Detroit headed to Brooklyn to face the new look Nets at the Barclay Center for the first time this season Saturday night. The Nets showed off their new look front line featuring former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. In what was a competitive game for the most part, it was fun to see how well the Pistons new look front line would play against the Nets.
Josh Smith logged 29 minutes, Greg Monroe 26, and Andre Drummond played only 18 for the men in red, white, and blue. Deron Williams, again, sat out for the Nets in Brooklyn, as Shaun Livingston started in his place against Detroit. Livingston again played the most minutes amongst Net starters, tying Joe Johnson for the most minutes played on the Brooklyn side of things. Garnett only played 11, while Paul Pierce played a total of 13 minutes.
Andray Blatche started off well for the Nets, as they fought from behind for most of the game. Blatche led the Nets in scoring on Saturday, putting up 15 points in 18 minutes.
For Detroit, Andre Drummond continued his impressive preseason with his relentless attack on the boards, cleaning up multiple missed shots for easy put-backs. Drummond played only 18 minutes for Detroit, least among the starters, scoring 15 points, grabbing 6 boards, and had 3 steals as well. Andre also continued his hot start at the free throw line this preseason, connecting on all three of his attempts tonight. He is 9/12 throughout the duration of the preseason, up from his 37% shooting last year.
Another Detroit big man that played well tonight was rookie Tony Mitchell, who posted his first career double-double. Mitchell finished with 10 points, 10 boards, and a block. Tony lead the Piston reserves in minutes played, logging 25 for the rook, as he finally looked comfortable going up against NBA caliber bigs.
Peyton Siva made his Pistons debut on Saturday, playing as Will Bynum’s backup as Brandon Jennings (wisdom tooth) and Chauncey Billups (rest) sat out against Brooklyn. Siva played a total of 14 minutes, scoring 8 points, and dishing out 2 assists. Will Bynum had yet another impressive outing, playing only 25 minutes for Detroit (46 minutes played on Thursday), scoring just 6 points, but dished out a game high 11 assists for Detroit. Several of Bynum’s assists where to his favorite target Andre Drummond, where the two connected on several highlight reel jams.
Greg Monroe struggled again for Detroit, shooting 4/12 from the field for the Pistons, finishing with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 turnovers. Greg will try to get back on track Wednesday, as the Pistons head to the Windy City to face off against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.
Even though Brandon Jennings sat Saturday, the Pistons other major free agent addition, Josh Smith did play. Smith played 29 minutes for Detroit, like Greg Monroe, he also struggled to score against the Net frontline. Smith shot 3/7 from the field, missing both of his attempts from beyond the arc. J-Smoove had 9 points 2, blocks, 2 steals, and 2 assists, but was also extremely sloppy with the ball tailing 5 turnovers.
Both teams pulled their starters in the fourth quarter where the Pistons opened up the final quarter of play with a 74-71 lead. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did not make any friends in Brooklyn, as he played his tenacious scrappy defense against the smaller Net guards. KCP got a little too aggressive when he took out guard Marco Jaric on the fastbreak resulting in a flagrant-1 foul for the rookie. KCP also had some good stretches offensively throughout the fourth for the Pistons.
Caldwell-Pope had a driving and-1 in the middle of the lane, while coming back on defense, forcing the steal, and finishing at the other end with a tomahawk slam, drawing the “oooh’s” and “aww’s” from the fans at the Barclay Center.
Detroit would go on to finish off the Nets, 99-88. Improving their preseason record to (2-1).
– Josh Smith: 29 MIN; 9 PTS; 2, BLKS; 2 STLS; 2 ASTS; 1 REB
– Greg Monroe: 12 PTS; 6 REBS; 2 ASTS
– Andre Drummond: 15 PTS; 6 REBS; 3 STLS; 1 BLK
– Kyle Singler: 31 MINS; 11 PTS; 2 REBS
– Will Bynum: 25 MIN; 6 PTS; 11 ASTS
– Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: 23 MIN; 12 PTS; 7 REBS
– Peyton Siva: 14 MIN; 8 PTS; 2 ASTS; 4 TO
– Charlie Villanueva: 15 MIN; 7 PTS; 2 BLKS; 1 REB
– Jonas Jerebko: 19 MIN; 6 PTS; 3 REBS
– Tony Mitchell: 25 MIN; 10 PTS; 10 REBS
– Josh Harrellson: 7 MIN; 3 PTS; 2 REBS
The Pistons head to Chicago on Wednesday, to face off against their Division rivals, the Chicago Bulls at 8:00 eastern time. The Pistons will get their first look at the new and improved Derrick Rose, if he does indeed play Wednesday (sat out Saturday against Wizards due to Knee soreness).
Make sure to check back here for the Game Preview later this week!