Brooklyn Nets 101-100 Detroit Pistons: Three Takeaways

DETROIT – Revenge is a dish best served in Detroit.

Just 11 days after suffering an embarrassing loss to the Pistons at Barclays Center, the Nets returned the favor with 101-100 win at the Pistons new home, Little Caesar Arena. And it was a bit of personal retribution for Spencer Dinwiddie.

Dinwiddie iced the victory for the Nets with an unbelievable floater over Andre Drummond with just 1.1 seconds remaining to silence the home crowd. The point guard, who was a 2014 second round pick of the Pistons, was unceremoniously traded away by the team in 2016 for Cameron Bairstow, a player who cut a month later. Dinwiddie admitted he had something to prove in Detroit.

“Everyone’s been asking me that question [about his personal feelings after the win],” Dinwiddie said before motioning to Jarrett Allen to come and listen to his response. “I’ve kind of tip-toed around it, but let’s be real here. I started my career off here. For lack of a better word, I was essentially cut. So how would you feel?”

Dinwiddie then explained that the result obviously has bigger implications, but then repeated the same question again for emphasis.
“So it’s much bigger than me, but if you’re talking me personally, how would you feel,” he said.

Dinwiddie finished with a game-high 22 points, five assists and four rebounds. Tobias Harris led the home side with 20 points and seven rebounds.

Here are three observations from the game:

Nets Contain Andre Drummond

Drummond didn’t convert his first field goal until almost three minutes into the third quarter. That’s a testament to just how effective Brooklyn was in slowing down the Pistons’ star. Drummond finished with just seven points on 3-for-8 shooting.

The Nets refused to allow Drummond to get into the restricted area and when he did, they made sure that he wasn’t in a one-on-one situation. There was one possession in the second quarter where four Nets players surrounded him to stop him from making a hook shot. Drummond was never allowed to get into a rhythm in Sunday’s win.

“The game gets easy for him when he gets easy looks or when people are putting on a body on him. We made it a focal point when he was getting rebounds, everyone was coming back and trying to get a piece of him,” Joe Harris explained.

The Nets have struggled in guarding in All-Star centers all season, so this was a big step forward for Kenny Atkinson’s team – arguably their best defensive performance on a star player this season. In the previous matchup between these two teams, Drummond dominated the Nets as he had 22 points, 20 rebounds, five assists on 60 percent shooting. Brooklyn made sure that wasn’t a repeat of that in the Little Caesars Arena.

Dinwiddie Shines Against Team That Drafted Him

After struggling in the first matchup between these two teams, Dinwiddie sent a not-so-friendly reminder to Pistons and their fans of what could’ve been.

Dinwiddie wouldn’t be denied in the fourth quarter as he scored 11 points in the final 12 minutes of the game. The point guard’s heroics in crunch time were crucial for the Nets as he hit two go ahead baskets in the final three minutes of the game before his winner. After being stuck in a three-game shooting slump, Dinwiddie appears to be back to his best.

Dinwiddie’s breakout year has been a hot topic in Detroit, especially with the Pistons current starting point guard, Reggie Jackson, still on the sidelines with an injury. Detroit’s head coach Stan Van Gundy has mostly been curt in discussing Dinwiddie’s exit, mostly praising the point guard’s turnaround in Brooklyn. However, he was a bit more revealing in his pregame presser on Monday.

“It was a situation where Spencer was looking for more of an opportunity,” he explained. “We liked Spencer a lot, we had a good relationship with his agent, they asked us to make that trade and we did. It didn’t end up working out in Chicago, but he’s moved on.

“He had to fight his ways back as a G League guy…Whether that helped him, helped with his focus or he just got a better opportunity, I don’t know, he’d have to answer that, but he’s played extremely well.”

Dinwiddie wouldn’t get into whether or not that was accurate, preferring to highlight his current situation and leave Detroit on a positive.
“Like I said, everything that went on in the past, is the past,” he said. “Unfortunately, from my time here, I made it a lot of friends…A lot of lasting relationships. I loved my time here [in Detroit], but obviously for the betterment of my career, I needed to move on.”
He then added with a smile, “No hard feelings – especially after the win.”

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Shows Off All-Around Game

Hollis-Jefferson is the Swiss Army Knife of the Nets – he can do a little of everything. On Sunday, he showed just how effective his all-around game can be with 21 points, eight rebounds, a career-high-tying seven assists and one block. He also matched his career-high in three pointers made with two from behind the arc, both were in the third quarter and were crucial considering that the Pistons were making a run.

“It’s just being confident, I told the guys before the game I shoot a 1,000 of them a day [in practice] so it’s going to go in. That confidence rolled over into the game.