Tuesday night, the Miami Heat brought their 10-game winning streak up against a 7-10 Detroit Pistons team at American Airlines Arena where they must have thought 11 games was right around the corner. Little did they know, the Pistons were ready to play arguably their best game of the season and were prepared to shock Miami.
For the Heat, LeBron James had one of his more pedestrian games in comparison to what we’re used to seeing as he scored 23 points, dished out six assists, grabbed five rebounds but also turned the ball over a whopping six times. Outside of James, Michael Beasley, surprisingly, was the only other guy to score a good amount of points with 23 as well.
Detroit, on the other hand, played this thing called team basketball to perfection. The final box score shows just how well the Pistons played together as they had a total of seven guys score in double figures. Kyle Singler led the way with 18, followed by Greg Monroe (16), Rodney Stuckey (16), Josh Smith (15), Brandon Jennings (15), Andre Drummond (10) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (10).
One of the more impressive guys in Tuesday’s 107-97 win was Drummond, who added 18 huge rebounds to go with his 10 points. He also pitched in two steals and did not turn the ball over once. Drummond was all over the glass for Detroit, who out-rebounded Miami 46-34.
Detroit shot the ball at an incredibly efficient rate all night long, ending the game at over 51 percent. The Pistons also knocked down seven of their 16 three point attempts, going 43 percent from downtown, mainly thanks to Singler’s four of his own.
Miami’s 10-game winning streak comes to an end on a night where the Pistons reveal just how good they could be if they continued to play together throughout the season. In a weaker Eastern Conference, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this Pistons squad continue to rise and finish the year with a four or five seed.
Nobody is a favorite to land anything under a three seed in the East where nearly the entire conference is completely wide open. Detroit can use this crucial victory to their advantage and build off of the momentum that comes with beating the two-time defending World Champions.