Pistons news: Grimes' big 4th, Cade is livid, "worst call of the season"

Feb 26, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) argues with referee
Feb 26, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) argues with referee / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight game, the Detroit Pistons lost on a last-second shot with plenty of controversy.  

Against the Magic, it was a possible travel for Paolo Banchero that the refs eventually ruled legal and a questionable foul call on Jalen Duren that they ignored. Fine. 

Last night wasn’t controversial at all, as the refs straight up got it wrong, which they admitted after the game.

"Upon postgame review, we determined that Thompson gets to the ball first, and then was deprived of the opportunity to gain possession of the ball. Therefore, a loose ball foul should have been whistled on New York’s Donte DiVincenzo."

Crew Chief James Williams

After Jalen Brunson mauled Simone Fontecchio for a strip (no call) Ausar Thompson got a steal only to be tackled at the knees by Donte DiVincenzo in a foul so egregious that everyone in Madison Square Garden could see it. Well, except the refs who inexplicably kept their whistles in their pockets. 

It’s hard enough for a young and bad team to get a win in the NBA without also having to fight the officials. 

Monty Williams called it the “worst call of the year” (though you could argue the worst call of the year was when Troy Weaver traded for Joe Harris or when Tom Gores gave Monty a 7-year contract) in a press conference that will probably cost him some money, because in the NBA you’re not allowed to talk about the precious, genius referees who never ever make a mistake even when they admit it right after the game. 

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Cade Cunningham described himself in one word, “livid,” and I think he speaks for the fans as well on this one. Cunningham finally got to the line eight times after openly wondering why he’s the only star in the league who never gets a call after two straight games of not shooting a single free throw. 

But as usual, you can’t put this all on the refs, as the Pistons did little to help themselves, turning the ball over 17 times to provide 29 Knicks’ points. 

There were some positives in the game, including that the Detroit Pistons are battling and fought back in the 4th quarter to take a late lead. They also got a glimpse of what newcomer Quentin Grimes can do, as he had a big 4th that helped keep it close.

Quentin Grimes has a big 4th quarter for the Detroit Pistons 

Grimes scored all 14 of his points in the 4th quarter and showed that he is more than just a 3-and-D guy, though he also added three blocks and a steal on the night. 

Grimes was taking it to the rim on closeouts and had a couple of nice dishes for assists after the defense collapsed. He also had several nice finishes at the rim, including the one that put the Pistons up a point with 37 seconds left in the game. 

It was Grimes, not Jaden Ivey, who was on the floor to finish after Ivey had a tough night shooting and Grimes’ defense helped the Pistons get back in the game. 

This is something to watch, as that was only Grimes' second game back and he is already logging the same minutes as Ivey, who seems to be perpetually in Monty Williams’ doghouse no matter how he plays. 

The Detroit Pistons dropped their 14th straight game to the New York Knicks, this one with an assist from the referees, who have consistently decided that bad teams don't deserve any benefit of the doubt, even when there is no doubt.