Yikes. While it may not have necessarily been as brutal or embarrassing as their loss last night, the Pistons’ efforts tonight were every bit as ugly. Detroit managed just 72 points, shot a paltry 33.8 percent from the field and connected on just two of their 14 attempts from beyond the arc. Only two Pistons managed to hit half or more of their field goal attempts and, unsurprisingly, Jose Calderon was the only one to make over 50 percent of his shots.
Indiana’s defense was absolutely stifling, even with Roy Hibbert and David West getting foul trouble early. They jumped on the Pistons early, giving up just nine points in the first quarter and 28 in the first half. Detroit’s tank squad — Kim English, Khris Middleton, Slava Kravtsov and Charlie Villanueva, led by Will Bynum — managed a 12-0 run in the second to give the Pistons their only lead of the game, thanks to Bynum’s penetration and some fantastic defense by the rookies, but the Pacers bounced back and returned the lead to double digits by the end of the half.
This was clearly a frustrating game for the Pistons. Villanueva and David West got physical early in the game, with both players being charged with technical fouls within minutes of each other, and Will Bynum was ejected for Batum-ing Tyler Hansbrough in the groin. These ugly confrontations were pretty much a spot-on reflection of the game itself. This was borderline unwatchable, with both teams combining for just 67 points in the first half and ending the game with 34 turnovers between them. Danny Granger missed his first eight shots and finished 1-10 in a fairly lackluster return to action.
Honestly, there’s not much the Pistons can do other than move on from this one. Middleton, English, and Kravtsov should probably get a bit more playing time, and more DNP-CD’s for Jonas Jerebko aren’t exactly welcome, but Detroit never had a chance in this one. They were simply outmatched by a red-hot Pacers team two nights in a row. Hopefully this is the low point of the season for Detroit, especially with Andre Drummond’s return looming in the next couple weeks, because this game made a lot of college games look smooth by comparison. Hell of a way to welcome a new writer to the site, that’s for sure.