Brooklyn Nets 106-115 Detroit Pistons: Three Takeaways

The Nets (19-37) played their hearts out in Detroit, yet it wasn’t enough to get past a resurgent Pistons side at Little Caesars Arena in a 115-106 defeat.

Undermanned and coming off of a tough loss to Houston less than 24 hours ago, Kenny Atkinson’s side gave Detroit, one of the league’s hottest teams, all it could handle. Unfortunately, Brooklyn’s struggles in keeping the ball was backbreaking as it wasn’t able to get past its costly 19 turnovers. Still, there were some encouraging signs.

Allen Crabbe put away some of his recent struggles to pour in a career-high 34 points and Jarrett Allen chipped in 13 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. After three games of struggling on the boards, Brooklyn outrebounded Detroit 50-46 and also had 33 dimes to the Pistons’ 20.

Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 25 points and seven assists while Andre Drummond had an eye-popping 27 rebounds to go along with 17 points. The Nets have lost eight of their last nine games while the Pistons are on a five-game win streak.

Here's Three Observations From the Game

Griffin and Drummond Dominate

Brooklyn slowed down the Pistons’ All-Star frontcourt duo in the first half, limiting the pair to 5-of-17 shooting, but they were too much to handle in the final 24 minutes of the game.

Griffin came alive in the second half after DeMarre Carroll got into foul trouble. He started to assert himself as a point forward and hit 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter – hitting one three-pointer.

Drummond’s monster night on the boards was a big reason why the Pistons had five players in double digits in scoring. He created extra possessions, which gave Detroit more chances to score.

Crabbe Shows What He Can Do

Kenny Atkinson has stuck with Allen Crabbe despite some inconsistent play. On Wednesday night, Nets fans got to see why.

There’s no way how to put this lightly, Crabbe has struggled on offense in his first season in Brooklyn. He was shooting just 30 percent in February. So his 34 points on 59 percent shooting was an impressive for several reasons.

Crabbe initially struggled from downtown, hitting just two of his first eight attempts before finishing 6-of-14, but he wouldn’t let that affect being a factor on offense. He attacked the basket and hit midrange jumpers. Typically, when the 25-year-old struggles from downtown, it can affect his game. On Wednesday night, he proved his versatility.  

Crabbe was unstoppable in the fourth quarter as he sparked the Nets to a 10-0 run almost on his own. He finished the final 12 minutes with 19 points.

Atkinson has stuck with Crabbe throughout his shooting struggles due to the guard’s determination on the defense. It will be interesting to see Crabbe can build on what might have been the best performance of his career.

Nets Bench Needs to Improve Production

Brooklyn’s bench unit is second in the league in scoring at 45.6, but it has been struggling lately. On Wednesday night, the Nets reserves only mustered 15 points.

Part of the reason has to be all of the shuffling due to injuries. With Caris LeVert, Quincy Acy and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson all sidelined, Atkinson is relying upon players like James Webb III and Isaiah Whitehead to replace some of that production. Considering that neither have played significant minutes this season prior to those injuries, an adjustment period is to be expected.

Still, for Atkinson and his players, that needs to come soon.