Unable to establish its first winning streak in over a month, the Spurs were blown off the floor by a hot-shooting Pistons team while failing to find much offense themselves outside of DeMar DeRozan (20 points and 4 rebounds). Christian Wood (28 points and 10 rebounds) and Luke Kennard (20 points and 4 rebounds) paced a balanced Pistons effort with their bench outscoring their starters 75-57.
- “We are putting ourselves in position to win. We just have to get though in the game and execution in the fourth quarter and down the stretch.” If you were wondering whether that quote was attributed to the Spurs, given the recent spate of losses, it wasn’t. Pistons coach Dwane Casey made the statement after Detroit’s loss on Friday evening.
- LaMarcus Aldridge missed the game with right thigh soreness, and Rudy Gay got the start in his place.
- Can you remember a PATFO-era season where San Antonio has been down by double digits this many times?
- Derrick White hit on his first catch-and-shoot three, just as Jesus Gomez drew it up. He used the threat of that improved shot a few minutes later to get his defender in the air, drove, and found Jakob Poelt for a layup.
- According to Jeff McDonald of the Express News, Poeltl blocked the most shots in the Western Conference in the last six games. McDonald coined the nickname “Sultan of Swat” for Jakob. Are we sure there isn’t a better one than that “Jak’s Jams” or “Poeltl’s Plugs?”
- 50/50 balls - It only “seems” like San Antonio always comes up on the short end of those opportunities. These lost chances do often result in the other team scoring. Andre Drummond snatched an offensive rebound among several Spurs and kicked it out to an open Kennard for an open three in the first. Early in the third, Drummond wrestled another one away from the Spurs bigs and the second chance led to a Tony Snell floater.
- The Pistons announcer referred to Lonnie Walker IV as “the man with all the hair up high.” Walker IV fended off a Griffin handcheck to convert a pretty floater in the lane and showed flashes of lead guard ability on drive-after-drive. Drew Eubanks also made the most of his extended minutes with a near double-double.
- Little Caesars Arena is one of the quietest buildings in the league. I think the only other ones as quiet as this one are Charlotte’s Spectrum Center and New Orleans’ Smoothie King Arena.
- The Dejounte Murray experience encapsulated: After a corner three swish, Murray harrassed Derrick Rose into a steal — only to be stripped at the other end by Drummond. Murray then left his next three-pointer several feet short. Maximum effort with potential that needs consistency and repetitions.
- For the remnant of Marco Belinelli supporters, the threat of his shooting allowed him to find a cutting Eubanks for a dunking and-1 early in the second quarter.
- If the Pistons can have an alternate jersey with tire stripes befitting of the “Motor City,’ why can’t the Spurs have fiesta jerseys?
- Did the Spurs start slow again? YES. Kennard had almost as many points as the Spurs halfway through the first. DeRozan scored from all over the floor to keep things close, despite two travels and a hideous airball by his teammates. Detroit left the stanza ahead 32-27. In the second stanza, the Pistons’ bench showed a much higher effort level that led to a 30-13 disparity. Wood jammed two dunks in close quarters and nailed a contested three. San Antonio, behind a late 12-5 run, ended a surprisingly listless first half down only 51-59.
- Detroit came out with better execution in the third and pushed the lead out to double digits again, while the Spurs failed to counter — particularly from distance (6 for 24 for the game). Several unheralded players, including Svi Mykhailiuk, Langston Galloway, and Wood, led a parade of Pistons down the lane for easy baskets and San Antonio left the third down 25.
- The fourth quarter brought forth extensive garbage time for both teams, and several Spurs benefited from the game experience.
For the Pistons fans’ perspective, visit Detroit Bad Boys.