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Not it: The Cavs’ losing streak lives on

Everyone thought the Pistons were going to lose to Cleveland. Columnists were pleading with the Pistons not to lose. People on Twitter were irrationally fearing the worst. PistonPowered commenters were convinced a loss was coming.

And it even affected Vegas. Earlier today, the Pistons were listed as one point favorites (hence the numbers in my game preview). Before game time, however, that had changed and they were 1.5 point underdogs. (Hat-tip Brian Packey) To a team that had lost 25 straight games. Then the Pistons got off to a sluggish start, and people assumed the worst was happening.

But fortunately, the Pistons came away with a 103-94 win. It wasn’t pretty the whole way. Cleveland got a little too close, cutting it to five at one point in the second half, but the Cavs eventually ran out of steam, and the biggest factor was the Pistons bench.

We haven’t heard that in a while. If you remember, when the Pistons got off to a wretched start this season, the crutch virtually every writer looking at the bright side leaned on was that beautiful bench scoring. “Sure, they’ve played bad, but their bench totally out-scores every other team’s.”

It was a hollow stat for sure. After all, what value is a bench that puts up numbers if your starting unit is getting crushed every night? That type of production doesn’t lead to wins. But against Cleveland, the Pistons’ bench production did the opposite. They didn’t simply outscore the opposing second unit. They changed the pace of the game and used their energy to wear Cleveland down. That’s what great benches do, and that’s the difference between the early season bench scoring and the bench production in this game.

It’s important to note the difference. The bench certainly scored against Cleveland, combining for 61 points. But Rodney Stuckey, although he didn’t shoot that well at 6-for-16, constantly had the defense on its heels as he looked to attack. Chris Wilcox returned and had six points and six rebounds, spelling Greg Monroe and Ben Wallace, who looked like last night’s tough matchup with San Antonio’s frontline had some lingering affects on both. And Charlie Villanueva had his highest scoring game since Jan. 17. Cleveland basically only played six guys significant minutes, and the fact that the Pistons were able to bring in a completely fresh second unit essentially made it impossible for the Cavs to keep pace.

But let’s get to the good part: it was once again Will Bynum, who quite possibly is a reader of PistonPowered comments.

After his fantastic game against the Spurs, I was quite frankly shocked at the number of people in the comments who were critical of one of only two Pistons who really had a good game. I thought it was outrageous. But the number one complaint, it seemed, was that some people felt Bynum was out of control and didn’t look to pass enough against San Antonio. Well, just to prove that he’s a man of many styles, he scored, he dished and he ran the offense efficiently against Cleveland. Bynum scored 17 points with 7 assists and just one turnover. Each game, he seems to get closer and closer to where he was before he suffered a series of leg injuries that sapped his explosiveness. Bynum is capable of being as good a backup point guard as their is in the league. Now they just have to figure out who that starting point guard should be.

A win over one of the worst teams of all-time is nothing to get particularly excited about. But it has to feel good for Detroit to win a game that, for whatever reason, most people believed they would lose. The bench play allowed John Kuester to limit the minutes of Wallace and Tracy McGrady, which should be beneficial heading into Friday’s game vs. the Heat.

3 Comments

  • Feb 9, 201111:23 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    That starting point guard will be Kyrie Irving. Hopefully Chuck Daley swing something with god up there to make it happen.

  • Feb 10, 20115:58 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    ugh. gag me. if i have to watch bynum play another game i’m going to kill my whole family and turn the gun on myelf! i swear to god i don’t know why anyone would allow him to play the game at all, professionally or even just for fun, ever. come to think of it, i’m not sure any just and loving god would let that man so much as touch a basketball. objectively speaking, will bynum is reason enough to question the existence of god. what anyone sees in him is beyond my comprehension. if he’s not the only reason the pistons are so bad, he’s certainly the primary reason. it’s a miracle his teammates were able to compensate for whatever he was doing on the court, because he very nearly cost us yet another game. did you see the time he turned it over?? what was he trying to do, give the game away on a silver platter? it’s like he was trying to make us lose. i actually threw a brick at my TV because he is so worthless, as a basketball player and very possibly as a human being (and i use that term loosely), so he is actually costing me money! i work HARD for my money, unlike will bynum. that guy is out to ruin not just the pistons, but the game of basketball itself. he’s caused me to smash at least one TV every game he’s played, sometimes up to three or four in the same game. there’s nothing wrong in the world that can’t be traced back to will bynum. i’ve suspected he was responsible for 9/11 from the first time i was forced (practically at knifepoint, or at least it felt that way) to watch him play basketball. mel gibson thinks jews are responsible for all the wars in the world? well, then i can guarantee you he must have never seen will bynum play basketball. i am almost completely convinced that will bynum is the antichrist. just try to disagree; i’ll direct you to all the evidence i need: all you have to do is watch him play basketball ONCE. he stinks!!! arghhhhhhhh…..

    • Feb 10, 20111:50 pm
      by d4ncingp3nguin

      Reply

      If we were on facebook, I’d “like” this post.

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