It was superstar Wednesday at Little Caesars Arena as we saw an exciting scoring battle between the Detroit Pistons
Cade Cunningham and the Atlanta Hawks Trae Young.
finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Young tallied 30 points. Performances like these are why the NBA promotes its stars over its teams. It was a fun watch. But the game, a 118-113 Pistons loss, is a reminder that this team is going nowhere until defense becomes a priority.
Why the Pistons Lost
The Pistons (1-4) lost this game because the Hawks got a pair of fast break buckets after the Pistons scored. They lost because they could not stop Clint Capela from tapping long rebounds to teammates for second chance baskets, including one to John Collins with under a minute remaining to put the game out of reach.
Detroit lost because the Hawks were able to put more defensive pressure on Cunningham in the second half. He only scored four of his 26 points in the second half.
“If we had gotten more stops and rebounded, we would have been OK,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said this is the most talented team he’s been a part of. He’s probably right because the second-year guard has a small sample size of playing upper-level basketball. Certainly, any professional team is better than any he played on at Oklahoma State or in high school.
What Detroit lacks is grit and toughness. They could not survive a slew of three-point shots down the stretch by Bojan Bogdanovic, who finished with 33 points.
He did enough to win this game. The Pistons defense did enough to lose it. If you are counting that’s the Pistons fourth loss in a row.
The Pistons are yielding 118 points a game, which ranks 26th in the NBA.
I’m trying to figure out who plays the worst defense in Detroit? Is it the Detroit Lions? Or the Detroit Pistons? Flip a coin gang.
Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports