The second game of the post-Andre Drummond era saw the Pistons battle but fall short 95-92 against the New York Knicks at Little Caesars Arena.
Detroit was without Derrick Rose, Luke Kennard, Svi Mykhailiuk, Markieff Morris and newly acquired Brandon Knight.
The game was a tough watch at times, especially with Detroit’s half-court struggles on the offensive end for much of the game. However, both teams competed and if you didn’t know their records you’d have thought both were firmly entrenched in the playoff race.
Down four with under 15 seconds left in the game, the Pistons were left to chaos for a desperation 3-pointer. Christian Wood delivered:
OK, Christian Wood. pic.twitter.com/FaSRZaHOgg— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) February 9, 2020
After two made free throws by Reggie Bullock to push the Knicks’ lead to three, a Reggie Jackson 3-pointer to tie fell short, which effectively ended the game.
At the end of quarter one, Wood and Thon Maker were a combined 6-of-8 from the field with a trey apiece. Thon scored seven of the Pistons first 12 points. He was held scoreless the rest of the way.
New Pistons power forward John Henson made his presence felt right away in his team debut, scoring 10 points on perfect shooting in the first half. Henson finished 6-of-6 from the floor.
Pistons bigs Wood, Maker, Henson a combined 22 points on 10 of 12 shooting in the first 15 minutes. Pistons up 34-28.— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) February 9, 2020
Maker’s activity was a factor tonight. At times it’s easy to forget he’s just 22 years old, since it feels like he’s been in the NBA for a decade already. Maker has his limitations (rebounding is an issue, as is three lost teeth due to a Randle elbow) yet he always gives full effort. It’s refreshing to see a Pistons center give full effort all the time.
You had to like Maker’s doubled-handed shot contest on Wayne Ellington:
My favorite shot contest of all time pic.twitter.com/6xEhOHHk6S— Bad Basketball (@03Draft) February 9, 2020
Tony Snell showed more offensive aggression and creativity than is typical for him.
Reggie Jackson looks to be in prime condition to be a piece of a playoff team’s rotation. Reggie finished with 20 points, nine assists and just two turnovers.
Sekou Doumbouya had a frustrating 13 minutes.
The Knicks had 16 offensive rebounds on the night. The Pistons weren’t a good rebounding club with Drummond and they won’t be good without him either. The Pistons just don’t box out very often and in the NBA that’s a recipe for disaster. The Knicks are stronger up front and it showed.
Julius Randle and Ellington paced the Knicks with 17 points apiece. Elfrid Payton, Bobby Portis, and Mitchell Robinson were factors as well.
The Pistons play Monday at home against the Charlotte let’s-buyout-all-our-players Hornets. Hey, Detroit, take a hint will ya.