Category: NBA

My Detroit Sports: #MyPistons Weekly #12

The 12th edition of #MyPistons Weekly finds the Pistons 5 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot. It’s the time of season where teams begin scoreboard watching. The Pistons will be able to monitor game scores in the Pacific time zone as they head west for a critical 6 game road stretch that features 3 games against playoff hopefuls, a matchup against the league leading Houston Rockets, and 2 games against teams looking for extra lottery balls in May. While there has been talk about the role(s) Stan Van Gundy will play for the team going forward, both he and owner Tom Gores seem content to concentrate on finishing the season strong.

The week began in Cleveland on Monday against the new look Cavaliers. The Pistons got off to a strong start behind 12 first quarter points from Blake Griffin. Cleveland’s offense came alive in the 2nd quarter. A 14-5 Cavs run turned a tie game into a 5 point halftime deficit. LeBron James scored 13 of his 15 3rd quarter points during a 17-5 run that turned a 2 possession game into a 17 point deficit. The Pistons were down by as many as 25 points before falling 112-90. Poor shooting again undid the Pistons efforts. Blake Griffin went 10-22 from the field for 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Andre Drummond was 5-5 from both the field and the foul line, but it was a rare night this season where he was held to under 10 rebounds. The rest of the Pistons shot only 19-60 from the field, and lost the battle of the boards 53-40 overall and 11-8 on the offensive glass. James had 31 points to lead 6 Cavs in double figures, and Larry Nance Jr. had a 22 point and 15 rebound evening.

The Pistons then came home to face the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors. Reggie Bullock was reinserted in the starting lineup. However, it was Blake Griffin and the bench unit that gave the Pistons a big lead in the second quarter. A 24-5 run turned a 3 point deficit into a 15 point lead. DeMar DeRozan helped the Raptors in the 3rd quarter, scoring 12 point as the Pistons were outscored 25-40 in the quarter and entered the 4th down by a point. It remained a 2 possession game the rest of the way, until Ish Smith’s 3 pointer with 40 seconds left tied it at 109. DeMar DeRozan and Blake Griffin took over from there. DeRozan’s jumper was matched by a 3 point play by Blake to give the Pistons a 1 point lead. DeRozan’s answered right back with a 3 point play on a dunk with 4.6 seconds left. On the final play Reggie Bullock found Blake Griffin near the basket to tie the game and send it to overtime. DeRozan continued his assault in overtime, with 3 points and 2 assists accounting for all 7 of the Raptors points. Blake Griffin’s 3 pointer tied the game at 119, but DeRozan’s final assist to Fred Van Vleet with 1.1 seconds was too much. Blake attempted a 3 pointer at the buzzer but couldn’t connect, and the Pistons fell in overtime 121-119. Blake Griffin had 31 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks. Andre Drummond contributed 10 points, 21 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Reggie Bullock had 21 points and 4 assists, while James Ennis chipped in 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists off the bench. The gold medal winning backcourt for Toronto was led by DeMar DeRozan’s 42 points and 6 assists, while Kyle Lowry contributed 15 points, 15 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals.

Luke Kennard met with fans at a local Dunham’s in Waterford.

The Pistons finished the 2 game homestand against the Chicago Bulls, who made their first appearance at Little Caesars Arena. The Pistons were without Stanley Johnson and Dwight Buycks. James Ennis played alongside Reggie Bullock in the starting lineup. The Pistons got off to a slow start, trailing by as many as 7 in the first and 10 in the second quarter. Ish Smith lead the way with 8 points as part of a 20-8 run that turned a 10 point deficit into a 2 point halftime lead. 3’s by Blake Griffin and Reggie Bullock helped the Pistons go on a quick 10-2 run to push the lead into double figures. Jameer Nelson and Eric Moreland had the last 8 points of the quarter as the Pistons went into the 4th with an 11 point lead. The Pistons kept up the assault into the 4th, building leads as large as 20 before settling for a much needed 99-83 victory that snapped a 4 game losing streak. Blake Griffin led the way with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. Reggie Bullock added 21 points as 5 Pistons scored in double figures. Andre Drummond had 5 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Reggie Hearn made his second appearance in a Pistons uniform.

The Pistons now head on the road to face the 3rd, 9th and 10th seeds in the Western Conference. They begin in Utah on Tuesday, then head to Denver on Thursday and Portland on Saturday. The Pistons have faced these opponents before at home. They lost to Denver in December, and to Utah in overtime in January before trouncing the Blazers in February. But these will be playoff intensity games against opponents who are also fighting for seeding. All the Pistons can do now is match that intensity and hope for help from their opponents.

Trying to keep the playoff hopes alive, these Pistons fans are keeping their #DetroitBasketball spirit in this week’s #MyPistons ‘Fans of the Week’!

My Detroit Sports: #MyPistons Weekly #11

My Pistons Weekly #11 finds the Pistons in dire straits. There are only 19 games left in the season, and the Pistons find themselves a season high 5 games under .500 and 4 games back of the 8th and final playoff spot. Since the Pistons are 20-13 at home and 9-21 on the road, it will be difficult to re-enter the playoff picture. Only 8 of the final 19 games are at Little Caesars Arena. At the same time, only 9 of the 19 remaining games are against teams currently in playoff contention.

The Pistons started a week with an early afternoon game against the Hornets last Sunday in Charlotte. The Hornets got off to a quick start and lead by 13 after the 1st quarter and 24 at the half. The story of this game was the Pistons misfiring from long range, as they only hit 4 of 18 shots from 3 point range while the Hornets went 16 for 35. Andre Drummond had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Blake Griffin added 20 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. But bench scoring went heavily in Charlotte’s favor, as they had 4 players in double figures for a 51-28 advantage. The Pistons fell 98-114.

The Pistons then traveled to face the Eastern Conference leading Raptors in Toronto Monday night. In a reverse of the previous game, the Pistons kept in close in the first half while being heavily outscored in the second. It was a 6 point game at the half, but the Pistons were outscored by double digits in the third and fourth quarters. Poor shooting was the culprit as the Pistons shot under 40% from the field while the Raptors shot over 50%. Bench scoring again was an issue, as the Raptors bench had a 54-32 advantage over their counterparts. Dwight Bucyks and James Ennis each scored in double figures off the bench, but shot 3-11 and 3-9 from the field respectively, and had little help. Andre Drummond had a monster game with 18 points, 18 rebounds, 3 blocks and 4 steals. Ish Smith added 16 points and 2 assists. But the gold medal backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points a piece and 6 players off their bench had 7 points or more to pace the Raptors in their 123-94 victory.

The Pistons caught a break facing the Milwaukee Bucks at home on Wednesday. The Bucks were coming off a late overtime loss and faced the Pistons on the second night of a back to back. The Pistons were able to take advantage by holding MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo to 11 points and the Bucks to under 40% from the field. Moving James Ennis to the starting lineup paid off, as Stanley Johnson responded by leading the Pistons in scoring as part of a 19 point, 6 rebound, 4 assist effort. Andre Drummond had 15 points and 16 rebounds (10 offensive), and Dwight Buycks had 12 points, 4 assist, 4 steals. The Pistons started building their lead in the second quarter and did not let up as they outscored Milwaukee by 14 in the second half as they went on to win 110-87.

But the road woes continued in Florida. The Pistons faced the Magic on Friday night on the first night of their back to back. The Magic were on a 7 game losing streak coming into the game. In a game that was close most of the way, the Pistons never lead by more than 7 in the second half. They held a 7 point lead for the final time with a little under 5 minutes remaining, 100-93. They would only score 4 points on 1-9 shooting the rest of the quarter. Orlando quickly responded with an 8-0 run fueled by a 3 point play and later 3 point shot by Aaron Gordon which gave the Magic a 1 point lead. 2 free throws by Reggie Bullock put the Pistons back ahead before Evan Fournier responded with a 3 pointer of his own. It looked bleak when the Magic had a 2 point lead and possession with the clock ticking down. Shelvin Mack’s missed 3 pointer went into the hands of Blake Griffin with 10 seconds left, and he found James Ennis for a dunk to tie the game. The Magic were unable to do anything out of the time out before Vucevic threw the ball away with a fraction of a second remaining. Unfortunately, that momentum did not carry into the extra period. Fournier continued his offensive assault with the first 6 points of the overtime, and the Pistons missed all 8 of their shots and 3 of 5 free throw attempts as they were outscored 9-2, falling 113-106 on the night. James Ennis and Reggie Bullock each had 21 points. Andre Drummond had 10 points and 15 rebounds, and Blake Griffin was an assist away from a triple double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. Dwight Buycks and Anthony Tolliver each added in 12 points off the bench. However, a cold stretch doomed the Pistons, as it’s hard to win shooting only 1-17 from the field and 2-7 from the foul line over the last 5 minutes of the 4th and overtime.

The Pistons faced the Heat in a critical playoff matchup last night. The Heat came into the game 3 games ahead of the Pistons for the 8th and final playoff spot. The Pistons came out with the intensity you’d expect for such an important game as they jumped out to a 14-5 lead and were ahead by 1 after the 1st quarter. The Heat responded with a 25-6 stretch over the first 8 minutes of the second quarter. The Heat lead by as many as 18 before a flagrant foul by Justise Winslow on Blake Griffin and a 3 pointer by James Ennis cut it to 13 at the half. A 24-10 run in the 3rd put the Pistons back in the game, as they got within 2 points with possession towards the end of the quarter. Josh Richardson’s baskets to end the 3rd and start the 4th gave Miami some breathing room, and the Pistons could get no closer the rest of the way. Basketball is a game of runs, and it took all the Pistons energy to get themselves back into this game. They had nothing left to give in the 4th quarter as they fell 96-105. Blake Griffin had 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Andre Drummond had 22 points, 18 rebounds (11 offensive), and 4 steals. It wasn’t enough to overcome 6 Heat players in double figures combined with Hassan Whiteside’s 8 point and 19 rebound effort.


The Pistons must now try to make up ground against some of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. They face the Cavaliers in Cleveland tomorrow before coming home to face the Raptors on Wednesday in a nationally televised matchup. The Pistons get one more home game against the lottery bound Chicago Bulls before embarking on a 6 game Western Conference road trip that has them facing the Rockets, 3 teams in the tight Western Conference playoff race in Denver, Utah, and Portland, plus games against lottery teams Sacramento and Phoenix. The Pistons must get hot quickly to get back to .500 and in contention for a playoff spot. They will also need help from either Miami or Milwaukee, as the Pistons control neither their destiny nor draft pick.

We’d like to congratulate Instagram’s @baileylaine22 for being chosen as the recipient for an autographed Reggie Bullock photo as she was featured as one of our #MyPistons ‘Fans of the Week’! Show your #DetroitBasketball pride to be entered to win future giveaways!