6 Reasons Why The Pistons Collapsed

There Are A Lot Of Reasons

You know as a Pistons fan this game really wasn’t that bad to watch as a whole. Yeah, there were a couple things that annoyed me but I feel like the Pistons did what I wanted them to do.

They looked competitive and stuck with the Cavaliers for the whole game. Detroit came out and gave Cleveland a run for their money. Cleveland won for a lot of reasons, and I think that the majority of them self explanatory. They’re the better team on paper and have more star power. After all, there’s a reason why they’re the number one seed. So I honestly feel like this game was above Cleveland.

I mean, it’s not like LeBron really even looks at the Pistons as a serious threat. This game is about the Pistons. Their will and fire was what kept them in this game against the defending Eastern Conference champions. But similarly to how Cleveland won, there are a lot of reasons why Detroit lost. Some that are more acceptable than others, but what were those reasons?

How could a red hot Detroit team turn ice cold? Well, there are a lot of reasons, so get comfortable.

1. Ticky Tacky Calls

Let’s get this out of the way. The officiating this game was horrendous for both sides. Not just the Pistons or the Cavaliers. The referees made some very bad calls. Stan Van Gundy even had the guts to point out the fact that LeBron was getting away with a lot of stuff, he really wasn’t wrong.

For the majority of the game, LeBron was shoving his elbow right into Reggie Jackson’s face. We also can’t forget that Kyrie definitely traveled on a play and the refs called absolutely nothing.

Cleveland got away with a lot of calls. There were many cases when shooting fouls and blocking fouls just weren’t called inside the paint. But to be honest, Cleveland also got screwed a couple of times. The majority of bad calls against Cleveland came when they were rebounding. Many times loose ball fouls were called unnecessarily. Detroit got bailed out a lot on the boards by the refs.

2. Tobias Harris Couldn’t Do Anything

This hurts a lot because Tobias has been really great for the Pistons. He’s been perhaps the most consistent scorer for Detroit but tonight was abnormal for him. It was beyond abnormal, it was horrible. 9 points is just not enough for one of Detroit’s best best scorers.

He wasn’t a threat from anywhere. 4-11 is bad enough, but 1-4 from beyond the arc is unacceptable. This really wounded the Pistons all night long because every time Detroit tried running a pick and roll, Reggie didn’t have anybody to pass it out to on the baseline for a jumpshot.

Cleveland stuck on Andre and Reggie whenever they ran a pick and roll and Tobias’ lack of scoring made it really hard for Detroit to score when he was on the floor. What makes this worse is that Tobias couldn’t do anything on either side of the floor, defense being a problem for him all night long.

He just couldn’t do anything to any of his assignments. Whether it be Kevin Love or LeBron James he did absolutely nothing to slow any of them down. Tobias Harris having his worst game as a Pistons right now was the worst thing that could have happened for him.

3. A Tale Of Two Halves

Marcus Morris really has been a great player for Detroit. After the All-Star break he really heated up and became one of Detroit’s top scorers. The story was no different in the 1st half of the game.

Morris lit it up in the 1st half, finishing the 1st half with 19 points off of 6-9 shooting and 3-4 from beyond the arc. He was downright spectacular in the 1st half. A lot of the shots came off of him creating space for himself and using his underappreciated footwork. But things changed in the 2nd half when Stan Van Gundy changed his gameplan a little bit. The ball went to Andre a lot more down low in the post and Marcus got the ball a lot less on the baseline all by himself.

It was frustrating to see the ball not given to Marcus when we just saw him score near 20 points. The only time the ball was given to him was when time was low on the shot clock or when the Pistons had no other play to run.

However, when he did have the ball in hands he didn’t manage to do anything. The majority of the time he just kept trying to jab step his defender and nothing came of it. In the end, he finished the night on perhaps the most frustrating 20 point performance ever been seen.

4. Offensive Rebounding

Detroit should never have given up 12 offensive rebounds. There is absolutely no excuse for giving up 12 offensive rebounds when you have Andre. Many times, the Cavs hoisted a three point shot and it went right off the rim. Majority of the time, the ball just didn’t bounce their way.

It really wasn’t their fault but at the same time, how do you give up 12 offensive rebounds with Andre Drummond?

To make matters worse, Cleveland also got 20 2nd chance points… 20 second chance points! I find this pretty ironic considering the fact that Andre played a lot of minutes to get rebounds and to have better rim protection but yet neither of those things happened plenty of times.

A lot of credit has to go to the Cavs managing to bring Andre out to the perimeter by playing Kevin Love in at center. It was a simple but genius strategy that Cleveland never tried during the regular season.

5. Reggie Jackson’s Meltdown

Reggie Jackson became the most infuriating Piston on the court during the 4th quarter. Ball hogging is a thing that I never want to see a Piston doing ever. Detroit is all about team basketball and passing the ball, that of which Reggie Jackson did not do in the slightest.

Cleveland ran some weird sets on him and it made him extremely frustrated. So much so that he wanted isolation all for himself and him doing so was exactly what Cleveland wanted. They knew that they could double team him which would then take him out of his game even more.

Reggie played right into their hands. He was off balance more often than not when he took shots and it led to a drought for the Pistons. Reggie chose a horrible time to start showing his ball hogging tendencies and it made nearly every Pistons fan including myself angry.

He just kept trying to score on anybody in his way and it just didn’t work. Him hogging the ball to himself led to shot clock violations and really horrible shots. The icing on the cake in all of this was that Reggie came very close to blowing his lid off on a referee, he got up in a refs face and got a technical with 3 minutes left to play.

It came in the worst time because Cleveland was starting to go on a run and it only led to more ball hogging. Let me vent for a second, Reggie is a bit of a ball hog and anybody who watches the Pistons knows this, but this was extreme ball hogging. This was at Russell Westbrook levels of ball hogging where you ignore the fact that you have teammates with you.

I couldn’t believe that Reggie let his ego get in the way of a game 1 upset. The final quarter may have been the most unprofessional quarter of his career as a Piston and it was very frustrating to watch.

All I wanted him to do was move the ball like I know that he can. If Reggie doesn’t want to move the ball, the he needs to get off the floor. There is nothing that I hate more than a point guard who refuses to acknowledge his teammates and does irresponsible things like yelling at a ref.

6. Stan Van Gundy’s Gamecall

Reggie shouldn’t have played in the final 3 minutes of the game.

I hate to say this, but I think that Steve Blake should have been out there. He would have had more composure and  would have had more energy. Yes, he’s not athletic, but what wins you a close game in the playoffs is composure, that of which Reggie didn’t have.

I, for the life of me don’t understand why Stan Van Gundy didn’t call a timeout to get Reggie under control. He clearly saw that Reggie was out of control and he did nothing about it. Hate to judge Stan because I like him as a coach, but his decision making in the final 5 or 6 minutes was mind boggling.

He had 3 timeouts and he refused to call a timeout until Detroit lost the lead. It’s not even like Reggie was scoring either. He didn’t create room to score and he sure as hell didn’t pass the ball. It boggles my mind why Stan didn’t consider a disciplined veteran like Steve Blake to close the game out.

Steve would have calmed the Pistons down by slowing the game and passing the ball, it’s as simple as that! No, instead, Reggie Jackson held the ball to himself and nobody else and it cost the Pistons. Stan had the power to stop Reggie but he did absolutely nothing about it.

He has to tell Reggie to calm down in game 2 or else Cleveland will smell blood in the water even quicker than they did in game 1.

There Is Room For Improvement

I wouldn’t hit the panic button if I were the Pistons. I sure would come out with a different mentality.

Things need to change in game 2. If they want to have a chance, they need to:

  1. Keep feeding Marcus Morris on the baseline
  2. They must find a solution to Kevin Love playing center
  3. They have to be better disciplined in the 4th quarter

Let’s not dwell on game 1, game 2 is on Wednesday and the Pistons need to come up with a better strategy. These young and hungry Pistons are down but not out of this series.

They still have a chance to shock the world, but they just can’t give up. Wednesday has to be a different day for the Pistons. It’s time to shock the world. This team cannot lose what they’re fighting for.

It’s Detroit VS Everybody and they can’t forget that.

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