For one quarter, the Detroit Pistons were fun.
Then came the rest. The Pistons jumped out to a massive early lead on Tuesday thanks to some incredible shooting. Those offensive fireworks eventually cooled and the Kings roared back, leaving the Pistons dazed and confused into the middle of the second half.
Detroit rallied a few times, but it never felt real. They just caught the Kings lacking, and when Sacramento put the pedal to the metal in the fourth, the Pistons’ hopes were all but dead as they fell 131-110.
I don't really know where to begin.
The Pistons made 7 of their first 10 threes and led the Kings by 20 after one quarter. It was an offensive onslaught that, obviously, wasn’t sustainable. However, even the most cynical fans were surprised how fast the Pistons let the Kings back in it.
Detroit could not buy a bucket in the second quarter... or the third quarter. Sacramento, led by Murray and Sabonis, had their way. The cute lil lead from the first quarter was gone FAST in the second quarter, and Detroit wasn’t able to stymie the run until midway through the third quarter — after the Kings rattled off a 35-5 run.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 points in the first half, knocking down 8 of his first 9 shots. He scored five points in the second half, which felt weird considering how heavily relied upon he was earlier in the game.
Logically, I understand that Troy Weaver doesn’t want to sell Bojan for anything less than a premium package because he really is one of the few startable NBA players on this team, but you cannot keep this guy through next month’s trade deadline. It’s irresponsible asset management of a guy who will be 36 years old next year.
Bogdanovic might be 40 and retired the next time the Pistons win 50 games. Seriously.
I liked what Jaden Ivey did as one of the lead creators. He made some nice plays as a playmaker and scored very well early. Once the game fell apart in the second half, his decision making really fell apart with it.
He also struggled from outside of 17 feet, despite hitting two triples, and as long as he’s not making things happen outside, he’s not as real a threat as we want him to be, even as a lead guy right now.
I know Ivey can put up numbers when he’s the main guard. I’m just not sure that he can do that in a winning fashion. And it sucks that this team is such a dumpster fire, because we won't know anytime soon. Same for whether he can adapt alongside Cade when he comes back in a few games.
Joe Harris played, and hit some threes. That’s all I got. He’s still there.
Alec Burks played, and hit some threes. He’s been much better these last five or so games and, as I said with Bogdanovic, I understand not wanting to trade away the guys playing well when you’re staring down the barrel of infamy as the worst team of all-time, but... like, look in the mirror dude.
If somebody wants a guy capable of hitting 3s in bunches, as Burks did in the third quarter tonight, they should trade him. It’s funny, we kill the Pistons for pissing away second round picks in bad trades all the time, but when it comes to trading for one, we bemoan it as not enough. Second round picks are powerful because drafts are deeper than ever before.
I also want to call out Kevin Knox. Now, he didn’t have a great game — 8 points off the bench — but as a mobile stretch four who can actually do wing things on the floor, he really does open stuff up for the Pistons offensively. When he washout there with Marcus Sasser (4 assists) the team ran relatively smoothly.
It’s crazy that the Pistons can’t see the stuff that Knox does and think to themselves, “man what if we had a guy that big who played like that *and* was good?”
The Pistons went from up 20 after the first quarter to down 21 after the fourth quarter. What a terrible, weird game. Perfect for these pathetic Pistons.