A matchup between two of the leagues best, young centers would clearly go one way and a three-point competition between two of the league's worst shooting teams would clearly go one way. Unfortunately for the Heat, neither of them went their way. Wednesday night was all about the Pistons and how they dominated the Heat - inside and out.
After coming off an encouraging 6-1 homestand, the Heat opened their first road game in nearly three weeks against the Detroit Pistons in a very bad way. Andre Drummound, the leading rebounder in the league had his way with Whiteside in the first quarter. Drummound set the tone early, snatching offensive rebounds and converting them into points while Reggie Jackson hit a couple open threes. Drummound almost had a double-double after one while initiating the beginning of a blowout.
When Drummound was on the bench to start the second, the Heat should have taken full advantage of his absence to get back in the game. Instead, the Heat dared Detroit to shoot the three ball and the Pistons didn't hesitate. Anthony Tolliver hit three three's alone in the quarter and Marcus Morris added two more. Tyler Johnson got a couple of and-1s to drop but a lack of help everywhere saw the Pistons increase the lead. Drummound came back in the game, got his double-double and the Pistons hit a couple more from downtown. Detroit, who averaged 7.5 made three's per game, went to halftime with 8 already under the belt to give them a comfortable 60-43 lead.
Miami didn't go wrong with their plan to allow one of the worst three-point shooting teams to shoot threes. They went wrong with allowing them to continue shooting threes after they got into a groove. Ersan Ilyasova hit back-to-back triples to open the third and Reggie Jackson followed with two straight of his own to balloon the lead over 25. As Whiteside picked up his play, Wade and Bosh continued to struggle more, leaving Miami with no place to get back in the game.
Down the stretch, Drummound kept getting his boards and putbacks while Detroit kept raining threes. Miami had no answer as they lost an ugly game, 104-81. Wade, Bosh and Green were a combined 10-35 shooting from the field. Whiteside had a solid 15 points and 13 rebounds but his performance looked tiny compared to Drummound's 18 points, 20 rebounds and 5 blocks. Although Drummound simply got the best of Whiteside, the story of the game for the Pistons was their three-point success and that's where Miami got killed. Detroit made 16 threes on 51.7% shooting compared to Miami's six on 30% shooting.
The Heat will continue their mini road trip with a big game against the New York Knicks on Friday(7:30 PM) in Madison Square Garden.