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Pistons’ rebounding woes deeper than meet the eye in loss to Trail Blazers

Entering the game, the Trail Blazers ranked third in the league in offensive rebounding percentage (31.9 percent).

The Pistons ranked 23rd in offensive rebounding percentage allowed (27.8 percent).

So, the Trail Blazers grabbing 28.9 percent of available offensive rebounds seems about right. But it’s how they got those rebounds that keyed their 100-78 victory.

First of all, neither team grabbed an offensive rebound in the final 8:17 – once the the game was completely out of hand and there was little incentive to risk crashing the offensive glass. So, the Trail Blazers were even more dominant on the glass than the initial numbers indicate, because they squeezed their impressive numbers into a shorter period of time.

But he bigger reason Portland’s glass dominance meant so much was why they grabbed so many boards.

In an August post about zone defense, NBAPlaybook.com’s Sebastian Pruiti explained why rebounding factors into a reluctance to play zone:

The main reason is because in zone defense, players are responsible for areas and not an actual player.  This makes it harder to box-out and secure the rebound.

I’m going to offer the corollary to that. The Pistons didn’t box out tonight,* so when the Trail Blazers got offensive rebounds, it was very easy for them to score because nobody was on their man.

Portland had an offensive rating of 175 on possessions after grabbing an offensive rebound. For perspective, the Lakers lead the league with an offensive rating of 118.3. I’m sure teams score more than usual after offensive rebounds, but I’d guess it’s not typically this much more.

*Austin Daye is the exception. He does an excellent job of getting position to box out. That makes him a strong rebounder when playing shooting guard or small forward. When playing power forward, it’s not always enough.

The Trail Blazers’ sizable front court of LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby made this a difficult matchup for the Pistons on paper. The Pistons’ play tonight made it even more difficult.

The Pistons are showing signs of a mentally weak team. When the odds are stacked against them, they give in rather than battling.

It’s still early in the season, but I don’t like this trend.

New level for Villanueva

The only extended period of competence the Pistons showed was an 18-6 run in the second when the were led by – Charlie Villanueva? Yes, Charlie Villanueva.

He looked active on both ends of the court. He worked his way inside on offense. He protected the rim on defense.

That might be the best stretch I’ve seen him play in a Pistons uniform. This wasn’t him getting hot and scoring a bunch of points in a short burst. This was him actually looking like a good, not a lucky, basketball player.

Stuckey’s slow start

For the first time this season, Rodney Stuckey looked extremely passive early in the game. The extent of his offensive contributions in the first nine minutes: making a layup, assisting a Richard Hamilton 20-footer and forcing two jumpers late in the shot clock.

He looked more assertive against the Bobcats – when he was benched.

As I’ve written, the Pistons’ offense is usually much better with one of their two point guards in the game. But when you combine Stuckey standing around the perimeter and Will Bynum’s sloppy game (three turnovers in 14 minutes), that doesn’t really hold true.

Really, the only time the offense flowed smoothly in the first quarter were a few possessions when Hamilton pushed the court and Detroit attacked before Portland set its defense.

Stuckey bounced back to lead the team with a hollow 17 points, but he also looked banged up and was worked on by Arnie Kander.

Ben Wallace makes rare fourth-quarter appearance

After sitting out the last four fourth quarters, Ben Wallace played 3:05 in the final frame with the Pistons down more than 20 points. John Kuester said Wallace would play in fourth quarters, and he did. Maybe Wallace wanted a few minutes to stay loose tonight, but sitting him tonight would have made more sense from the outside than most of the other four games.


  • Nov 10, 20107:57 am
    by detroitpcb


    transition defense. transition defense. transition defense.

    the Pistons were jacking bad shots and not getting back on defense.

    Austin Daye is the only Piston who boxes out and you notice Camby only got 1 offensive rebound while Daye was in the game. Daye often holds his position while boxing his man letting other Pistons go for the rebound. This works if the guards are actively going to the glass – even with Daye out of position at the 4.

    Cv looked great last night in terms of his body language. He was bumping and banging people. It was nice to see.

    Will Bynum has looked absolutely horrible since he came back. I mean terrible. He is over dribbling, holding the ball, killing the flow, and then penetrating and getting caught in the air and making turnovers. He is not stopping his man – that kid Johnson just destroyed him last night.

    And Ben Gordon looks like a different player since he was dropped from the starting unit. He is back to standing around, holding the ball, forcing bad shots, and playing wave your arms defense. He had been playing so well. I think it was a huge mistake for Q to put Rip back in the starting lineup.

  • Nov 10, 20108:23 am
    by detroitpcb


    and why does Austin Daye only get 21 minutes when he was the best Piston on the floor last night?

  • Nov 10, 20108:38 am
    by Jason


    Portland Points in the paint – 46
    Pistons Points in the paint -26

    Portland Rebounds – 45
    Pistons Rebounds- 33
    The absolute worst things about this? Portland is without 2 of their Center’s in Pryzbilla and Oden – and we still get crushed in the paint.

    My god when will a move be made!!
    And I hate trashing the guy, but did anyone else notice how “soft” Monroe seems? I know he will learn to be more aggressive, but he just seems so lackadaisical out there. He’s got lots to learn..

  • Nov 10, 20108:44 am
    by Jason


    Monroe – 2 rebounds in 24 minutes… When Mcgrady is out rebounding the guy that pistons “fans” want to be our starting PF – you officially have a problem.

  • Nov 10, 201011:15 am
    by nuetes


    Monroe had a few good games and got us all excited, but he’s laid a few duds down now. Daye was horrible, but he’s come on strong in the last 2 to get back closer to below average.

    Looking a WP/48 our 3 best players so far have been Wallace, Mcgrady, and Gordon (all have WP over .100 meaning they are above average). Stuckey, CV, and Rip have been below average (WP less than .100 but not bad). Problem is we have a few too many bad players. Bynum, Prince, Max, Daye, and Monroe (WP less than .000. Meaning they are hurting the team) have all been bad overall. Really bad in some cases.

    The Pistons are a bad rebounding team though. Nothing unexpected there. They’ve been killed in the paint in every game so far. Charlotte they held their own on the glass, but were still outscored in the paint. One somewhat concerning stat is their FG% allowed – 48%. And they are shooting 43% on the season. Their opponents are shooting 5% better than they are. And outrebounding them. That is a combination made for disaster. Also what is up with our free throw shooting? 55% the last game and Wallace only took 1 of those. We are 27th in the league in free throw shooting. How is that possible. It cost us the first game.

    Monroe needs to get that intensity back. And keep it every game. I already know what to expect out of CV and the rest. I know what I’m getting. Maybe a good game here, a bad game here. No consistency. But Monroe is still an unknown, however it looks like he’s going to be more CV than Wallace. No telling what kind of effort your going to get out of him.

  • Nov 10, 20103:21 pm
    by detroitpcb


    Monroe was overmatched last night. Aldridge has length, quickness, strength, and experience on him. But that is no reason for the lack of a motor. Monroe got beat down the floor nearly every change of possession.

  • Nov 10, 20106:43 pm
    by Oats


    @PCB. Monroe wasn’t the only guy getting beat back though. Everyone was, and it was happening consistently. I agree with you that Monroe seemed slow getting back, but you can’t complain about him doing it and not bring up everyone else. Aldridge killed everyone he was lined up against, including your boy Daye. Daye probably played him the best, and was definitely the bright spot of the game for us, but Aldridge did show us why many people don’t consider Daye an option at the 4.
    I kept hoping Monroe would win that starting spot, but he really hasn’t yet. As crazy as this is, Daye might be our best defensive power forward. He does a good job fronting guys, making inlet passes difficult. He also has the length and timing to challenge shots. Sure he gets pushed around a bit, but Daye still might be our best option. Besides, if Monroe is playing the 4, then who backs up Wallace at the 5? Do we play Maxiell there, and if so, who comes out of the rotation to plug Max back in? Or do we go to an 11 man rotation? Or do we do the unthinkable and play CV as our backup 5? None of these options make sense to me. In my opinion, we have to decide between starting CV and Daye for our starting 4. I’d rather start Daye at 4 than CV for now, but it might benefit Daye to move to the bench from time to time and play against some less physical bench forwards.
    Anyways, I think I’m joining PCB on the start Daye at power forward bandwagon. I’m here under protest though, I just don’t see a better option for this team. I really do wish we could get him playing at the 2 or 3. It’s bad when the guy you want to start at the 4 you would rather have as a backup 2. I’m seriously starting to wonder if we would be better off if one of our back court players was always injured, that way Max can be our backup 5, Monroe can start at the 4, and Daye can be our backup 3/2 depending on who is injured.

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