Detroit, MI- Going into this season, The Detroit Pistons had high hopes of being more competitive and having more scoring opportunities. They made good on the first goal but came short on the other goal as they fell to the Denver Nuggets 89-79 in the team’s season opener. Josh Smith lead Detroit by scoring 15 of his 25 points in the first quarter and free-agent signee DJ Augustin came off the bench with 15 points and five rebounds. Center Andre Drummond scored 11 points before fouling out with just three minutes to play. The Pistons were able to hold the Nuggets to under 90 points and they held them to 35 percent shooting for the night. The big problem with them though is their lack of scoring, particularly at the shooting guard position.
Second-year guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope struggled to find his shot all night as he finished with seven points on 3-19 shooting. With other free-agent signee Jodie Meeks out for ix weeks with a back injury, the Pistons are counting Caldwell-Pope to step up and score big for the team. The Nuggets were able to outrebound the Pistons 51-46 and were led by forward Kenneth Faried’s 22 points and 17 rebounds. The Pistons were without forward Greg Monroe who sat out the first of a two game suspension stemming from a DUI conviction last summer. It looked like he was missed for Detroit as Denver was able to control grab every loose ball and their size at the forward and center position was unmatched.
Lack of ball movement is what doomed the Pistons late in the game as Denver was able to play the passing lanes to generate turnovers that led to easy scores. Starting point guard Brandon Jennings was not much a factor as he was benched during the fourth quarter and only scored four points to go along with four assists in 20 minutes of action. Kyle Singler scored nine points but like Drummond, early foul trouble caused him to sit early and was not much a factor. The three point shooting was dismal as well as the team shot 25 percent from long range and were one of the worst in that category last season. The one good thing to take away from this game is that the defense did play much better defense and where able to hold their own against a team that was very good at home last season. The Pistons next game is on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves and their home opener is this Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets.