The Detroit Pistons had an agonizing weekend. On Monday, they’ll face a Central Division opponent in the midst of an even rougher stretch.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking to snap a seven-game losing streak when they visit Detroit. All but two of those defeats were decided by double digits, including the past three. They were swept during a three-game homestand by New York (106-86), Washington (124-112) and Chicago (118-106), all of whom have losing records.
They fell apart in the third quarter against the Bulls on Saturday, getting outscored 40-19.
“Just another really bad quarter that we had and we can’t win that way,” coach John Beilein said. “We had a great crowd, a lot of excitement for a Saturday night game and we didn’t get it done again, that’s all I can say. We’re on to Detroit now and we’ll try like we do with every one of these, wins and losses, we are trying to fix what we can fix and it’s a process.”
One problem the Cavs haven’t been able to resolve is their penchant for turnovers. Chicago scored 27 points off 21 turnovers on Saturday and Cleveland leads the league in points allowed off its giveaways.
Forward Kevin Love said he believes bad shots play into the team’s woes.
“It has to be the defensive end,” he said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It’s not only transition, even though transition buckets they got a lot of (Saturday), but that also has to do with our decision making on the offensive end.”
The Cavaliers will be seeking their first victory since they defeated Denver 111-103 on the road on Jan. 11.
This will be the last meeting with Detroit this season, and the Pistons lead the season series, 2-1. Detroit won both meetings in Cleveland before the Cavaliers captured a 115-112 overtime decision at Little Caesars Arena on Jan. 9, with Love’s tie-breaking 3-pointer with 37.9 seconds left sealing the victory.
The Pistons, who have been dealing with a rash of injuries and illnesses, lost to Memphis 125-112 on Friday and Brooklyn 121-111 in overtime on Saturday.
Nets star Kyrie Irving wrecked the Pistons’ defense on Saturday with a 45-point eruption. Brooklyn outscored them 15-5 in overtime after Derrick Rose’s layup tied the game with 1.9 seconds left in regulation.
Rose had a team-high 27 points and has scored 20 or more points in 12 consecutive games, the longest streak of his career.
The silver lining for coach Dwane Casey were the outings from second-year players Bruce Brown and Svi Mykhailiuk. Brown, who missed the previous two games with the flu, had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists while Mykhailiuk supplied 19 points, five rebounds and three assists.
“It hurts right now,” Casey said. “I’m telling you, I hate losing. But to see a kid like Bruce, second-round pick, Svi, second-round pick, second-year guys coming in and competing. … I like the steps we’re taking.”
Center Andre Drummond also had a big game, notching 20 points and 21 rebounds. He missed the previous two games after getting elbowed in the mouth.
He’s also encouraged by the way Brown and Mykhailiuk are playing.
“They’re playing with incredible confidence,” he told the team’s website. “Svi’s playing fantastic. He’s shooting the ball very well. Bruce has become one of the top-tier defenders in the league. I think the sky’s the limit for both of them. They’re playing really well.”
–Field Level Media