The Detroit Pistons only played 8 guys on Saturday night, but the bench production from the 3 non-starters that they deployed was more than enough to lead them to a 104-98 win over the Washington Wizards.
Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum, and Kyle Singler were the 3 players that came off the pine, and while they didn’t lead the team in any specific category, their production was undeniable. Stuckey scored 20 points in 31 minutes, while Singler scored 14 points on 6 shots in 22 minutes, and Bynum added 6 assists. In addition, Singler had (by far) the highest on-court rating of the night on either team (+21) and all 3 bench players were on the floor for the majority of Detroit’s success.
Of course, there was some work being done in the starting 5 as well, and they were led by Josh Smith. The maddening former Atlanta Hawks forward led the team in scoring with 22 points (despite 0-for-3 from 3) and he added 8 rebounds. Next to Smith in the frontcourt, both Andre Drummond (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Greg Monroe (12 points, 10 rebounds) added double-doubles to aid in Detroit’s ability to win the rebounding battle, 44-35.
The Wizards’ inability to get a win at home in this one is a bit troubling, simply because their best player had an excellent game. Point guard John Wall shot the lights out, scoring 34 points on 15-for-23 shooting, but his offensive momentum unfortunately wasn’t carried on by the rest of his club. Backcourt mate Bradley Beal struggled to a 2-for-14 shooting day, and as a team, the Wizards shot just 15-for-29 from the free throw line. In fairness, Detroit was equally as terrible at the charity stripe, but in the end, the Pistons made more plays.
At 19-19, the Wizards are still in solid playoff position in the depleted East, but this was a much-needed win for the Pistons. It’s hardly ever pretty for Detroit this season (roster construction!), but the talent is there, and if they can put together some quality offense on a consistent basis, they’ll be dangerous.