Detroit Pistons start hot, lose steam in loss to Portland Trailblazers
The Detroit Pistons lost to the Portland Trailblazers 110-101 in a game that was a tale of who halves.
Big man Jalen Duren, who was nominated for Eastern Conference player of the week, missed the game due to an ankle injury. Marvin Bagley started in his place opening with eighth points in the first quarter. But much like the game he lost steam after the first half. Bagley finished with ten points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Pistons put on a dunk show in the second quarter with both Ausar Thompson and Cade Cunningham getting highlights. But the second half of the game was a completely different story.
Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with thirty points, five rebounds and four assists. But had six turnovers to continue an early season trend as he gets acclimated to NBA speed after missing all but 12 games last season.
“I didn’t think we had the same juice in the second half,” Monty Williams said. “I think playing guys too many minutes caught up to them.”
The Pistons had to change up the lineups just before the game accommodate Jalen Duren and surprise scratch Alec Burks who missed the game. This meant more minutes for everyone including two-way player Stanley Umude, just to paint the picture of the type of night it’s been.
But the Pistons didn’t use the excuse of fouls discrepancy, in which they were whistled for thirty-one fouls to the Trailblazers fifteen. And they didn’t use injuries as a reason to justify the loss.
“I got relaxed on defense and I have to be better,” rookie Ausar Thompson said during post game press conference.
“A shift in energy and boxing out,” Thompson continued. “We got a little stagnant and got a little rushed as they were coming back. We have to keep playing solid basketball.”
The awareness of mistakes that cost them the game and a greater need for attention to detail was encouraging.
Ausar Thompson showed a maturity that will be needed for Pistons to bounce back. “I got a turnover when three guys were on me, which means somebody’s open.”
Jalen Duren was MISSED
Jalen Duren has upped his stats from last season with averages of 15.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists sand 2 blocks per game. And has helped the team out rebound their opponents each game of the season, but tonight they needed him badly.
Without Duren in the lineup the Pistons were out rebounded forty-four to thirty-eight and ended with only four blocks the entire game. The Trailblazers continued to attack the paint and collecting free throw attempts with the big man out. The Trailblazers shot thirty-three free throws to the Pistons eleven which was a big factor for the visitors.
Killian Hayes finished the game 0-6 from the field with one assists in nearly twenty six minutes. He was outplayed by rookie point guard Marcus Sasser who scored eight to go with six assists. Hayes who’s usually acknowledged for his defense and playmaking has seemed to regress every game this season. And that culminated in tonight’s poor performance. Which the team can’t sustain if they wish to have a chance at the NBA’s Play-In tournament.