The Detroit Pistons fell apart in the fourth quarter, and then in overtime as well, as they lost to the Atlanta Hawks, 123-115.
Here are three quick takes on the Detroit Pistons game with the Atlanta Hawks:
Wayne Ellington is a veteran and knows the ways of the NBA.
When Killian Hayes got hurt , Josh Jackson got injured, and then struggled upon his return, Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey dusted off the 33-year-old. He had not played in five of their first six games, and Casey inserted him into the starting lineup.
Wayne Ellington has been marvelous since becoming a starter. He is shooting from ‘3’ at a 46% clip and gives the starting lineup a solid contributor. He had 16 points, which was only third best on the team (Grant 32, Griffin 17) but his shooting sparked the team.
It was like seeing the old-timer make those shots inspired the rest of them.
Ellington had three three-pointers in the first period and hit another three early in the third quarter. The starting unit fed off his success and dominated the Hawks during that period.
2. Just shut off the TV with 4 minutes left in Detroit Pistons games, and you will think they are the Lakers
What can you say? If NBA games were 44 minutes, the Pistons would be a lock for the playoffs. Atlanta was shorthanded, not having Cam Reddish, DeAndre Hunter and Danilo Gallineri and others.
With Trae Young having an awful shooting night, the Pistons seemed like a lock to win. With seven and a half minutes left in the game, Detroit held a 15-point lead. They still were ahead by five points with ONE MINUTE remaining, but, per usual, allowed the Hawks to tie.
To add some more torture for Pistons fans, they were up by five in the overtime period only to be outscored, 17-4, in the next four minutes.
Detroit simply does not have a defense that can lock down when needed. Also Jerami Grant has been fantastic, but he had a shot blocked by Clint Capela at the end of regulation that would have won the game. As he is new to the go-to player role, Grant will learn.
The Pistons scored 14 points total in the fourth quarter. That is not going to win you anything 99-percent of the time in the NBA.
3. Detroit Pistons’ three-headed center not scaring anyone
They say in football, that if you have two quarterbacks, you have none. In basketball, if you are not sure who to play among three centers, none are probably that great.
The Hawks were so short on players, their first player off the bench was Tony Snell (who went scoreless).
Detroit would have blown Atlanta out, and made the fourth quarter not matter, except that the Hawks two post players simply proved unstoppable. Center Clint Capela had Shaq-like numbers (27 points and 26 rebounds) and power forward John Collins also had a monster game, with 31 points and 11 rebounds.
Remember that the Pistons are suppose to be the team with all the bigs and too many centers? Well, Atlanta outrebounded them by a 63-42 margin.
Mason Plumlee does a lot of things well, but 1-on-1 defense is not one of them. He was unable to stop Capela and was a minus-16.
Isaiah Stewart played more like ‘Beef Wellington’, as he got roasted, than ‘Beef Stew’ as he had three fouls in eight minutes in the first half. Jahlil Okafor came in and, compared to the other two, did the best job of the three. When Okafor is your defensive ace, there is a problem.
It was another game in which the Pistons were able to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.