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Pistons’ Thon Maker explains how to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Thon Maker knows a thing or two about Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The former Bucks forward was traded to the Pistons in February in a 3-team deal that saw Stanley Johnson sent to New Orleans and Nikola Mirotic to the Bucks. Naturally, it will be a new experience for the 7’1, 221 lb Maker facing his former teammate in a playoff series.

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“It’s not a one-man effort, you got to have the whole team locked in,” Maker said. “He commands a lot. He sees the double-team, picks that apart. He’s a high IQ player, so you’re not going over there thinking you’re going to guard him one-on-one, and strategically, you got to know what you got to do as a team.”

Assistant coach Sean Sweeney, now with Detroit, was a former assistant with Milwaukee. Maker recalled the practices that he’d be matched up against Antetokounmpo.

“Sweeney tried to make us kill each other,” Maker said. “Most every time it was on reads, off of jabs, a little bit in transition, but most of the times it was a stationary-type thing. Either I deny you get a catch, or you deny I get a catch.

“I’ll be on him, but it’s a team effort. You can’t let your egos get the best of you and say, ‘I know how to do it, I’m going to take him.’ You got to be smart with it. Coaching staff watch millions of clips. They know tendencies. You got to take advice from them and teammates as well, who’ve been through guarding him.”

The Bucks swept the Pistons in all four games they played in the regular season. According to head coach Dwane Casey, limiting turnovers against the Bucks would go a long way in reversing those fortunes.

“Huge,” coach Dwane Casey said. “That was our bugaboo in the four games. They’re 1.31 (points) in converting off turnovers. If you turn it over, it’s almost guaranteed a point, point-and-a-half in transition, so taking care of the ball is huge.”

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I'm originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan but grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. I've been a lifelong Red Wings fan as well as other Detroit sports; hockey has always been #1. I'm currently pursuing a journalism degree at Eastern Michigan University.

Detroit Pistons News

Did Blake Griffin just tip us off that he is playing in Game 3 vs. Bucks?

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The Detroit Pistons (and their fans) are hoping Blake Griffin is able to suit up and play in Game 3 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Well, Griffin went through his warmups and when he was finished, he does something he always does before he plays in a game and it may be a tip-off to whether or not he is playing tonight.

Following the warmup, Blake made a full out sprint to the Pistons’ locker room.

We will have to wait a bit longer to know Blake’s official status as he is listed as a game-time decision, but this sure seems like a pretty good sign.

 

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Detroit Pistons News

BREAKING: Pistons’ forward Blake Griffin’s Game 2 status revealed

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In Game 1, the Detroit Pistons were without their best player Blake Griffin and they were blown out by the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Well, if the Pistons want to steal a game in Milwaukee before heading back to Detroit, they will have to do so without Griffin as he has been ruled OUT for Wednesday night’s game.

Nation, do the Pistons even stand a chance tonight? What is your score prediction?

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Detroit Pistons News

Casey: Griffin trying to convince medical staff he can play

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The report that Detroit Pistons fans were dreading came out this morning – star forward Blake Griffin is likely to miss the entire first round of the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks. Of course, that comes on the heels of a Game 1 blowout loss to the Bucks in which the team was thoroughly embarrassed in nearly every facet.

Despite this, according to Pistons writer Keith Langlois, Griffin still wants to be out on the floor despite a nagging knee injury.

“If it was my decision, I would’ve played,” Griffin told ESPN after Game 1.

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Things went from bad to worse for the Detroit Pistons.

Already overwhelmed by the relentless attack of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe, center Andre Drummond took out his frustration on Giannis Antetokounmpo, shoving the Greek Freak to the floor as he was going for a layup.

Drummond was hit with a flagrant-2 foul and thrown from the game. Additionally, the inactive Blake Griffin was given a technical for arguing the call.

Pistons beat writer Rod Beard had this observation:

Ouch.

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It was an ugly scene at Little Caesars Arena during the first half of Tuesday night’s game between the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies. The fact that Memphis was missing eight regulars from their lineup didn’t stop the players on the floor from building a staggering 22 point lead over Detroit, leading to a chorus of boos from the fans in attendance.

However, the Pistons were able to mount a comeback for a dramatic 100-93 victory to inch closer to the Eastern Conference’s playoff spot. Pistons center Andre Drummond had himself a good second half, with a renewed effort on the defensive end.

“I made a decision to start trapping in the second half,” Drummond explained. “I told (assistant) coach Sweeney – ‘I think we need to blitz them and make them speed up the game a little…..we made them play our game, we made them pick the pace up and they weren’t ready for it.”

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