From the looks of it, Warriors players and coaches did not take Detroit as seriously as they should have.
Why would they? Coming off a fierce comeback that nearly toppled the Raptors in Toronto, the Warriors felt pretty good. Kevin Durant was the hottest scorer in the NBA. Klay Thompson was finding his groove. And Stephen Curry was back.
Let the winning begin.
Except the Pistons ignored the script. They'd won eight of 10, seemed eager to defend their home court against the defending champs. Once they sensed victory they never let up until they finished it off.
Here are a few positives and negatives taken from a 111-102 loss in Detroit:
Negative: Curry's first half
In 19 first-half minutes, Curry scored 7 points on 2-of-9 shooting, missing all five of his 3-point attempts. He committed three turnovers. He was minus-11 for his efforts. Curry looked like someone a bit too anxious to make an impact.
Positive: Curry's second half
Though four of his seven turnovers came after halftime – including a couple questionable charge calls – Curry generally looked like himself. He scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. He also had a couple steals. He was plus-3 in 18 minutes.
If he can build off that, the Hawks will be in trouble Monday night.
Negative: Jordan Bell's performance
The Warriors keep waiting for Bell to put together a string of nice games, and he simply has not been able to deliver. He so often looks out of sync or unprepared. He shot a couple bad misses within 10 feet, including an air ball. He finished with 4 points, three rebounds, two blocks and two assists. He was minus-16 in 14 minutes.
The Warriors during the first six weeks didn't always need Bell. They do now, with Damian Jones going down with a shoulder injury.
Positive: Thompson's glass work
Well aware that the big men would need help battling Detroit center Andre Drummond off the glass, Thompson journeyed into the paint and hauled in a team-high – and season-high – eight rebounds. It's a part of his game that comes and goes, but it was essential in this game and played part in Thompson having a solid all-around game.
One game does not indicate Thompson is becoming a strong rebounder for a shooting guard. But this game suggests he's aware of what the team needs from him.
Negative: The bench couldn't keep up
Curry's return made the Warriors deeper and took them closer to a normal rotation. It didn't show. Not one reserve played a strong game on either end. Detroit's reserves scored 42 points on 17-of-37 shooting, including 6-of-12 from deep. The Warriors responded with 13 points 5-of-14 shooting, 1-of-3 from deep.
Usually reliable Shaun Livingston and Kevon Looney would like to forget this game, as would Andre Iguodala.