Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown may not like how his team is playing, but he’s got to be happy with the results.
Brown and the Pistons look to extend a three-game winning streak as they take on the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I don’t feel very comfortable with the way we are playing at this time,” Brown said following the team’s 96-88 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. “We are just going to have to work harder in practice. We played good tonight, but not great. In order to win big games we will have to play better.”
Those are tough words for a team that has held each of its last three opponents under 90 points since dropping its season opener. Brown’s criticism may have to do with the team’s propensity for shooting 3-pointers.
Chauncey Billups scored 27 points and the Pistons shot 8-of-18 on 3-pointers against the Celtics. Billups scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers, and was one of five Pistons to finish in double figures.
“I know that coach Brown isn’t big on us shooting 3s all the time, but that’s a big part of this team,” Billups said. “We have a lot of guys who can shoot the ball and a lot of ways to get the open shots.”
A night after nearly knocking off the Los Angeles Lakers and catching a late plane to New York, the Bucks were able to beat the Knicks 106-90 on Wednesday.
Rookie point guard T.J. Ford had 15 points and four assists for the Bucks. He’s averaging 8.8 points and 6.3 assists per game, and has helped quicken the pace of Milwaukee’s offense.
“He’s basically a one-man fastbreak,” Thomas said of Ford. “If he can’t score he’s going to find us, and that’s one of the things that is going to get us over the hump.
“I’m happy he’s on our side.”
STANDINGS (through Nov. 5): Bucks - 4th place (tied), 1 GB, Central Division. Pistons - 2nd place (tied), 1/2 GB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Bucks - Redd, 21.2 ppg; Smith, 8.4 rpg; Ford, 6.3 apg. Pistons - Billups, 19.8 ppg and 5.3 apg; Wallace, 15.5 rpg.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Bucks, 3-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 14; Bucks, 96-86. At Milwaukee, Redd scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bucks.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bucks - 2-1 on the road; Pistons - 1-1 at home.