The Detroit Pistons were coming off a lackluster effort game against the Orlando Magic and traveled to Atlanta to face the Hawks in their 2nd to last preseason game. The Pistons had a nice rally to win the game 104-100. Let’s look at how they did in the three categories I highlighted.
1.) Brandon Jennings‘ play
Jennings played fairly well tonight. Coming into tonight Jennings was shooting 11/44 through five preseason games, taking bad shots and just playing plain old bad. Tonight, Jennings scored 16 points on 5/13 shooting including 4/6 from deep and dished out 11 assists. He actually made good decisions and his play was controlled tonight and he distributed the ball evenly. Tonight was the epitome of what I want Jennings doing, just to play within himself and to lead a team.
2.) 4th quarter execution
The Pistons trailed by 13 points in the 4th quarter and Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy called a timeout and let his team know he wasn’t happy. Then Jonas Jerebko had an And-1, Andre Drummond had a dunk, Jennings knocked down back-to-back 3’s, Drummond had an And-1, and Greg Monroe followed with a layup to conclude a 22-5 run and game a 101-95 lead with 2:30 left in the 4th. Then D.J. Augustin knocked down a jumper to take a 104-100 lead with 32 seconds left. Drummond would miss some free throws down the stretch, but the defense held up and the Pistons won 104-100. The rally was great, a lot of fight and perfect execution down the stretch to win a game. It was definitely great to see especially after last night’s poor execution in the 4th against Orlando.
3.) The jumbo frontline
Van Gundy went with Josh Smith and Drummond in down low and Detroit led through the first quarter with that tandem. Smith had a bounce back game with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists and a few solid defensive plays. Drummond was a complete monster with 19 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocks. Monroe came off the bench and added 11 points and eight rebounds and both the Drummond and Monroe and Drummond and Smith combos looked good tonight. With all three on the floor, there were a few issues, but it wasn’t too bad like against Orlando. I think after six preseason games, the Drummond and Monroe combo is the way to go. However, there’s still one game left against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.