If there’s anything to take away from the Pistons’ 109-101 loss to the Suns tonight, it’s this: the Pistons’ defense still needs work. Their defense wasn’t great against the Kings, but Detroit shot so well, it won, anyway. Tonight, their defense cost them.
The Suns aren’t especially strong defensively (20th in the NBA), but the difference between their defense and Detroit’s was clear. Down the stretch, Phoenix funneled Pistons into perfectly rotating helped and forced stops when it needed them most.
It’s been great watching the Pistons’ offensive progress – especially in the backcourt, where Rodney Stuckey (23 points and eight assists) and Brandon Knight (17 points and six assists) took steps forward tonight. But Detroit’s defense, although it’s improved too, has lagged behind in the progress department.
I don’t say this to admonish the Pistons – it’s great that even one side of the ball is beginning to look decent after a dreadful 4-20 start – but just to point out what else must come before they win games like this one.