Beat up and beat up on the boards, the Pistons run out of gas in loss to Knicks
Three quick observations from Saturday’s 95-92 loss to the New York Knicks at Little Caesars Arena
NO SECOND CHANCES – Here’s a stat you almost never saw in the Andre Drummond era: two second-chance points. Their first came with 9:53 left in the game. It was also their last. The Knicks outrebounded the Pistons 47-28 and held a 16-3 edge off of the offensive glass. Two of those 16 came on a critical last-minute possession with the Knicks ahead by two points. That possession ended with Julius Randle scoring in the paint with 13.5 seconds left to give New York a four-point lead. Christian Wood’s triple with eight seconds left cut it to one and Reggie Bullock’s two free throws made it a three-point game with 7.3 seconds left. Reggie Jackson’s tying triple at the buzzer bounced off the front rim. The rebounding differential allowed the error-prone Knicks, now 17-36, to hang around. New York took its first lead with 10 minutes to play. And yet there the Pistons were, finding enough in the tank to mount a 10-3 run to break a 74-all tie – a lead erased by a 9-0 Knicks run aided by two Pistons turnovers and another offensive rebound that enabled a tying triple. The Knicks finished with 17 second-chance points. Jackson finished with 20 points and nine assists and Wood with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
SHOCK TROOPS – After having only nine available players for Friday’s game at Oklahoma City – including both two-way players, Jordan Bone and Louis King – and having to play six of them for at least 30 minutes, the Pistons got a little bit of relief as one of the two players acquired in Thursday’s trade of Andre Drummond to Cleveland, John Henson, was available – and took a star turn in his first appearance. Henson scored 10 points in just seven first-half minutes, hitting all five of his shots. He finished with 12 points on 6 of 6 shooting and four rebounds in 18 minutes. The other player who came from Cleveland, Brandon Knight, missed the game with left knee soreness. Knight, the Pistons No. 1 pick in 2011, hasn’t played since Jan. 14. Henson might have been the Pistons No. 1 pick in 2012 – he was on a short list along with Jeremy Lamb – but when Drummond fell to No. 9 it was an easy call for the Pistons, who likely would have taken Drummond with the second pick that season after Anthony Davis went No. 1.
THAT’S BETTER – Dwane Casey has been waiting for Jordan Bone to catch his breath, relax and play the type of basketball he’s seen him play – the basketball that had the Pistons scrambling to pick up an extra second-round pick last June to get the chance to draft him. Bone has appeared overwhelmed more often than not in the handful of appearances he’s made this season other than late-game minutes. “I love him to death,” Casey said before Saturday’s game, “but the kid, he’s petrified. I told him, ‘I don’t care if you make 15 mistakes, do something.’ ” Bone did enough to earn 10 consecutive minutes in Saturday’s first half, scored on his first shot – an assertive runner – and picked up three assists without a turnover. Bone played only two minutes in the second half as Casey tightened the rotation.