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Chauncey Billups would like Will Bynum to remember who built this house

Will Bynum enjoys fourth quarters, it seems. Unfortunately, a certain former Piston who hopefully haunts Joe Dumars’ dreams enjoys them just a bit more.

A Bynum layup, two of his 13 fourth quarter points, with just over three minutes left got the Pistons within one, but Chauncey Billups immediately answered with a 3-pointer and he’d hit three more 3-pointers for good measure in the final minutes because, well, just to give an added kick to the groin I guess, and Denver pulled out a 109-100 win.

Honestly, because of Feldman’s antiquated views on profanity, I can’t relate exactly what I thought immediately after Billups’ second 3-pointer. But let’s just say it involved Joe Dumars. And something he can do. And I don’t even dislike Joe Dumars. It was just impossibly hard to watch that Billups sequence in the fourth quarter without getting really mad. Ridiculously mad, actually.

But seriously, good for Billups. That has to be the ultimate feeling, to come back to an arena you used to own, an arena that used to be full of energy, as weird as that sounds considering the Palace right now is probably the deadest place in the NBA, and give the ultimate middle finger to the organization that traded you for no reason. And on top of that, he got the added bonus of getting a small measure of revenge of his beleaguered friend Rip Hamilton, whom Billups obviously has a lot of sympathy for right now.

The fourth three in that flurry wasn’t even really necessary, and it was the one that brought out the trademark Billups grin. That’s when it was too much pain for me. But I got over it because, made up in my own head or not, I like to think that last three and the smile that went with it was specifically for Dumars for pulling the plug on Billups and his team too soon.

Denver is a good team, and the Pistons were in this game most of the way, but don’t get it twisted: they took some steps back from the goodwill that had been built up by positive performances in previous games. Denver wasn’t at full strength, not even close actually. Detroit didn’t defend well. And to make matters worse, not only did Billups score 26 points, but fellow starter Arron Afflalo scored 17. Nothing like seeing two former players come in and show that they are infinitely better than the guys you replaced them with.

Watching Billups and Afflalo perform at that level for another team on the Palace floor made this one of the hardest games for me to watch in a long time. I’m glad the Pistons have played better lately, I’m glad there are some young with promise on the team getting good minutes and contributing, but it’s frankly ridiculous that the Pistons not only gave up Billups and Afflalo, but they gave them up with no assets to show for the trouble.

Defending ‘Melo

Carmelo Anthony shot the ball poorly and Tayshaun Prince, who played 38 minutes defending ‘Melo for many of them, did a nice job contesting Anthony’s shots. Anthony hit only two shots in the second half.

To his credit, however, Anthony did a little bit of everything since his shot wasn’t falling. He had 10 rebounds and seven assists and he even played a little defense himself, holding Prince to 5-for-14 shooting. The Pistons did enough with ‘Melo to limit his scoring, but this was the rare game where Anthony made a positive impact on the outcome even when his shot was not falling.

No taking advantage of backups

Other than the whole Billups/Afflalo angle, the most disappointing aspect of this game was Detroit’s inability to take advantage of a really depleted Denver frontcourt. Nene and Kenyon Martin were both late scratches, so Denver started Shelden Williams and Al Harrington. That’s hardly an imposing duo. And still, both were pretty effective. Williams scored a season-high 13 points and although Harrington shot poorly (though it certainly didn’t make him more bashful as his 13 shot attempts attest), his presence and 3-point shooting ability stretched the Pistons defense enough to open up driving lanes for Billups, Afflalo and J.R. Smith.

Detroit actually out-rebounded Denver 43-37, but they got minimal on offense from Ben Wallace (no points) and Chris Wilcox (2-for-6 shooting).

Consistency eludes Daye

Many were understandably excited with Austin Daye‘s career-high performance against Orlando. It’s not that I’m not excited about Daye’s potential. I am. He’s a beautiful offensive player. But I do get irritated with fans and writers alike who treat him as if he’s clearly going to be an elite-level scorer in this league. Frankly, he’s still wildly inconsistent. He followed up that brilliant Orlando performance with a poor one against Denver.

In the past, the staunch Daye defenders chalk that up to one of two things: either the veterans didn’t pass to him or John Kuester didn’t play him enough minutes. Now, he did only put up six shots vs. Denver, but it was more a matter of Daye not being very aggressive rather than teammates not looking for him. And he also played 24 minutes. It’s just way too early to project what his ceiling is when he follows up a great performance with a performance in which he only makes one shot. And worse yet, he didn’t even do anything else really against Denver.

Right now, Daye is a nice scoring option off the bench, and a handful of decent performances aside, he hasn’t proven than we should expect him to be anymore than a nice scoring option off the bench.

24 Comments

  • Jan 26, 201111:18 pm
    by Regan

    Reply

    Will Bynum is awful at defense. Billups destroyed him every single possession.

  • Jan 26, 201111:29 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    Well said, Patrick. I still to this day throw on my Chauncey Pistons jersey, and cry myself to sleep.. :( (Yes, i just typed that..)
     
    You are absolutely right though, it has to be such a sweet feeling for him to come back to the Palace and show that he still can play the game.
     
    Oh how i miss the good ol’ days…

  • Jan 26, 201111:31 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Regan:
    Bynum wasn’t in the game to defend, he was in the game to provide a spark on offense, which he did big time in the fourth.
    Billups beat up on every defender the Pistons threw at him.

  • Jan 27, 201112:16 am
    by James (Australia)

    Reply

    As much as you hate to admit it, Patrick, the Pistons missed Stuckey for his defence tonight. If Stuckey doesn’t get levelled by a Carmelo Anthony moving screen, then Billups doesn’t have that last quarter explosion. I don’t know if it is Stuckey’s size or speed, but he has always seemed to annoy Billups.
     
    “Unfortunately, a certain former Piston who hopefully haunts Joe Dumars’ dreams enjoys them just a bit more.” Really? Sure, I think we could have been much more competitive the past few seasons with Billups, but were we going to win a title? No, we had 4 more goes at that after the ’04 title and we couldn’t do it then. At the end of the day, winning titles is what it is all about. Detroit was not going to win anymore titles as constituted. Move on.

  • Jan 27, 201112:42 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    i dunno. i miss chauncey a lot, but afflalo chafes me about ten times more. chauncey we traded for a pretty good shot at rebuilding (squandered though it was), and he was an aging player on a rich, long-term contract; afflalo was a young, tough, hard-working, high character 2/3 on a dirt cheap rookie deal… and we gave him away for absolutely nothing in order to make room for overpaying ben gordon (whom he’s been consistently outperforming statistically, while providing lock-down defense on opposing teams’ best players).
     
    i can live with any of dumars’s moves, whether they worked out or blew up in his face, as long as they made sense on any level.

  • Jan 27, 20112:19 am
    by jgk281

    Reply

    The Pistons could’ve taken more advantage of the Nuggets depleted frontcourt had Bynum not been determined to deflate the basketball with his dribbling. I dont care about his defense, but we’re not going to win too many games with 4/5ths of our offense standing around watching Will Bynum dribble around acting like he’s Michael Jordan. In a way, his defense was stellar tonight. He basically took OUR whole team out of rhythm by never passing to anyone, lol.

    I give Kuester credit lately, but shouldn’t the bigger T-Mac have been guarding Chauncey down the stretch? If the game plan was to put Bynum on Chauncey, it failed miserably, lol.

  • Jan 27, 20112:26 am
    by jgk281

    Reply

    Laser, the worst thing about trading Afflalo is that at the time the Pistons felt Gordon was so much better than Afflalo that he was worth paying $9 mil more a yr for, and now Afflalo is without a doubt a better overall player than Gordon, imo, and still costs less than half of what Gordon costs and is about 4 yrs younger I think. Man, Joe messed that one up.

  • Jan 27, 20113:31 am
    by Tom Y.

    Reply

    @ Laser – I seem to recall Afflalo being traded to make room to sign Wilcox, which of course would be just as stupid. Anyway, I was also terribly upset about that for the same reasons and still am when I see him playing well (which was to be expected)

  • Jan 27, 20117:49 am
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    How can everybody here miss the elephant in the room? Stuckey started the game on fire and he was taken out by a cheap shot early in the game. Also CV tried to play, played great had to be taken out, tried to come back and had to be taken out again. So the Pistons were depleted as well. So what made me mad was the fact that Denver (or Anthony really) played like (a) cheap thug and was rewarded for it. Both by taking out Stuckey, but also by getting away with other outrageous fouls all night long. In what was a close game until the very end, that was the difference, Billups notwithstanding. Also note, the Pistons are a much better defensive team with Stuckey as well.

  • Jan 27, 20118:09 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    total garbage Hayes. Daye was not inconsistent. When Will Bynum is playing his game and scoring no one else sees the ball. Watch the tape of the game. How many times was Daye open but never saw the ball?

    Q at least is starting to trust Daye more than Gordon. That is a good beginning.

    Chauncy was amazing.

    Affalo is a nice guard but……he was a two guard, a position of depth on the Pistons

  • Jan 27, 20118:14 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    and Gordon Brown is right on. Melo should have been ejected or at least hit with a tech on that play that injured Stuckey. it was a total cheap shot. Instead Melo got calls all night and laughed about them on his way to the free throw line.

    and i too, am very sick of Will Bynum pounding the ball, whether he makes his shot or drive or not. Could we please get a point guard?

  • Jan 27, 20118:56 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @James:
    As much as I hate to admit it? I’m not really a Stuckey basher. I don’t think he’s a point guard, but the one aspect of his game I’ve consistently praised is his ability, when he wants to, to get after it defensively.
    And it’s not that I think they would’ve won a title. I think the smarter move to rebuild, however, would’ve been keeping Billups and not extending Hamilton. Then, the Pistons still would’ve had cap space that offseason, but they’d have a veteran PG who was still an All-Star level player.

  • Jan 27, 20118:57 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    Giving away Afflalo definitely made the least sense, I’m with you.

  • Jan 27, 20118:59 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @ jgk281:
    Yeah, I don’t really understand the defensive matchups late either. Bynum was in because he gave an offensive spark, but Billups has abused small guards his entire career. It’s the one thing he still does exceptionally well.
    Although it should be pointed out that Billups’ didn’t even have to bother going into the post much since he did his fourth quarter damage with his 3-point shooting.

  • Jan 27, 20119:03 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:
    Half of your comments are total garbage. Sorry, but Daye had open shots and shot 1-for-6. That’s a bad game. And once again, you’re making excuses for the kid.
    He’s a nice offensive player right now. He’s not a star. Why should he have touched the ball in the fourth when he played poorly on offense and Bynum was hitting everything? Explain that.
    Sorry, but you can’t score 20 one game and then disappear the next if you’re a future starter/20 ppg scorer in this league. Other than defense, Daye’s biggest weakness is that he has big games followed up by disappearing acts. The “blame someone else” crap that you defend him with gets hella old. He played poorly in a decent amoutn of minutes. That’s no one’s fault but his.

  • Jan 27, 201110:36 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    PP is a great place. We have the likes of Ben Gordon, aka bg8, and Austin Daye, aka detroitpcb, commenting on here. The daughter of the great Bill Laimbeer, and the illustrious opinions of Mike Payne and Ben Gulker among others. Ha.
     
    No seriously that Afflalo deal will forever kill me. We had a guard at a fraction of the price of Gordon that was younger and better than Gordon and we could have used those resources elsewhere. Could have went after David Lee or if we expressed interest maybe Boozer would have opted out that year. But hey we have Gordon and CV so all is good in Pistons land. I hate reliving that past. The Pistons should never have to play the Nuggets again. And then when you consider Darko. No. Denver should be stricken from the schedule forever.

  • Jan 27, 201112:43 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @tom: yes, afflalo was unloaded (along with trading amir for oberto’s 1/2-guaranteed contract) in order to free up cap space to sign chris wilcox. but, like tom said, it was still a horrendous move on every level. afflalo was obviously a hard worker, gym rat, fast-improving and on a rookie deal. now he’s a fixture for the nuggets. and wilcox is finally in the rotation after a year and a half after being dead weight last season.
     
    but the impetus for trading afflalo specifically was that between stuckey, gordon, rip, bynum and tayshaun, and drafting three small forwards, there didn’t figure to be any minutes “left over” for afflalo. ugh.

  • Jan 27, 201112:50 pm
    by Regan

    Reply

    @Hayes: So…because he wasn’t put in the game as a defensive stopper, then he isn’t supposed to play D? Bynum was seriously crossed over multiple times by a 34 year old Chauncey Billups. An aging guard who was already slow to begin with? That’s ridiculous.

  • Jan 27, 20111:09 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Regan:

    Bynum was in the game to provide an offensive spark, which he did.

    Billups has always killed smaller guards. It was a bad matchup for the Pistons for sure. But they were trading offense for defense. Honestly, the one guy on the roster who they wanted defending Billups, Stuckey, was not available. So they took their chances playing an offense-first unit to try and score with the best offensive team in the league. It didn’t work. Whatevs.

    I mean, seriously, Bynum only played 21 minutes in the game. Billups scored 26 in the game and shot really well. Yeah, Bynum sucked defensively against him, but he also wasn’t the only player defending him.

  • Jan 27, 20111:47 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    I totally agree with the the criticizms of letting Afflalo go for nothing.. If we were truly trying to “Rebuild”, why let a guy go that was so promising? He was great in college, and showed hustle and work ethic in his early years in Detroit..
     
    We had the SG position stacked, we had a good amount of depth – Hamilton being the clear starter, Afflalo the backup, and Stuck always a possibility to slide into that role, if need be. Instead, we decide to throw a MASSIVE contract at Ben Gordon, a guy who has never played solid defense a day in his life…
     
    Afflalo was the opitamy of a Detroit Piston – a team player, who hustles and is a hard nose defender. We also had him on the cheap, and could have extended him very inexpensively as well..
     
    Just makes absolutely no sense – and im beginning to be more and more frustrated with Dumars as the days go by…

  • Jan 27, 20111:54 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    Could not have expressed my thoughts on billups and afflalo any better.
    both of those deals were tough to take, but the afflalo deal was definitely the toughest.  i thought that he would be the next generation pistons’ on-court leader, the guy who set the kind of hardnosed, defensive tone that typified pistons teams.

  • Jan 27, 20115:26 pm
    by bg8

    Reply

    yes, made a name for myself on here. someone actually remember me

    anyway, i guess i should be saying how pistons loss because bg wasn’t in the game at the end, and that he should’ve been in the game instead of daye, but i won’t. since supraisingly, they were able to score with bynum getting lucky (won’t see that for another week or so)

    so anyway, how long is stuckey out for. hopefully its for a couple of week (but it doesn’t look that bad) so bg can start and given a fair chance if rip is kept out of the rotation. then if he don’t produce ship him out at the trade deadline and let him take his talent to another city (also if trade bg, should trade cv with bg too)

  • Jan 28, 20118:17 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @hayes

    your argument is undermined by the very statistic you quote: Daye only got 6 shots. Talk to me about consistency when he is getting 12 shots a game in his 24 to 30 minutes.

    yr really blind to what is going on. Or are you going to tell me that Will Bynum looks for somebody else’s offense?

  • Jan 28, 20119:34 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:
    That wasn’t a result of people not looking for him. It wa s a result of Daye not being very aggressive. He was insanley aggressive vs. Orlando. Against Denver, he was content to float around the perimeter. He didn’t attack Daye’s shots were all jumpers except for his one make right at the basket. He didn’t work for better shots. He didn’t put it on the floor. He made himself a catch and shoot player. He’s better than that, and you should know that as well as anyone. He was content to be a stationary player, and coming off of a game where he was incredibly active, where his teammates were always looking for him, it was disappointing, and it was no one’s fault but Daye’s.
    Will Bynum is irrelevant to the discussion. He’s an energy player off the bench. His role is to come in, push the pace and look to score. That’s all he can really do. Sometimes, he’s way off and he costs the team. Sometimes, like against Denver, he gets hot and carries the team for a stretch. Bynum shot 75 percent in that game, so if you’re asking if I have a problem with him shooting more than Daye, who shot17 percent, then the answer is no. I was fine with Will Bynum’s play offensively in the fourth quarter of that game. He did what he’s supposed to do.

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