To bow out against the worst team in the league, also without my starting point guard (Cade Cunningham) and in the “back-to-back”, was awful. The Lakers, still without LeBron James, avoided this pitfall by winning their second straight, for the second time this season, and dropped Detroit a bit into obscurity with a sixth straight loss.
The Californians began to struggle to stop the attack from the front, led by a very inspired Alec Burks behind the 3-point line and a good, but distant, Bojan Bogdanovic. Of those two, the Pistons led after one quarter (30-37) and continued to dig in the second (38-51). The locals showed some seriousness in defense and supported the offensive of the opposing racket to move to the lead at the break (68-64).
The third quarter was the tightest of them all. The Lakers thought to escape the score thanks to the interior activity of Wenyen Gabriel but in the end they only had a small point in advance (96-95) at the beginning of the last twelve minutes. After a nice pass from Austin Reaves, they took three possessions early and then Anthony Davis was responsible for ending the visitors’ last hope.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– Free throw contest. A match started at 4:30 am (French time) and ended… less than three hours later. The explanation? A meeting that was peppered with numerous passages of free throw lines on both sides. Anthony Davis and the Lakers went there 40 times to sign an impressive 87.5% success rate (35/40). The Pistons, the team with the most shots in the league, also applied in this sector (24/32).
– The Lakers’ expanded rotation. They were announced and here they are again. While LeBron James was on the bench in civilian clothes watching, sometimes confused, his partners, Dennis Schröder and Thomas Bryant wore their shorts. For their first match of the season, the former lacked shooting inspiration while the latter was restless with the racket, especially in the second quarter.
– The Pistons remain late. Also defeated tonight, the Rockets escaped this status. With this sixth straight loss, Detroit is the worst team in the league in terms of results, while remaining one of the few still winless (nine losses) along with the Warriors and the Lakers.
✅ Anthony Davis. Almost as many free throws were converted as the entire opposing team, emblematic of a night spent almost as close to the circle. The interior signed a second mammoth game in a row statistically. We’ll definitely remember his big finish of the game where he took advantage of great balls from Lonnie Walker IV and Russell Westbrook to register… his team’s final 12 points. Jalen Duren tried in vain to pull the muscles, the Pistons had no match for him.
✅ Killian Hayes. It was the fourth game of 11 points or more this month for the Frenchman to cap his best outing in passing and scoring. We especially remember that he showed mastery of the game, never missing a ball and showing himself to be great. Downside to his good outing in 35 minutes, his team is more dominated by the score when he is in the game (-21).
✅ Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel. It’s a great idea to keep these two “role players”. The first again did his intelligence to speak in all sectors and even let himself take over the game himself at the beginning of the fourth quarter, to launch his team well. The second acted like a perfect garbage collector, specifically hitting a few balls into the circle after penetrations from Russell Westbrook. The latter, the author of his fifth double-double of the season, also put him in orbit with an “alley-oop” in transition in the first period.
⛔ Jaden Ivey. While Killian Hayes limited the waste as much as possible, the back did the opposite. This one showed good things attacking the circle but blatantly abused the long-range shot. Upon arrival, 17 points but 18 shots were attempted for the rookie, the largest volume of all the protagonists on the ground.
Lakers (4-10) : welcome Spurs, Sunday.
Plungers (3-14) : trip to Kings, Sunday.