Detroit Pistons: Takeaways from the loss to the Spurs

Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons lost last night to the San Antonio Spurs 109-99. It was really a pathetic effort.

Say what you want about the referees being bad and I’ll probably agree with you, but it went both ways. Isaiah Stewart and Jerami Grant both got fouled a few times without whistles. Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV also drew some contact that resulted in a no-calls.

So this loss wasn’t on the referees, it was on poor play.

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Had Grant not left the game due to injury (on a no-call) the Detroit Pistons still would have lost.

The Spurs played in such a way that the Detroit Pistons should be embarrassed but also learn from their mistakes.

There were some positives but most of the takeaways from this game were things the Pistons need to improve.

Detroit Pistons: Turnovers and Mason Plumlee

The Pistons caused 20 turnovers, and only committed seven, so that is very positive. They were able to stop the Spurs’ offense on the fast breaks, at least in the paint. Most of the issues came in the half court.

Mason Plumlee’s stat line was not awful. He had nine points and 12 rebounds but it was how he played defensively. Jakob Poeltl scored 14 on him on 6-of-8 shooting, and also had four blocks. Plumlee had two.

Detroit Pistons: Team defense was a problem

My main issue is with how poorly the Pistons played team defense. Dejounte Murray was San Antonio’s leading scorer, which was expected with DeMar DeRozan out. The problem was how he scored his points.

Throughout the game, mostly in the first half, Murray would get past his defender with a power dribble and then pull up from 15-18 feet away, and that’s a shot he hits almost every time. And once he got open, instead of moving to contest the shot, the Pistons’ bigs would box out. I’m all for rebounding, but I’d rather defend the open man. Despite this strategy, the Pistons still lost the rebounding game.

Lonnie Walker IV scored most of his 11 points in a similar fashion. If the Pistons are going to sell out defensively to get rebounds then they have to actually get them.

The Detroit Pistons need more defensive help down low

On defense, Grant and Bey played well when they helped Plumlee in the paint. This didn’t happen often, but if the Detroit Pistons can add a defensive-minded power forward or center in the offseason, this problem will be short lived.

There isn’t much more to say. The Detroit Pistons lost the game badly and have some things to take away from it. The Spurs just got blown out by the Sixers and were hungrier and more aggressive than the Pistons, who can and will play better.

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