My Detroit Sports: #MyPistons Weekly #7

The 7th installment of MyPistons Weekly finds the team on a losing streak. It was a tough week for the Pistons as they dropped 3 games at home. Jon Leuer learned that he would be unable to play again this season and Andre Drummond was not named an Eastern Conference All-Star. The Pistons also fell 2 games under .500 for the first time this season.

 

The Pistons faced the Washington Wizards at home on Friday in a nationally televised game. Sensing the importance of this game, the Pistons came out firing and led by as many as 15 points in the first quarter. However, the Wizards came storming back in the 2nd quarter as a 20-7 run erased the Pistons lead. The momentum shift continued into the third quarter as the Wizards scored 45 points and took command of the game. John Wall had 10 points in the first 5 minutes to put the Pistons away. First time All-Star Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre had 26 points a piece. Andre Drummond grabbed 21 of the 35 Pistons rebounds and added 14 points and 8 assists. But the Wizards shot a bit better beyond the arc as Detroit fell by a final score of 122-112.

Reggie Bullock made an autograph appearance at Dunham’s in West Bloomfield.

The Pistons then faced the Brooklyn Nets in a Sunday matinee game. The Nets are led by former Pistons 2nd round pick Spencer Dinwiddie. Once again the Pistons found themselves facing a double digit deficit in the first quarter. Andre Drummond found himself in foul trouble, and the Pistons faced an uphill battle as Brooklyn nursed a single digit lead all afternoon. Back to back 3 pointers by Stanley Johnson and Ish Smith tied the game at 94. It remained a single possession the rest of the way. Andre Drummond and Stanley Johnson both had critical offensive rebounds and put backs in the final minute. The Pistons took their first lead since the first 3 minutes of the game when U of M product Caris LeVert could only convert one of two free throws on consecutive possessions and Andre Drummond made a layup with 4 seconds left. Brooklyn got the ball to Spencer Dinwiddie on the final possession, and he was able to create space against Ish Smith and got off a fadeaway jumper over the outstretched arm of Andre Drummond with less than a second remaining. The losing streak extended to 5 with this heartbreaking 101-100 loss.

The Utah Jazz made their only appearance at Little Caesars Arena this week. The Pistons got an up close look at a number of players that the Jazz have made available in trade discussions. With Reggie Bullock injured but available, Stanley Johnson returned to the starting lineup and Langston Galloway made his first start of the season. The decision paid off as shooting guard Donovan Mitchell was held to a 6-21 shooting night. The teams were evenly matched throughout the game, as neither team shot particularly well (both teams finished under 40% from the field) or could build more than a 7 point lead. The game was tied at 79 when Andre Drummond took over. 3 baskets in the paint and a 3 pointer by Tobias Harris in a 4 possession stretch gave the Pistons a 9 point lead with only a little over 3 minutes remaining in the game. Drummond was also active on the glass as he grabbed 8 rebounds in the 4th and blocked Rudy Gobert’s shot as well as Donovan Mitchell’s game tying layup attempt with 5 seconds left in the game. However, his historic 30 point, 24 rebound, 6 block, and 3 steal night was undone by a few missed free throws. Andre Drummond made his first 6 free throws of the night, but went one for two at the foul line on his last two trips in the 4th quarter. The free throw with 11 seconds left was the only points the Pistons scored in the last 3 minutes of regulation. Joe Ingles’ layup with 4 seconds left out of a time out completed a 10-1 run to tie the game. Luke Kennard got a good look from beyond the arc but could not convert. Ingles opened the extra period with two 3 point shots, and Donovan Mitchell hit a third to give the Jazz a 7 point lead they would not relinquish. Rudy Gobert missed both free throws with 2 seconds remaining, but the Pistons did not have a time out and Andre Drummond’s full court heave could not extend the game. The Pistons fell 98-95 in their first overtime game this season.

The Pistons remain at home to face the Thunder on Saturday and then face the Cavaliers in a home and home set on Sunday and Tuesday. While the Pistons lost two games on last second shots, they cannot get off to slow starts or falter late. The Thunder are a tough team with the reigning MVP and an All-Star snub of their own in Paul George. The Cavaliers will also be motivated to put their own tough stretch behind them. The 6 game skid has pushed the Pistons outside the playoff picture as they fall 2 games behind the 7th/8th seeds Philadelphia 76’ers and Milwaukee Bucks and 3 games behind the 6th seed Indiana Pacers. The Pistons will need a little luck, a little health, and better play over the full 48 minutes to end the 6 game losing streak and reassert themselves in the Eastern Conference.

During our Pistons themed My Detroit Sports Show, we gave away an autographed Ish Smith photo to one of our fans showing their Detroit Basketball pride. Stay tuned for the next Pistons giveaway, but for now, check out some more #MyPistons “Fans of the Week”.

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