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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Detroit Pistons pull the ultimate tank move in loss to Pelicans

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Ky Carlin
Detroit Pistons and Michigan Wolverines basketball beat writer along with being the host of the radio show "Gettin Buckets". Basketball fanatic who spends most of my spare time looking at stats and watching YouTube highlights. Follow me on twitter @gettinbuckets91.

So there they were, the Detroit Pistons down 103-101 with 1.9 seconds left and two timeouts. A timeout would’ve advanced the ball into the front court and the Pistons would’ve had a real chance at going for the tie or the win with a triple.

Instead, no timeout was called, Brandon Jennings fired up a prayer from half court that fell short and the Pistons lost 103-101 to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Why wasn’t the timeout called? Head coach Maurice Cheeks was trying to call a timeout, but he was on the other side of the court and the referees couldn’t hear or see him. Why didn’t Jennings or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope call a timeout? Did Cheeks not go over the timeout situation with his young guards?

The Pistons went on a 30-4 run in the third quarter and still lost. How does that happen? In that third quarter, Jennings was electric, Andre Drummond dominated Anthony Davis, and the Pistons actually played defense. No really, they played defense! I was surprised too.

In the fourth, as it always happens, the Pistons blew it. They left Anthony Morrow open for 3’s, they let Austin Rivers get easy buckets, and they even let Alexis Ajinca score some buckets. Only die hard basketball junkies like myself know who Alexis Ajinca is.

The Pistons still had a shot to win after Josh Smith banked in a put back to tie the game 101 with 19 seconds left before Eric Gordon’s drive it the rim for the game winner. Another thing, after Gordon drove past Caldwell-Pope, where was the rim protection? Where was it? It wasn’t there and Gordon had an easy layup. The Pistons have led after the third quarter 23 times this season and have lost seven times. Seven times! That’s unacceptable.

It was the ultimate tank move in my eyes. It looked the Pistons have given up and wanted to lose. Up 16 in the third, up eight with 8:10 left in the fourth, and they still found a way to lose. Well, it might be better to tank anyway. The team isn’t as good as we expected and the Smith/Greg Monroe/Drummond experiment isn’t working. The Pistons’ draft pick is only top 8 protected due to the infamous Ben Gordon trade to the Charlotte Bobcats.

If they make the playoffs, they’ll get destroyed by much better teams like Miami or Indiana, and then they’ll have no draft pick. They’ll have plenty of cap room after Rodney Stuckey’s and Charlie Villanueva’s contracts come off the books, but who will come here?

The only positive on tonight was Drummond’s terrific game of 21 points and 20 rebounds. It was the first 20-20 game by a Piston since Antonio McDyess in 2009 against the New York Knicks.

-Ky Carlin

Twitter: @Ky_Carlin/@gettinbuckets91

@detsportsnation

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