When the Detroit Pistons have it going, it is easy to see why Joe Dumars put this particular roster together in the 2013 off-season, and Friday night was a perfect example of what they can look like when everything is clicking. The (currently) lottery-bound Pistons absolutely drubbed the resurgent Brooklyn Nets, 111-95, and frankly, it wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
2nd-year man-child Andre Drummond scored 16 points and grabbed an incredible 22(!) rebounds to lead the way for Detroit, and point guard Brandon Jennings nearly put up a triple-double with 26 points (on 8-13 FG), 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. Drummond was the single biggest reason that Detroit was able to dominate the glass by a 57-40 margin, but his all-court game was utterly dominant, and he flashed the Dwight Howard-like upside that many have branded him with in the early stages of his career.
Outside of Drummond and Jennings, though, there was little drop-off, as it was a rare, across-the-board showing from Detroit. Much-maligned forward Josh Smith had a big night with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 blocked shots (his best game in weeks), and even Greg Monroe (12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals) had a nice night in support.
Brooklyn came into the game red-hot, but their talent disadvantage was evident from the opening tip. The Nets have been surging behind the use of Kevin Garnett at the center spot with a “small-ball” feel, but that strategy had no chance against the much bigger Pistons, and they were run out of the gym in short order.
Even after Friday’s game, the Nets have a 2.5-game lead over the Pistons in the standings, but if any outsider watched this particular match-up, that difference would have been anything but evident.