On Friday night the Detroit Pistons showed the world that they are truly in the holiday spirit, as they gave away a victory to the Charlotte Bobcats.
Despite scoring 89 points in the first three quarters, Detroit was outscored 41-17 in the fourth quarter. The Pistons allowed the Bobcats to erase a 20-point deficit just one game after a 21-point comeback of their own against the Boston Celtics.
The game began to unravel just as the fourth quarter began. Charlotte scored the first nine points of the quarter with five reserve players on the floor. The Pistons did not lose this game because of one single failure, they managed to collapse in every aspect of the game.
Detroit’s offense was abysmal in the fourth quarter as they made just six shots in 20 attempts. Not only was their shooting horrific but the failed to record an assist in the final 12 minutes of the game. As bad as these numbers are, they are even worse considering in the first three quarters they shot 51% from the field and recorded 18 assists.
The Pistons were awful at controlling the ball throughout the game and managed to turn the ball over 17 times. Within the first four minutes of the fourth quarter Detroit committed three turnovers, two of which were at the fault of Chauncey Billups within a 45 second span.
Free-throw line differences
Charlotte found a way to get to the charity stripe throughout the game. The Bobcats shot close to 90% from the free-throw line, making 25 of 28 attempts. On the other hand, Detroit struggled to get to the line and didn’t experience much success when they did, which isn’t necessarily surprising since they have the lowest free-throw percentage in the league. The Pistons made just 10 of their 17 free-throw attempts (59%), which is worse than their 67% average.
Kemba Walker torched anybody who attempted to matchup with him as he dropped 34 points on the Pistons. Even as good of an on-ball defender as Brandon Jennings is, Walker crossed him up and attacked the basket with ease throughout the game.
The Pistons also had a tough time with Al Jefferson in the fourth quarter. Jefferson scored 15 of his 24 points in the final five minutes of the game.
Josh Harrellson scored all 12 of his points in the second quarter and the Pistons had a +11 rating while Jorts was on the floor. Despite the team’s success while he was on the floor, Harrellson was not a contributor in the second half as he sat on the bench for most of the time.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was essentially invisible on the court. In 22 minutes, KCP only attempted two shots and scored just five points. So far, he has been unable to prove why he is the starting shooting guard for the Pistons.
The Pistons have, once again, blown a huge fourth quarter lead. This team needs to figure out how to close out games when they take a lead into the fourth quarter to even be considered as a contender in the Eastern Conference.
There is one positive thing to take away from Friday’s loss; with 14 points and 15 rebounds, Andre Drummond now leads the Eastern Conference with 20 double-doubles.