Rose, bench a powerful 1-2 punch as Pistons blast Hawks for 2nd straight road win
Three quick observations from Saturday night’s 136-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena
DEEP DEPTH – You’d think that injures to three starters – the Pistons remain without Blake Griffin, Luke Kennard and Reggie Jackson – would have the ripple effect of depleting the Pistons bench. But try convincing the Atlanta Hawks of that. The Pistons got a robust 76 points from their bench – 42 in the first half alone – as they led virtually from wire to wire to trounce the Hawks, scoring a season-high 136 points. Coming off a 60.3 percent shooting outing in Wednesday’s win at Boston – the best by a Pistons team since April 6, 2010 – the Pistons shot 63.6 percent in rolling up 71 first-half points. They were on the verge of bettering their Boston figure until Tim Frazier missed a 3-point shot with less than two minutes remaining. The Pistons settled for 59.3 percent shooting. Derrick Rose, making his second consecutive start and only his third of the season, has another outstanding game. Rose went a perfect 11 of 11 inside the 3-point arc in the win at Boston and followed up by scoring 27 points on 12 of 17 shooting, including 11 of 14inside the 3-point line. It’s the third time this season the Pistons have won two straight games. They’ll go for their first three-game streak of the season in a Monday holiday matinee at Washington.
SECOND THAT – The two second-year Pistons taken in the second round of the 2018 draft are continuing to solidify their status as important pieces of their future core. Bruce Brown didn’t have to contribute much offense on a night the Pistons had such diversity and depth of scoring, but his value was evident on the defensive end as per usual. Brown – whose second-quarter steal extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one to 14, longest active streak in the NBA – finished with five points. Young was held 13 points under his average with 16 points on just 6 of 16 shooting. Svi Mykhailiuk, coming off a career-best 21 points at Boston, was sharp again. He bettered his previous career best by scoring 25 points, hitting 9 of 11 shots and making 5 of 7 3-pointers. It was the second straight game for Mykhailiuk with five triples.
BUSY, BUSY – The Pistons will be the busiest team in the league in the 26 days leading to the All-Star break, a period that began with Saturday’s romp at Atlanta. The Pistons will play a league-high 15 games in those 26 days with never more than a day between games and two back to backs over that span. Eight other teams will play 14 games over those 26 days while 12 teams play 13 games, seven play 12 and one apiece play 11 and 10 games. The Pistons will have played 57 of their 82 games after playing at Orlando on Feb. 12 to start their All-Star break. Of the 15 opponents, 12 went into Saturday’s games with losing records. The only teams above .500 on the schedule before the break are Toronto, Denver and Oklahoma City.