After the Detroit Pistons’ 87-77 victory over the Boston Celtics, it is evident that this young squad from Motown still has a considerable amount of learning ahead of them. This is a game the Pistons should have won pretty easily, and at certain points of the game, it looked as though they would. Sloppy play and easy misses kept the Celtics in the game, though.
Through three games, it looks like the Pistons will rely on their three big men to carry the load. Detroit has dominated the glass and scored over 160 points in the paint. Combined, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond are averaging nearly 50 points and 30 rebounds per game to go with five blocks and five steals. The downside is that the three of them are also averaging over 10 turnovers per game. It’s clear that the three of them can play together, but they still have a lot of work to do before they can lead this team to some serious success.
Chauncey Billups is looking as we would expect him to, but the rest of the guard play has been pleasant as well. Brandon Jennings looked good in his debut with three rebounds, four assists and four steals to go with 14 points and pure hustle off the bench. Rodney Stuckey’s early returns are encouraging too. He looked like the best player on the floor against the Memphis Grizzlies and turned in 10 points, going 8-of-9 from the free throw line, with three rebounds, three steals and a block against Boston. Will Bynum looked good in the first two games and put together a solid performance against Boston with a plus-14 in only 17 minutes of action.
While the team looks like they can score down low and bully opponents in the paint on the other end of the floor, they have looked very sloppy for extended stretches, which has held them back from keeping a firm grip on each game. If they can get a handle on their turnover problem, the Pistons could pull off a few upsets during the regular season.
With some discipline and more minutes playing together, this team could realize their high potential. However, if they don’t put things together, continue to miss easy buckets and hand the ball to opposing teams, they could see games get away from them quickly against quality opponents. Pushing the Grizzlies to a close overtime loss was encouraging, but failing to close out the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics (two inferior teams) in an efficient fashion proves this team still has a long way to go.
On a side note, though, those Motor City alternate jerseys are looking pretty good in game action.