The Detroit Pistons were missing two of their starters on Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Cade Cunningham missed his sixth game in a row due to a strained left knee, while staring center Isaiah Stewart was forced to sit out due to a left ankle sprain.
The Pistons were in desperate need to find some firepower elsewhere, and this came in the form of their bench going off for 85 points on the evening. Ultimately, Detroit still lost out, 141-135, but there’s no denying that their second unit played an integral role in making sure that they remained in the game against a mighty Bucks side.
Milwaukee Bucks Coach Adrian Griffin Reacts to Pistons’ Bench Scoring
It was Alec Burks who led the way for the Pistons on Saturday, scoring 33 points off the bench on seven triples. Rookie Ausar Thompson wasn’t bad himself, going off for 22 points on 10-of-15 from the field. Mike Muscala (13 points, four triples), Danilo Gallinari (eight points), and Marcus Sasser (nine points, five assists) all made their presence felt as well.
After the game, Bucks head coach had nothing but good things to say about Detroit’s bench:
“They’re really talented in their second unit,” Griffin said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Burks, Muscala, (Danilo) Gallinari, all these guys are proven veterans in the league. I know that their record is not indicative of their talent. They really have some good players over there. We were kind of forced to; they took us out of some of our coverages because they have a lot of shooters out there that we had to account for. And, you gotta guard the three-point line. I thought in stretches we didn’t do a good job of guarding the three-point line, like closing out with more urgency. And then the times we did they made some tough shots.”
In truth, the Pistons’ second unit really gave the Bucks a run for their money. On a better day, Detroit could have very easily come up with a massive upset against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and the rest of Milwaukee.
These two teams battle it out on the court again on Wednesday and perhaps the Pistons will have more luck on their side. Then again, you can be sure that the Bucks are going to come prepared. The last thing they need at the moment is a loss against the worst team in the NBA.
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