The Detroit Pistons had to rally at the Palace at Auburn Hills Monday night to avoid losing back-to-back games to the two worst teams in the NBA. Even a matchup with the league-worst Milwaukee Bucks was no sure victory with the way the Pistons have been playing, and things didn’t look great when the Bucks took a 61-52 lead into halftime.
The Pistons were able to get back into the game in the third quarter behind a huge game from big man Greg Monroe. Monroe finished with 28 points and 14 boards in one of his best games this season. This was the type of game everyone knows Monroe is capable of, we just haven’t seen it consistently enough from the third year pro from Georgetown.
Detroit was finally able to seize control of the game in the fourth quarter behind a 12-0 run keyed by Josh Smith. Smith put in eight of the 12 points during the run including a 3-pointer and a three point play. Both plays were massive energy boosts for the Pistons and got the building back into the game. Smith was certainly the determining factor during a tight fourth quarter. He scored 15 of his 26 during clutch time to lead the Pistons to a much needed 116-111 victory.
Milwaukee got good minutes from their starters as they all had at least 12 points led by Brandon Knight with 25. Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo also chipped in 14 points in 30 minutes off the bench. The rookie shot 4-6 from the field including a perfect 2-2 from the 3-point line.
The Pistons were able to score at will against a bad Bucks defense, but once again struggled on the defensive end of the floor giving up 111 points. The best teams in the NBA play defense, and this Pistons team simply doesn’t. The talent is there, the length is there, but many nights their defensive intensity is left in the locker room. This is something the Pistons are going to need to fix if they are going to compete on a consistent basis in today’s NBA.
Next up Detroit travels to Indiana to take on a reeling Pacers team that may just take out their frustrations on the Pistons.
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