In what seemed to be a packed Palace of Auburn Hills, the many fans that came out to support their Pistons (as well as the many Heat fans) were treated to some exciting back and forth basketball.
Detroit scratched a few players from the rotation prior to Thursday’s contest due to injury. Brandon Jennings was held out due to discomfort from a wisdom tooth, Chauncey Billups was given the day off, and Rodney Stuckey had fractured his right thumb. The injury comes as a minor blow to the Pistons, but an unfortunate one to start off the year. Rodney, the projected starting shooting guard come Opening Night, is expected to miss at least six weeks of action.
Now on to the basketball played on Thursday evening at the Palace. The Miami Heat came out of the gates strong taking an 18-11 lead halfway through the first. The Heat’s leading scorer, Chris Bosh, who notched 28 points, helped the Miami to a 23-19 lead after one.
A fun 1-on-1 matchup to watch throughout the game was the pair of sixes, Josh Smith vs. LeBron James. The two were very physical with each other throughout the game, LeBron finished with just nine points in 23 minutes of action. Smith, finished with 12 points and five boards for Detroit.
With Miami, you will always be going up against a roster that will stretch your defense. Throughout the game, you would see lineups like James, Wade, Allen, Rashard, and James Jones, a lineup that gave the Pistons large frontcourt some difficulties. The Heat, behind some lights out shooting beyond the arc, held on to a nine point advantage at the break, 55-46.
Andre Drummond was yet again a huge bright spot for Detroit. “Seargent Zero”-as Mason likes to call him-impressed everyone with his improved confidence at the stripe. Drummond went 5/7 at the line, and seemed extremely calm at the free throw line, unlike last year. Andre finished with a box score of 21 points, 11 boards, and a block in 28 minutes of play. Along with Andre, Greg Monroe helped control the boards as he finished with 13 points and 8 boards.
With a depleted point guard position Thursday night, Mo Cheeks turned his trust to guard Will Bynum, who notched 46 minutes of action in a PRESEASON game, that has to be some sort of record. Bynum finished with 28 points, six assists, and a sloppy seven turnovers.
In what was a back and forth contest all night, the Pistons found themselves trailing 110-107 with 08.7 seconds remaining, when Josh Harrellson jacked up a contested 30 foot jumper. Harrellson nearly banked in the game tying three pointer at the end of regulation, before the ball rimmed out. The Heat would go on to score two at the stripe and the rest was history, as the Heat walk away from this one victors by a score of 112-107.
– Josh Smith: 29 min; 12 PTS; 5 REBS; 2 ASTS; 1 STLS; 1 BLK
– Greg Monroe: 28 min; 13 PTS; 8 REBS; 3 ASTS; 1 BLK
– Andre Drummond: 28 MIN; 21 PTS; 11 REBS; 1 BLK; 1 AST
– Will Bynum: 46 MIN; 28 PTS; 6 ASTS; 4 REBS; 7 TO
– Kyle Singler: 17 MIN; 8 PTS; 3 REBS; 1 AST
– Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: 25 MIN; 9 PTS; 5 REBS; 2 ASTS; 1 BLK
– Charlie Villanueva: 21 MIN; 2 PTS; 4 REBS; 1 BLK
– Jonas Jerebko: 33 MIN; 10 PTS; 12 REBS
– Josh Harrellson: 9 MIN; 4 PTS; 3 REBS; 2 BLKS
– Tony Mitchell: 1 MIN
Detroit faces off against their next opponent on the road, at the Barclay Center against the newly equipped Nets. Game tips off at 7:30 eastern time. The game will NOT be televised, but you can catch the game on NBA League Pass, or listen to it on the radio at 1270 AM (Detroit).
We will have all the coverage of Saturday’s contest between the Pistons and Nets right here at Life On Dumars.