The Detroit Pistons might need to re-calibrate their jump shots after shooting 38 percent from the field and 20 percent from the three-point line in a 99-91 loss to the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night.
In a weird game that was filled with lopsided runs for both sides, the determining factor was the Pistons’ inability to knock down outside jumpers against a team that is lights out defensively down low.
Sometimes shots just don’t drop and this was the case. The Pistons missed numerous wide open looks and the Pacers were knocking down everything; a recipe for disaster. The Pacers shot 52 percent from the field and 43 percent from three.
To make matters worse for the Pistons, The Paul George Show made its way into Detroit last night and the team had no answer for his skill set. George, who seems to be blossoming into a bonafide superstar, scored 31 points on 12-18 shooting (4-8 from three) and grabbed ten rebounds. George also displayed his skills on the defensive end by recording a game-high four steals.
George’s matchup with Josh Smith last night hurt the Pistons and George seemed head over heels the better player. Smith once again struggled with his shot and continued to take bad, contested jumpers en route to an ugly 5-16 shooting night and a minus-28 in the plus/minus department.
The Pistons outscored the league’s best interior defense 46-42, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Roy Hibbert dominated the paint defensively, swatting seven shots while pushing Drummond (six points on five shot attempts) off the block all night. Hibbert, West and Co. also kept Greg Monroe in check, who had played at an elite level through the first three games, to 14 points on 5-10 shooting.
A positive on behalf of the Pistons was another strong effort from Kyle Singler. Singler has been the team’s best bench player so far this season and against the Pacers he scored 13 points and rung in a game-high plus-26 in the plus/minus. It’s becoming apparent that Singler is going to be a guy that Maurice Cheeks will rely heavily on off the bench because of his shooting ability and high Krzyzewski-implemented basketball IQ.
Pistons fans also witnessed their first extended look at newcomer Luigi Datome. Gigi played 12 minutes and contributed to the Pistons’ shooting woes going 1-7 from the field and 0-4 from three. Expect better shooting nights ahead for the former Italian League MVP.
The Pistons have a lot of kinks to work out as the season winds on, but last night they showed a lot of grit and resolve against arguably the best team in the league.
I mean I did pick them No. 2 in my preseason NBA Top Ten.
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