It was a loss, but the kind of loss that works for the Pistons rebuild.
The Pistons rallied back and competed hard. And they continue to see what they get out of their young guys, who even had the chance to contribute in crunch time.
After falling to a 22 point lead in the second half, the Pistons turned it into a competitive second half. They even had a six point lead with four minutes to go. But the Magic pulled it back to a tie game in the final minute.
The teams traded buckets, including a nice putback dunk from Christian Wood, but a Nikola Vucevic three pointer with seven seconds looked like the knockout blow. But coming off a screen, Langston Galloway drilled a gutsy game tying three pointer that very well could/should have been an and-one.
But instead, overtime.
There was entirely too much Reggie Jackson and Derrick Rose all game, and that especially showed in OT. The pairing went 1-4 with two turnovers in overtime, in part of their combined 6-29 shooting and seven turnover performance.
But the Pistons were still close enough to give Galloway a chance at a repeat performance. Down three with 13 seconds to go, the Pistons ran nearly the same set that let Galloway tie the game once before and he had a surprisingly good look with his shot.
It missed, Jackson tipped to keep the offensive rebound alive, Tony Snell saved it falling out of bounds, back to Jackson, who tipped it to Markieff Morris, who dived for it and drew a jump ball. Whew.
Then Morris lost the jump ball, so game over.
The Thin Towers, a genius moniker that I believe was developed by Sean Corp, continue to raise some eyebrows as a frontcourt duo. Wood has been playing at an absolutely elite level since taking over the starting power forward job earlier this month.
He dropped the stat line of 26 points on 9-14 shooting and 7-8 from the free throw line, along with 12 rebounds and two blocks. This sequence was fun:
Thon Maker seems to be a genuine NBA player. Perhaps not a full time starting center, but he could look great as part of a center platoon where he’s matched with a burlier partner. Though a bit of a spaz, he plays with a ton of effort every night and has been increasingly turning that into efficient production. Tonight was 18 points on 6-9 shooting, along with 2-3 from three point range and 4-4 from the stripe.
From the rest of the young guys: Bruce Brown was mostly quiet, taking just two shots and had two assists but did have 10 rebounds. I still think he’s best with a lead ball handler on the floor. Svi Mykhailiuk scored 8 in his first game back from injury in his usual aggressive form.
Another rough night statistically for Sekou Doumbouya, but not as bad as it looks. He went 1-6 shooting, but they were all good shots. He just struggled getting through contact at the rim, going 0-4 in the paint. Also, I liked his bright yellow shoes, those were fun.
Tank watch: With the loss and the Hornets’ win tonight, the Pistons move into a tie at the six pick with Charlotte. Now 19-38, the Pistons are also nipping at the heels of the 17-38 Knicks and 16-37 Timberwolves.