My Detroit Sports: #MyPistons Weekly #6

Welcome to #MyPistons Weekly #6, which takes us past the halfway point of the 2017-18 season. It was a tough week as the road woes continued for Detroit. Some roster changes were made as the Pistons said goodbye to Luis Montero and signed Oakland University Alum Kay Felder and Reggie Hearn. Kay will start by playing for the Grand Rapids Drive. Expect more roster changes as the trade deadline approaches. This year the trade deadline will be before the All-Star break. That means that teams will have less time to determine whether they are buyers or sellers. The Pistons are definitely buyers and got to see some trade targets up close and personal this week.

The Pistons went on the road to face the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have played a lot better since the return of Nikola Mirotic. Zach LaVine made his first appearance in a Bulls uniform as he returned from injury. It was a tight game the whole way, with neither team able to build more than a 10 point lead. The Pistons kept it close and the teams traded one point leads from the 4:39 mark to the last 30 seconds of the game. However, they couldn’t hit shots down the stretch as Avery Bradley had a shot blocked and Andre Drummond missed a layup in the final minute. Kris Dunn split free throws at the line to make it a 2 point game with 38 seconds left. Avery Bradley missed a 3 pointer and the Pistons decision not to foul paid off when Justin Holiday turned the ball over with 4 seconds left. Reggie Bullock’s game tying layup attempt was blocked by Kris Dunn and the Pistons fell 107-105. The story of the evening was the hot 3 point shooting of the Bulls, as they went 17-36 from beyond the arc. Andre Drummond had 21 points, 15 rebounds (8 offensive) and 3 blocks. Avery Bradley had 26 points on 10-19 shooting.

 

The Pistons came home Monday to face the Charlotte Hornets in an early afternoon game on Martin Luther King Jr. day. An off day for Andre Drummond doomed the Pistons, as they were beaten on the boards and in the paint by the Hornets. Dwight Howard’s 21 point and 17 rebound performance was the type of production that we take for granted from Andre Drummond this season. Fortunately his teammates were there to pick him up, as Reggie Bullock, Anthony Tolliver, and Ish Smith combined for 23 of the Pistons 29 points in the 2nd quarter. But a 6 point halftime lead became a 4th quarter deficit as Kemba Walker led the charge with 10 points, all on layups, in the 3rd quarter. He continued his assault in the 4th quarter with another 7 points during a 16-3 run that turned a 5 point game into an 18 point deficit. The Pistons clawed back to get within 7, but eventually fell 118-107. Tobias Harris and Reggie Bullock had 20 point days while Ish Smith added 19 points and 10 assists.

The Pistons then went back on the road to face the Toronto Raptors. In what has been a recurring theme this season, the Pistons got off to a slow start and were outscored 31-18 in the first quarter. The bench came to the rescue in the 2nd quarter, with Stan Van Gundy going to Langston Galloway in place of the injured Luke Kennard. Galloway, Marjanovic, and Tolliver helped Detroit keep the game within reach before a 12-2 Pistons run turned it into a one possession game going into the half. But the Pistons ran out of gas in the 4th quarter. Holding a 1 point lead with 7:21 remaining, the Raptors went on a 12-2 run of their own over a 5 minute stretch. An Avery Bradley 3 pointer cut the lead to 3 points with 14 seconds remaining, but the Pistons gambled and lost trying to go for a steal and didn’t foul until there were only 5 seconds left in the game. Delon Wright hit both free throws for the final score of 96-91.

The Pistons will need some wins as they start their 4-game homestand Friday night on ESPN against the Washington Wizards. Although they are on a 3 game losing streak now after a 7 game losing streak in December, the Pistons still stand a game over .500 having played 5 more games on the road than at home. Look for this weeks My Detroit Sports Show, where we will discuss the Pistons playoff prospect, potential trades and announce the winner of this Ish Smith autographed 11×14 photo!

 

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