Pistons Regain Poise; Defeat Hawks on the Road

12.14.17

 

Atlanta – Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond led 6 Pistons players in double figures with 12 points and 19 rebounds as Detroit snapped a 7-game win streak and delivered the Atlanta Hawks to yet another loss: 105-91.  Detroit, having started the season really well, arrived in Atlanta looking to solve their recent struggles on the floor.  The Pistons began the season on fire and were, at one point, as high as 2nd in the Eastern Conference.  However, recent losses due to miscues and a lack of effort and energy, now have the Pistons as one of the many Eastern Conference teams on the borderline of playoff qualification (that is if the playoffs began today).  For Detroit, a visit to Atlanta was just what the doctor ordered.  Despite their recent struggles, the Pistons woes this season pale in comparison to season the Hawks are enduring.  Let’s be clear, in reviewing the NBA preseason predictions, one would find it difficult to find one that included Atlanta in the playoff hunt in any way, shape, or form.  After a major organizational overhaul, to a man, Atlanta fans have conceded that the Hawks are looking towards the future while allowing their young talent to take their lumps in an effort to gain experience: much different from the Detroit outlook.

John Collins has to endure another Detroit celebration.
Credit: peachtreehoops; Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Tonight’s contest exhibited these differences as well.  The opening quarter was a back and forth affair as Drummond and Tobias Harris countered Atlanta’s Ersan Ilyasova’s time and time again to make for a very competitive quarter.  Ilyasova, the most consistent Hawk over the past few games, continued his hot shooting streak that dates back to his 26 point performance against Orlando less than a week ago.  However, poor team defense reared its ugly head once again in an Atlanta Hawks loss as Detroit found its touch from deep.  Detroit spent the majority of the 1st half with shooting percentages well over 50% from 2 and above 45% from beyond the arc.  Tough, end of clock successful possessions for Atlanta would result in wide open transitions jump shots on the other end from Detroit.  Unable to answer, the Hawks watched a 1-point 1st quarter lead move to a 13 point halftime deficit: one they would ultimately never be able to overcome.  Harris finished with 19 points while Langston Galloway pitched in 17 points off the bench.  Atlanta, on the other hand, received 23 points on 10-14 shooting from Ilyasova while Dennis Schroder added 10 assists for Atlanta. Hawks rookie, John Collins, working his way back from a shoulder injury, contributed 15 points, 7 rebounds, and finished a highlight-worthy alley-oop over Detroit’s Luke Kennard as evidence of his return.  In sum, the Knicks were simply the better team tonight.  However, the Hawks remained true to this season’s form by fighting Detroit every step of the way.  While moral victories sometimes ring hollow, Coach Budenholzer and his staff should be commended for Atlanta continuing to battle each night: even with the conference’s worst record. While Detroit hopes this victory is the starter for a return to winning ways, Atlanta will once again try to find positives in tonight’s loss and prepare for their next test.

 

Up Next:

 

Atlanta Hawks v. Memphis Grizzlies

Friday, December 15, 2017

FedEx Forum; Memphis Tennessee

8pm ET

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