The Detroit Pistons opened up the preseason last night with a 91-69 win over Israeli Super Basketball League champion Maccabi Haifa. The preseason isn’t much of a meter to gauge how a team will play in the regular season (especially when the game is untelevised), but the Pistons did some encouraging things last night worthy of mentioning, and some things not so good that’s worthy of some minor conversation.
The Pistons jumped out to a 21-6 lead early in the first quarter and eventually ended the first half with a 54-26 lead. A fast start can be crucial for a team experiencing as many roster changes as the Pistons are this season. The Pistons will need to focus on ball security and only committing 12 turnovers last night is a pretty solid start.
Balanced effort offensively
The Pistons had six players score in double figures last night (Drummond, Jennings, Monroe, Singler, Smith and Villanueva). Andre Drummond led the charge with 17 points on 8-14 shooting from the field. It’s also positive to mention that Josh Smith hit three of four from the three-point line last night, an area he’s struggled mightily from throughout his career.
Rough shooting from shooting guards
The Pistons two-guard’s really struggled from the field, and the three-point line in particular. Chauncey Billups, who started at shooting guard, went 0-4 from the field and 0-2 from downtown. Rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope really showed the rust as he went a team worst 1-12, 0-6 from three. Rodney Stuckey, who played a team-high 30 minutes, only managed five points on 1-6 shooting, 0-2 from three.
This could become a serious issue for the Pistons if all three continue to shoot poorly from the field, but don’t expect that to happen. It was only one game, and a preseason game to boot.
It will also help when the Pistons finally implement Italian sharp-shooting forward Luigi Datome into the rotation. Datome sat out of last nights game due to some lingering soreness in his foot and hamstring.
The Pistons’ next preseason game will be at the Palace this Thursday against the defending champion Miami Heat.