Potent three-point shooting is a staple of Stan Van Gundy's offense, which is built around less dribbling, more passing, and solid post play in the block. The Pistons demonstrated all of that in their final preseason game, a 109-103 win over the 76ers.
Newly acquired swingman Cartier Martin and Kyler Singler led the charge, combining for 7-12 shooting from beyond the arc. The Pistons shot just over 50 percent from downtown, as the long ball was a consistent part of their game tonight. All five starters hit double figures, as big men Josh Smith and Andre Drummond each posted double-doubles with 17 and 10 for Smith, and 10 and 11 for Andre Drummond. The big center out of UConn continues to be the anchor for this Pistons team, but he was without Greg Monroe tonight. He, along with point guard Brandon Jennings, were rested tonight as the Pistons prepare for their opening game against the Nuggets on Wednesday.
D.J Augustin took over at starting point guard spot in place of Jennings, and continued to impress with 11 points, 11 assists, and just one turnover in 32 minutes of play. Off the bench, Caron Butler brought offensive firepower as he scored 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Also off the pine, rookie Spencer Dinwiddie looked healthy after tearing his ACL in late January. He had six assists, including a sweet scoop pass to Drummond for an and-one jam in the second quarter. In that same quarter, he received a pass in the corner from Butler, which he converted into a baseline three pointer.
The Pistons led by just one after a first half in which they outplayed Philadelphia. Hollis Thompson stroked a three pointer at the buzzer, on his way to 14 points and three assists. The Sixers were trailing by double-digits in the fourth quarter, as the Pistons strong outside shooting was starting to wear them out. They came back, however, and the Pistons went down 93-91 after small forward Chris Johnson hit a three pointer with 4:30 left in the game. However, they answered back with an Augustin triple, followed by a driving layup by Cartier Martin. The Sixers didn't have the offense from that point on to pull out the win, as the Pistons pulled away in the final two minutes. Philly's big man Nerlens Noel was dominant defensively, as he recorded five blocks and five steals. Both teams only turned the ball over 17 times, showing good ball control, but the Pistons shooting over 75 percent from the charity stripe and over 50 percent from downtown was too much for the Sixers to rally back from.