Any excitement about the Pistons being in the playoffs evaporated right about at the opening tip Sunday in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
It was ugly from the start for the underdog Pistons, who were crushed by Bucks, 121-86, in the opener of a first-round series.
The No. 8 seed in the East going up against No. 1 seed Milwaukee, which had the NBA’s best record during the regular season, the Pistons were going to have a tall order regardless in their first playoff appearance since 2016.
But the task got more difficult with leading scorer Blake Griffin being ruled out of Game 1 due to a sore knee that bothered him in the waning days of the regular season, and the Bucks took full advantage of Griffin’s absence.
Milwaukee jumped out to a 20-4 lead in the first 4:19 of the game and led 70-43 at halftime, shooting 53.3 percent from the field (24 of 45), making eight shots from 3-point range and outrebounding the Pistons in the first half, 32-22.
It only got worse for the Pistons in the second half.
With 4:07 left in the third quarter, Pistons center Andre Drummond was ejected from the game after shoving Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo to the ground while Antetokounmpo was attempting a putback layup following an offensive rebound.
In street clothes on the bench, Griffin was given a technical foul for arguing with an official while Drummond's foul was being reviewed.
Following free throws, the Bucks took a 97-54 lead.
The Pistons will have a couple days to regroup before Game 2 tips off Wednesday night.
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