Just like they have 7 times before the Pistons took a lead into the 4th quarter only to watch it evaporate into thin air. And Reminiscent of the Lions, they found a new way to lose as the Pistons fall to the Pelicans 103-101.
Last Second Heartbreak
With the game tied at 101 the Pelicans third point guard Eric Gordan made a runner with just 1.9 seconds left.
Then with the Pistons down by two, 1.9 second left and two timeouts on the board the unthinkable happened.
After catching the inbound pass, Brandon Jennings launched a desperation shot from 3/4 court…..instead of calling time-out. Maurice Cheeks was screaming for a time-out from the bench, a scream that went unheard by the officials. And as Jennings desperation shot fell short of the rim, fans were left wondering what happened.
Mo Timeouts, Mo Problems
If a timeout had been called the ball would have advanced to the frontcourt with just over a second left, giving Cheeks a chance to draw up a play. The Pistons had a one full and one :20 timeout left on the board.
Neither Brandon Jennings nor Maurice Cheeks could get the timeout called. That said Cheeks did not shy away from the responsibility in his post game press conference.
I’m not gonna leave it up to them. I’m not. I’m not gonna leave it up to them,” Cheeks said. “I don’t know if they would’ve made the shot or not (if allowed to advance the ball into the frontcourt), but I’m not gonna leave it up to them. It’s my job to make sure that we get a timeout. That’s the bottom line. I’m not gonna pass it over here. It’s my job to make sure they get a timeout and they didn’t get a timeout.”
When asked if he instructed his players to call timeout, he couldn’t recall.
Bad Personnel Decisions
Just before the Pelican’s final possession Maurice Cheeks replaced Andre Drummond with Kyle Singler coming out of the Pelicans time-out.
The result was a Eric Gordon lay up. Why was the teams best inside defensive player on the bench with the game on the line? It was a question that wasn’t asked in the post-game press conference.
Brandon Jennings Giveth and He Taketh Away
In truth without the effort of Brandon Jennings, who scored 28 points, the Pistons would not have a had a lead going into the fourth quarter.
But what good is a lead if you can’t hold onto it.
Jennings went 1-5 with zero assists down the stretch in the fourth quarter including the desperation 50 foot shot at the end of regulation.
Brandon Jennings is the very definition of a streaky shooter. When Jennings gets going he is on fire it seems no one can stop him. But when he is cold he fails to get other involved. That was the case in the fourth quarter, as it is in every fourth quarter.
The Pistons fall to 17-26 and just 7-15 at home. Next up is a trip to Dallas on Sunday for a 7:30 pm jump against the Mavericks.