Teague, Hawks beat Pistons to knock them down to 8th in East

Oct 23, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (3) makes a dunk over Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Muscala (31) during the third quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons win 115-87. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (3) makes a dunk over Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Muscala (31) during the third quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons win 115-87. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pistons started slow again and by the time the Pistons mounted a comeback, there just wasn’t enough clock left to retake the game.

64. Final. 107. 125. 100

It was an ugly game for Detroit. They were competitive for the first quarter but spotted the Hawks a huge lead in the second and didn’t really start chipping away at it until well into the fourth quarter. By then, there just wasn’t enough time left. Jeff Teague was the best player in the game, but almost all the Hawks had at least good nights. The final score says that Atlanta won by seven, but this was one of those games that wasn’t really that close. Atlanta sewed it up long before the final buzzer and then they just let off the gas when there wasn’t enough time left for the Pistons to mount a real comeback.

D-. Jackson took a lot of bad shots. It was surprising to look at the box score and see that he’d made so many. But the real knock on him was his defense. He couldn’t stay in front of Teague at all. And whenever he had a possession here or there guarding Schroeder, he did no better. Teague was having a bit of a down year, but Jackson helped him have his best game of the season.. PG. Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON

C-. Caldwell-Pope defended well whether his mark was Bazemore, Korver, or Sefalosha. Given all the havoc Teague was wreaking, I have no idea why Van Gundy didn’t put KCP on him. Kentavious continues to struggle with his shot.. SG. Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

B+. Morris played really well. He was actually making things happen, going to the basket repeatedly, nailing tough shots to bail out the end of a bad offensive possession, and stretching the floor. I couldn’t ask for much more from him. Although I’m not giving him much credit for that final buzzer-beating three that had no impact on the game.. SF. Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS

D+. Ilyasova’s shooting was dreadful. Those misses weren’t tough shots. They were wide open looks that the Pistons fought hard to create. And Ersan totally botched them. But the redeeming factors of his game were that he managed to avoid getting killed by Millsap–who had a merely average game–and that he was a beast on the offensive glass, especially early. Ilyasova only came up with two offensive rebounds, but he batted one each to Morris, Jackson, and Drummond, and knocked three more out of bounds off of various Hawks.. PF. Pistons. ERSAN ILYASOVA

B. Apart from the free throw line (where he still played up to his own standards), Drummond had a great game on paper. But his help defense was horrible. He rarely did much but swipe at the ball as guards drove right by him. That doesn’t cut it. On the other hand, Drummond did a better job on offense of hitting open shooters when double-teamed than I’ve ever seen him do before. Also, as bad as Drummond’s free throw shooting is, the Pistons offense completely dried up late in the second quarter when he was off the floor. They would have been better off just letting the Hawks keep fouling Drummond and getting three-quarters of a point per possession or whatever.. C. Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND

B. Stanley Johnson plays with a ton of energy. That allows him to be a bit of a spark plug off the bench, but it would be great if he could at least learn to control himself when teammates pass him the ball in the corner. Every time that happens, I really hope he shoots. Not because he converts those shots at that high a rate, but because when he fakes the shot and then drives to the basket instead, it seems like he travels or steps on the line half of the time.. SF. Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON

ARON BAYNES. D-. A major reason that Van Gundy targeted Baynes this past summer (according to his interview with Zach Lowe) was Baynes’ excellent free throw shooting, especially for such a big man. Over his career, he had shot 85% at the line (87% for the past two seasons). This year, he is at 67%. That’s not a terrible rate for a center, but it eliminates the primary advantage he has over Joel Anthony.. C. Pistons

Inc. Hilliard missed his one shot. I missed that he was in the game until the announcer mentioned whose shot had just failed to drop. He and I also had about the same amount of impact on the outcoe of this game.. SG. Pistons. DARRUN HILLIARD II

Pistons. ANTHONY TOLLIVER. B. Tolliver’s defense was subpar, but I liked his play out there in this game. He was particularly doing a good job of making the extra pass to give up his open shot for an even more open shot by a teammate.. PF

F. I have often been hard on Blake this season, but he’s actually been on a roll lately, shooting lights out in his past nine games (24 of 44 overall, 16 of 27 from deep!). Not tonight. He returned to his old, pre-December ways of bad shooting and terrible defense. His defense of the opposing point guards was worse than Jackson’s, which normally shouldn’t be a surprise at all; but, given how flat-footed Reggie was tonight, that’s saying something.. PG. Pistons. STEVE BLAKE

D-. This section appears to be my go to spot to complain about lineup decisions. I won’t buck tradition tonight.<p>Stan Van Gundy chose the absolute worst way to deal with the Hawks’ hack-a-Dre strategy. He let it go on for a few possessions to completely knock the Pistons out of their rhythm, then he had his players intentionally foul back in order to give himself a chance to remove Drummond. And he compounded that by not having Drummond on the court to open the second quarter.</p><p>The Hawks went to hack-a Dre ridiculously early. They began less than 10 minutes into the game. When opponents do that, you just have to ride it out. If you pull Drummond, that signals to all future opponents that they can get him out of the game whenever they want. If the Hawks want to begin doing it that early, let them, they’ll drive themselves into all sorts of foul trouble. Besides, if Drummond gets sent to the line 30+ times, that’s yet another strong message to the NBA that they’ve got to look into rule changes. If you pull Drummond out of the game, there’s no reason to challenge the rule. Besides, factoring in the occasional offensive rebound, Drummond going to the line is still a bad offensive possession, but not a terrible one.</p><p>But if you do decide to pull Drummond, call a timeout or wait for a dead ball. Intentionally fouling back just risks taking on your own foul trouble and puts you nearer the penalty. But the most important bit is that if you’re pulling Drummond due to hacking, you need to get as many hack-free minutes as possible. And those come by putting him in at the start of every quarter when the other team won’t hack because they’re not yet in the penalty (or if they do want to hack to put themselves in the penalty, let them and then pull him and enjoy all non-shooting fouls yielding free throws for the rest of the period).</p>. Head Coach. Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY