The Detroit Pistons lost by single digits to a pretty good team at home, which almost seems like a victory at this point.
It wasn't of course, so the slide continues, as the Pistons have lost 20 straight and have two upcoming games with the 76ers before playing the Bucks. Good times!
Monty Williams tried to find something positive to say after the game, but it was tantamount to a pat on the head from your little league coach after losing but at least not having the mercy rule applied:
"“As much as this losing hurts us, and it hurts like you cant believe, I see a lot of growth...Im encouraged by some of the things we saw tonight. We just need to build on them.”
Most of the "growth" came on offense against the league's 2nd-worst defense, but it didn't matter much, as the Pistons were getting throttled by the league's best offense on the other end.
Detroit shot an outstanding 55.6 percent from the floor, which on most nights would be more than enough to win the game, but they allowed Indiana to shoot 56.5 percent including 42 percent from 3-point range, which was the difference in the game.
But Monty Williams is right, there were some positives in the game, and he seemed to figure some things out himself, too bad it took 23 games.
The Pistons find space and unleash Jaden Ivey
The Pistons didn't start two bigs last night for the first time this season, and lo and behold, the spacing improved around Cade Cunningham. Who woulda thunk it? It was a revelation to Monty Williams:
The Pistons started Ausar Thompson at the four, something we've wanted to see all year, and he thrived, scoring 20 points and only missing two shots. He was used in the pick and roll (another thing fans have been screaming about for weeks) got moving towards the basket and wasn't just standing in the corner like he had for several previous games.
Jaden Ivey played his most minutes of the season and was effective in lineups with Cade and Ausar, again, something we've been hoping to see all season. The Pistons were still awful on defense and got killed on the boards, but at least the offense scored some points, albeit against one of the worst defenses in the league.
It seems Monty Williams might have figured out that Cade, Ausar and Ivey are his three best players and that he needs to be building his game plan around them.
I'm being pretty snarky here, but this does seem like a game the Pistons can build on, but only if they look at what worked and try to do so. Will the Pistons continue to be obsessed with using Isaiah Stewart at the four with Duren? That will take growth from the front office and coach, so we won't know until Duren gets back.