After a morale-boosting win against the Houston Rockets Wednesday night, the Detroit Pistons entered the night looking to add a second road win on the season. Unfortunately, there weren’t many reasons to watch the game tonight. The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to handle the Detroit Pistons with relative ease behind exceptional guard play and a dominant display of interior defense from their twin towers, Evan Mobley and Jarret Allen.
The first quarter got off to a troubling start, with Isaiah Stewart committing his second foul at the 10:40 minute mark. The concerning thing for Stewart was that each foul was blatant, the second one in particular had to be frustrating for the coaching staff. He needs to be selective with his fouls, now more than ever with the loss of Kelly Olynyk.
For the first six minutes of the quarter, the Cavs flexed their muscle on defense, the length of Allen and Mobley deterred the Pistons from the paint. This resulted in a Piston offense that looked extremely clunky and disjointed, with most possessions ending in a chuck from three.
The poor shooting continued for the Pistons out of the gate. However, in what was probably the only enjoyable stretch for the night, a bench lineup with Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes was able to crash the offense glass and push the pace, helping to finish the quarter down only six.
Unfortunately, after battling with some early foul trouble to key players, the Pistons would give up an immediate 9-3 run to start the second. The loss of Kelly Olynyk was particularly evident during this stretch; Without his playmaking ability, there was little to no ball movement at the best of times.
For the Cavs, the point guard duo of Darius Garland and Ricky Rubio were able to get into the paint at will, collapsing the Detroit defense and either hitting open shooters or throwing a lob to Allen or Mobley. However, once again the Pistons were able to rally, closing the half behind superb individual defense of Killian Hayes and a 10-point quarter from Jerami Grant.
The second half was bad, probably the worst on the season. In the third quarter alone, the Pistons scored 11 points. Once again; poor shooting, bad perimeter defense and turnovers sunk the Pistons.
The shooting at this point is historically bad. In fact this Detroit roster is shooting the ball the with the worst accuracy in SIXTY years:
The Pistons are shooting 39.6% this season, the worst by any team since 1960.— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 13, 2021
That’s more than SIXTY years ago. The Lakers were still in Minneapolis then.
They are also shooting 28.6% from three, the worst by any team in the last 20 seasons. pic.twitter.com/mTUWV2Cvln
Cade Cunningham had his worst night handling the ball, committing a game high seven turnovers. Cunningham often looked of two minds when attacking the rim, which resulted in a couple of wild passes. But, give credit to the Cavs defense, they were strong all night, not allowing the Pistons any easy possessions.
To make matters worse, halfway through the final term, there was a strange interaction between Hamidou Diallo and Dwane Casey. With approximately 7:15 left to play, Casey called Diallo’s name to enter the game, it appeared Diallo had some choice words as he got up to head to the scorers table. As a result Casey called Rodney McGruder to enter the game:
A fan in attendance reported that soon after Diallo sat back down on the bench, Pistons GM, Troy Weaver came and took Diallo back to the locker room:
Troy Weaver and Hamidou Diallo just walked off of the floor and into the locker room.— LN(BA Insider). (@ellenk124) November 13, 2021
It will be interesting to see what happens with Diallo’s playing time going forward. It’s understandable that Diallo would be frustrated with his role, it’s not acceptable to be bringing those issues to the surface during a game.
One silver lining of the night was that Frank Jackson was able to get it going in the fourth, scoring eight of his 12 points in the quarter. Hopefully he can build from this, and this Piston team desperately needs some shooting.
The Pistons now cross the border to face the Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors on the second night of a back to back.