The Detroit Pistons had their fun Tuesday night on the road in Charlotte, taking the victory over the Hornets. After that win by a 28-point margin, their largest of the season, the story would be a bit flipped when they returned home Wednesday evening.
The Pistons headed back home, to the Palace of Auburn Hills, to kick off a five-game homestand, with a bit of momentum after that strong win in Charlotte. The reigning champions San Antonio Spurs were the first of the five consecutive teams they'll play at home. After coach Gregg Popovich won his 1,000th career game, he headed to Detroit with his team with hopes of leaving with the win - and a bit of revenge after one of the Spurs' most disappointing losses of the season, which came the last time the two teams faced off.
That last time the Spurs played the Pistons, Detroit was the away team, and they spent the game sticking to San Antonio, much like they did through the first 20 or so minutes of tonight's game. They took the win with 0.1 seconds left in regulation after a Brandon Jennings floater in the first meeting. This win came in the middle of a period of fantastic play by the Pistons after they released Josh Smith. Of course, the Pistons are without the services of Jennings for the rest of the year after a torn Achilles - entering the game tonight, the question was: could the Pistons repeat a similar performance, even without their star point guard on the court?
The troubles for the Pistons were evident within the opening minutes of the game. Unlike the game last night, Detroit struck first, scoring the first two points of the game, but it went downhill from there.
The Spurs rarely missed tonight, while, on the other end of the court, the Pistons seemed to rarely make their shots. The defense and offense of the Pistons seemed to be a step behind, and their general speed and energy seemed to be a step behind - but definitely not as much as it has been in previous games this season. All in all, the Spurs had clear heads and were aware of their surroundings on the court, and it reflected on the score board.
Up by around 20 points throughout the third and fourth quarter, the Spurs were able to close out the win over Detroit by 17 points.
After the game, Stan Van Gundy had this to say, "I don't give them many breaks, but I was not disappointed with their performance tonight."
Once again, his post-game speech directly reflects the numbers recorded by both teams during the four quarters tonight. He said his team just didn't have enough in the tank tonight to overcome the defending NBA champions.
It's time for the All-Star break, and time for the most entertaining weekend of the NBA season - and VAVEL will have fantastic coverage of the events of the weekend for your enjoyment.
The Pistons will take to the basketball court next Friday, after the break, against the Chicago Bulls at the Palace of Auburn Hills.