The Detroit Pistons will look for their first win of the season as they continue their three-game road trip on Monday with a stop against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Pistons have dropped their first two games, both to the Chicago Bulls, including Saturday’s 97-82 road decision. The Hawks split their first two games and are coming off an uninspiring 101-95 road loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Detroit’s early problems have been turnovers and poor shooting. The Pistons gave it away 17 times in their first game and 23 in the second game.
“You can’t beat anybody in this league when you’re careless with the ball,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We’ve been preaching it since September. I take responsibility for the turnovers. Evidently, I’m not preaching enough.”
The poor shooting was amplified from the perimeter, where Detroit was 5 of 28 (17.9 percent) from 3-point range and made only 38.6 percent overall in Saturday’s loss.
“We played well defensively,” Casey said. “The decisions offensively broke our back. Our margin for error is small. I thought we made it tough on them and I applaud our effort. It goes down in those situations and the decisions we make with the basketball in crucial situations.”
After a promising start in their opening win against Dallas, the Hawks shot the ball poorly against Cleveland. Atlanta made 38.4 percent from the field, but only 29.4 percent of 3 pointers. Leading scorer
Trae Young scored 24 points, 15 in the first half, made only one 3-pointer and struggled to get his floater to fall.
“We couldn’t get a shot to go and we made some bad plays,” Young said. “A lot of those fall on me. I’ve got to do better. I’ll be better.”
The lone 3-pointer was the 500th of Young’s career and tied Dominique Wilkins for sixth in franchise history. He is the fourth-fastest player in NBA history to reach the milestone, doing it in 206 games, and is the sixth-youngest (23 years, 34 days), according to Hawks’ public relations.
Atlanta’s Cam Reddish has been productive off the bench. He scored 20 in the opener and 19 on Saturday.
Detroit is led by Saddiq Bey, who had 20 points and 16 rebounds on Saturday, and veteran Jerami Grant, who had 24 points in the opener. But young guard Killian Hayes produced only two points on 1-of-11 shooting in the first two games and was held scoreless in the opener.
The Pistons await the debut of No. 1 draft choice Cade Cunningham, who has missed much of training camp and the first two games with an ankle sprain. The guard is currently working out with Detroit’s G League affiliate.
Atlanta has played without Danilo Gallinari (left shoulder soreness), Lou Williams (sore hip) and Onyeka Okongwu, who is rehabbing his right shoulder.
The Hawks were 2-1 against the Pistons last season and won both meetings in Atlanta.
In the last meeting in Detroit on April 26, the Pistons held Atlanta to 4-for-27 shooting on 3-pointers (14.8 percent) and limited the Hawks to 86 points, the fewest allowed by Detroit all season.
–Field Level Media