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Streaking: Detroit Pistons try to end longstanding futility against Utah Jazz

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons at Utah Jazz

Date: Jan. 3, 2011

Time: 9 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 11-22

Jazz: 23-11

Probable starters

Pistons:

Jazz:

  • Deron Williams
  • Raja Bell
  • Andrei Kirilenko
  • Paul Milsap
  • Al Jefferson

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +9.5

Over/under: 193

Score: Jazz win, 101.25-91.75

Three things to watch

1.What strategies will coaches Villanueva and Gordon come up with?

Villanueva and Gordon have both questioned the team’s (read: coaching staff’s) ability to make adjustments over the last week. John Kuester responded by inviting players who have suggestions on how to do things better to offer them up.

Here’s an idea for the players, however: play better. Adjustments are required less when players play well.

2. Can the Pistons end the streak?

No team has had the Pistons’ number like Utah over the years, even when the Pistons were one of the best teams in the NBA. The Jazz have won 11 straight over Detroit. It’s unlikely after getting blown out by a mediocre Phoenix team that Detroit can win on the road against one of the league’s best teams in one of the toughest arena’s for visiting players, but hey, no one thought the Pistons would beat Boston either, so there’s a chance I guess.

3. Right on track …

At 11-22, the Pistons have won exactly one third of their games. Why is that significant? That puts them right on pace for 27 wins this season. If you remember, that’s the number of games they won last season, decimated by injuries. This year, with relatively better health (minus the Jerebko injury), the Pistons have managed to play at about the same level as last season. The record is not a surprise to many, who expected the team to be bad. But it surely is a surprise to team brass, who thought that once everyone got healthy, the team would automatically be in the playoffs.

Pregame Reading

15 Comments

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  • Jan 3, 201111:15 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    my responses to the 3 things to watch:
    1) they can play as hard as they want, but it’ll do no good. it would be nice to see effort from players, but it’s hard to blame them for not busting ass with such a poor roster and coaching.
     
    2) nothing to complain about here.
     
    3) “relatively” better health?? they’ve got one significant injury. to a second round hustle player. again, not to diminish what the guy brings to the team, but among all the players dumars made significant long-term commitments to, our health has been FANTASTIC this season. he’s just made some awful long-term commitments.

  • Jan 3, 201111:31 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    Well, Q possibly cost the Pistons another game by calling a stupid timeout with 20 seconds still on the shot clock so that he didn’t have one at the end when he needed one.

    I finally saw Greg Monroe dunk.

    Tay had his best game of the year – he played perfect basketball. T-Mac played great as well.

    In the first half Utah exposed why Austin Daye will never play the 2-guard in the NBA – at least on defense. He cannot guard the curl around the mid-screen. Thought he played well in the second half though, when he was used at the 3 or 4 position.

  • Jan 3, 201111:35 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    Well, they certainly haven’t had significant injuries other than Jerebko. But they have had a ton of nagging things that caused guys to miss games — Hamilton, Stuckey, Wilcox, Wallace, Bynum have all missed games or not been 100 percent at times.
    Nothing that should impact that quality of play, but I just didn’t want to make it seem like they’ve been injury-free either.
    As for effort, they are professionals. It is not hard at all to blame them for not playing hard. We’re going on three straight years of questionable effort from some players. I’m not saying I don’t understand — it’s natural to get frustrated by losing and incompetence. I’m just saying I don’t have too much sympathy for the players complaining about “adjustments.” If they were busting their asses and it was solely the coaching staff costing them games, that’s one thing. But the coaches suck and the players don’t play hard all the time. I’m not interested in hearing whining from either side to be honest.

  • Jan 4, 201112:08 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @pcb:

    Haha. Daye shot 2-for-8 and you’re still on here jockin your boy. At least the player who my bias always shines through for (McGrady) is actually productive.

  • Jan 4, 201112:09 am
    by bg8

    Reply

    kuester cost them the game. where was gordon in the 2nd and the 4th. i don’t count that 10 sec of him standing in the corner in the 2nd quarter as being on the court.

    and guess what two quarter the pistons outscored the jazz in? 1st and 3rd. and what two quarters did the pistons get outscored by the jazz in? the 2nd and 4th

  • Jan 4, 201112:34 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @bg8:

    It went beyond Gordon. Why were Monroe and Daye in the game down the stretch? Where was Ben Wallace? Monroe failed to contest the shot Williams hit in the lane before Bell’s three. Wallace would’ve certainly stepped out on that play.

    And Daye shot 2-for-8 in the game. No reason for him to be in the game with Gordon and Villanueva both on the bench for most of the fourth.

  • Jan 4, 20112:36 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    basketball is a contact sport. it’s a long season. there are going to be nagging injuries here and there. the pistons have nothing to complain about in that regard this season. nothing at all. everyone’s in the same boat. the problem we have is that the healthy bodies we have can’t win games.
     
    and the team consistently proves that it doesn’t matter who starts at SG. both our SGs played 24 unremarkable minutes, so we continue to pay around $24 million for 48 minutes of ho-hum production at one position… arguably the “least important” one.

  • Jan 4, 20113:16 am
    by bg8

    Reply

    @laser

    in my opinion, thats part of the problem with kuester. he see gordon and rip as 1 player, not two seperate players. both played decent in 24 min, combine them together into 1 player, which is what kuester see them as, you got a pretty decent sg, averaging 25pts, 5reb, 5asist per game. yeah not 24 mil worth, but still pretty good

    if he actually treat them as two seperate players, and allow them to play together more often, they would be able to produce more

  • Jan 4, 20113:38 am
    by jack

    Reply

    I dont mind Daye being out there in critical junctions of the ball games. He is the future of this ball club so more minutes he gets in such situations and will be great for his development. Not having the Pistons best 3pt shooter in Gordon is the head scratcher.

  • Jan 4, 20118:22 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @Hayes

    Daye had two crucial steals down the stretch, a block (which he may not have been creditied for – Blaha said Prince on the telecast but it was Daye – made two clutch free throws and nearly hit a three after Bell got favored by the refs & got a 3 on a two point shot. Daye played well down the stretch.

    McGrady played great. I love T-Mac. But Utah is a very deliberate team that rarely picks up full court. It is exactly the best case scenerio for T-Mac.

  • Jan 4, 20113:08 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    i don’t think gordon and hamilton will ever play particularly well together. they’re both shooting guards with a capital S, and you’re forcing one of them to play out of position almost every time they’re on the floor together… unless your opponent goes with a three guard rotation, and who would against us? it’s the only game plan that plays right into our hands. hence our ability to play stuckey, gordon and rip a combined 105 minutes against cleveland in a win.
     
    but we can almost never do that. it’s not kuester’s fault; i wouldn’t play them together much either. perhaps with t-mac on the floor, who can run the offense smoothly and guard opposing small forwards, but that’s not a great perimeter unit.

  • Jan 4, 20119:53 pm
    by bg8

    Reply

    i don’t see why rip can’t play the 3 position or bg the pg, most time the 2 and the 3 are interchangeable anyway. beside theres aren’t that many sf that will take rip into the post. i don’t see a problem having bg, stuckey, rip on the floor at the sametime, or bg, rip, tmac, or even bg, rip, daye on together. sure the last combo would be for a short period of time only though.

  • Jan 4, 201110:59 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @bg8:

    Gordon doesn’t handle the ball well enough to play the point. That’s the major weakness in his game. He can certainly defend PGs on defense though.

  • Jan 5, 20112:04 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    yeah gordon is constantly exploited and trapped when he’s forced to do much ballhandling. heck, ballhandling is literally the one thing that has some people fooled into calling him a “combo” guard as opposed to a SG. and yet he still almost never uses his ballhandling to actually maneuver himself into a better position to do something with the ball. 90% of the time he stands still at the top of the key or just goes in for a power layup attempt.
     
    and rip’s just not big enough to be called a small forward with a straight face. he can guard the position in stretches situationally, but you can’t afford to play him there all the time. you just can’t.

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