In their first preseason game of the 2012-13 season, the Pistons edged past the Raptors after rookie big man Andre Drummond tipped in a Will Bynum miss with 35 seconds left. That put Detroit up 100-99 and Charlie Villanueva finished it off with a free throw for a 101-99 final.
Some other notes from the game:
- For a 19-year old playing in his first real NBA game, Andre Drummond didn’t look nervous at all. He shot 6-of-8 for 12 points (mostly close-range shots and dunks), with seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Perhaps more importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over and had just three fouls in 23 minutes. Greg Monroe and Jason Maxiell made up the starting frontcourt, and Slava Kravtsov didn’t play, so that part of the rotation is still in flux; regardless, Drummond showed that he can really play when put in the right situation.
- The defense still needs work. Yes, it’s early in the preseason, but allowing a team like Toronto to shoot 47% from the field – 42% from beyond the three-point line – and score 99 points is signs of lax defense. The big men forced Andrea Bargnani into 4-of-11 shooting, only allowing him to shoot outside three times. The Pistons did block five shots, collect eight steals, and allow just seven offensive rebounds, though, so they were active on the defensive end at least.
- Much-maligned backup guard Will Bynum showed that last year might just have been a fluke. Of his seven assists, he set up Drummond and Corey Maggette for three alley-oops and showed he can handle the point guard duties. It’s still early, but it’s worth noting that training camp invitees Jonny Flynn and Terrence Williams – both battling for back-up guard honors – didn’t play.
- The scoring was distributed evenly, with six players in double figures, but so was the team’s horrible shooting from three-point range. Toronto made 11-of-26 three-pointers; the Pistons didn’t hit a single one, being outscored 33-0 from the long line. Charlie Villanueva missed all five of his attempts, concluding another abysmal game’s shooting in a Detroit jersey. Rookies Kim English and Khris Middleton, both solid shooters, didn’t play, however.
- Greg Monroe looks ready to continue his growth as the Pistons’ franchise player. He scored 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds (five offensive and five defensive) and dished out two assists. He played just 25 minutes, definitely fewer than he will in the regular season, so his production should go up even more once the preseason ends. He and Drummond accounted for 17 of the team’s 33 rebounds, a good sign for a team that ranked near the bottom in terms of total rebounds per game last year.
The Pistons and Raptors will face off again tomorrow; how will that game compare? Check back at Life On Dumars for more!