What’s the direction? Is there a direction? Has the organization not been paying attention to how the league and its players have evolved / is evolving? I could go on all fucking night. Though instead, I’ll let DBB’s finest and most measured writers talk about that more in-depth over the off-season. It’s going to be a long off-season.
Lastly, I know I speak for every Pistons fan out there — Thank You, Blake Griffin!
That was one helluva impressive season from the veteran forward. Blake is some kind of talented and gifted player and we wish more of his teammates would show the type of grit and fortitude Blake has shown, playing through his knee ailments (and who knows whatever else) and still propping this team up at every opportunity. Blake is a true professional.
It was fantastic to see the Detroit crowd give Blake a standing ovation as he walked toward the bench after fouling out mid-way through the fourth quarter. Blake scored 25 points (on just 15 shots) in 27 minutes, including a few slick point guard-like passes as we’ve gotten accustomed to seeing from him on a nightly basis.
And thanks to all the fans reading here at DBB. You all are some of the most passionate fans around, not to mention generally very clever and definitely funny and decent folk overall.
Let’s be real honest — the fans who participate here make this site so much fun and so worth it...even in midst of trying times.
Let’s keep it rolling in the off-season.