Despite extended stretches of poor shooting and wasted possessions, the Detroit Pistons were still able to hang around with the East-leading Atlanta Hawks Monday afternoon. However, the Pistons’ ineffectiveness would catch up with them late, as the Hawks extended a four-point lead to ten down the stretch, handing the Pistons a 93-82 loss.
The Pistons shot just 35.4 percent from the field and committed an unusually high 18 turnovers. Still, they had their opportunities, as the Hawks’ own struggles kept Detroit within striking distance throughout.
The first quarter of play evoked memories of the grinding, offensively deficient days of the early 00’s Pistons, as the Hawks led just 16-12 after the first twelve minutes. Pace and execution would pick up as the game moved forth but neither team seemed particularly capable of putting all the pieces together.
A byproduct of the dismal offensive production was a high volume of available rebounds. Pistons center Andre Drummond took advantage by grabbing 11 boards in the first quarter and finishing with 13 points and 18 rebounds on the day. Greg Monroe, meanwhile, bested his teammate on both fronts, scoring a team-high 16 points and grabbing a game-high 20 rebounds.
On the other side of the coin, Drummond struggled mightily from the free throw line, hitting just 3-12 attempts and allowing the Hawks to keep the Pistons at arm’s length during most of the second half. Atlanta briefly utilized the Hack-a-Drummond in the 3rd quarter, intentionally fouling the big man as a means of yielding a high volume of free throw misses. Drummond hit just 2-10 free throws in the period and sat the entire fourth quarter.
Paul Millsap and Mike Scott both scored 20 for the Hawks.
Key Notes & Observations
- The Pistons outrebounded the Atlanta Hawks by an astounding 61-42 margin. Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe combined for 38 rebounds, just four short of the entire Hawks roster.
- The Pistons began the game shooting just 1-11 from the floor. They also made just 2 of their first 18 three-point attempts. They’d finish 9-35 from deep.
- After hoisting a career-high 16 triple attempts in their last matchup, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope attempted 9 this afternoon. He hit two and finished 4-15 altogether.
Next Game: Wednesday, Jan. 19; Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic; 7:30 p.m., FSD