Nineteen games into the season, it’s abundantly clear this Detroit Pistons roster cannot shoot the ball. There are all kinds of stats to back this up, however, Piston fans have held out hope the pendulum will eventually swing and the shots will fall. Unfortunately, If you were hoping to see the shots fall, then you might want to look away. Coming off a predicable road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit was looking to steal a road win against the ‘up and down’ Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers quickly got out to a 17-10 lead behind the hot shooting of 22% three point shooter, Eric Bledsoe. Detroit dared Bledsoe to shoot from the outside and he made them pay, connecting on his four field goals, three of which were from behind the arc. Coming out of a timeout, Cade Cunningham committed his second foul with 6:42 remaining in the quarter, once again taking himself out of a game with foul trouble. With Cunningham out of the game, Los Angeles would capitalise, stringing together an 8-0 run, pushing the lead to 15.
Detroit would finish the opening quarter shooting 30% from the field while, Los Angeles would would should 45% and 50% from the field and three point range respectively. The Pistons first quarter performance was summed up by a play where Diallo drove to the basket, where he was blocked by Ibaka, subsequently careening into the camera man, appearing to injure his back on the camera equipment. While Diallo laid down underneath the Piston basket, the Clippers were able to knock down a corner three. However, it appeared there was no serious injury to Diallo as he was able to make a couple of nice plays to close the quarter. The Clippers closed the quarter with an Ibaka three, giving them a 12-point advantage, 30-18.
The bench duo of Trey Lyes and Frank Jackson provided the Pistons with a much needed scoring punch, scoring 10 of the teams first 12 points to start the second quarter. From this point, the Detroit starters would score a measly 10 points to close the half, chucking some absolute bricks from beyond the arc.
Grant, Cunningham and Bey combined to shoot 12/41 (29.2%) from the field tonight. A complete off night for the #Pistons top-3 leading scorers. Some of the misses in the 2nd quarter were complete bricks: pic.twitter.com/euP7oBNdnA— Jack Kelly (@jack_kelly_313) November 26, 2021
The Clippers continued to shoot the ball well, with 6 of 9 players shooting 50%+ from the field in the opening half. Terance Mann was dominant on both sides of the ball, scoring 11 points in the second quarter, while holding the Pistons guards in check on defense. Paul George finished the second quarter with a balanced stat line of 7 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. The Clippers entered the locker room with a 24-pint led of the visitors, 64-40.
The officials opened the second half whistle-happy, calling 6 fouls in the first four minutes, providing for some choppy play. Reggie Jackson would get in going to start the third, putting up 9 points in the first six minutes, helping push the Clipper lead to 29 points, 77-48. The Pistons would show some fight, behind an 8-0 run to cut it back to 21 points, however, Paul George would respond with a 5-0 run of his own.
The third quarter was an extremely hard watch with both teams shooting the ball putridly. Perhaps the highlight of the quarter was seeing vision of Jerry West providing wisdom to Cade Cunningham pre-game:
Los Angeles actually shot worse than Detroit, closing the quarter with a field goal percentage of 27%. The Pistons, surprisingly, would win the the quarter, outscoring the home team 22-18. Though, the Clippers would still maintain a 20 point lead, 82-62.
Detroit continued to show signs of life in the fourth quarter, behind the hustle of Hamidou Diallo. Diallo had a couple of nice defensive possession to open the final term, he finished the game with 4 points, 7 rebounds and 3 ‘stocks’. While he struggled with his shot tonight, Diallo’s defense and offensive rebounding was a plus for the team tonight.
Unlike the third quarter, both teams shot the ball well in the final term and, once again, the Detroit was able to win the quarter 34-25. It was encouraging to see the bench unit provide some positive play to end the game.
Cade Cunningham closed the game with the bench line-up and was able to finish on a high note. It’s both a tribute and gripe that Cunningham was able to finish with 10/6/6 and 3 steals. At times, it feels like the engagement on offense isn’t there for the number 1 pick, far too often he’s settling for jumpers. Tonight the foul trouble seemed to plague his flow in the game. However, we saw in the final term, when he is attacking the paint and putting pressure on the rim, good looks are generated for the Piston offense. Hopefully he can use his fourth quarter play as a catalyst, for an aggressive start to the teams next game against the Lakers.
The Clippers were lead by the guard duo of Mann and Jackson, in what was an off night for MVP candidate, Paul George. Jackson stirred Los Angles to victory in the second half, scoring 16 of his 21 points. Mann finished with his second double-double of the season with 16 point and 10 boards. After leading by as many as 29 points, the now, 11-8 Clippers would finish 11 point victors.
The Pistons return to Staples Centre on Sunday night to face the Los Angeles Lakers, in the hope of ending their current 4-game slide.
- Stew really needs to try and convert on those dump of passes he is receiving around the rim. There were multiple instances in the game where he caught the ball under the rim and didn’t even look to take the shot.
- Trey Lyles continued the hot shooting. finishing with 13 points on 62.5% shooting.
- Isaiah Hartenstein is an intriguing role player for the Clippers, he finished with 10 & 5 in limited minutes.
- Jerami Grant with the most uninspiring 20 point and 10 rebound game.
- Former Piston guard, Luke Kennard had a rough night, shooting 2-10 (all threes) and scoring 8 points.