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Pistons loss to Pacers in opener leaves hopeless feeling

Hope, as it does annually, sprung for the Pistons. Unfortunately, it had a shelf life of about an hour.

Hope has expired.

None of those outcomes are off the table after only one game, but hope is.

After a 91-79 loss to the Pacers tonight, the Pistons are a longshot to make the playoffs. That shouldn’t be a surprise after the Pistons returned nearly the same roster from a 30-win team, but for anyone who was holding out at least some hope of a postseason run, tonight was a crushing blow.

More than any year since the lockout-shortened 1999 season, every game counts. A loss matters. A loss to team whose playoff spot the Pistons would like to steal matters more.

Obviously, the Pistons uninspiring performance matters much more than a single loss. The Pistons didn’t even look like a playoff team, or even close. Not even the most eternal optimist could claim the Pistons belong on the Pacers’ level, let alone the Eastern Conference’s upper tier.

Even at 66 games, it’s a long season. I caution against overreacting to just one game, and it’s possible everything bulleted above turns in the Pistons’ favor.  The Pistons could reasonably improve – and boy, they better. With 65 games left, a lot is still possible.

A dose of pragmatism is necessary.

Optimism is not.

Jonas Jerebko excels in return

Jonas Jerebko (7-of-11 for 17 points with five rebounds, an assist a steal and a block) was the Pistons’ best player tonight. I’ll let you decide whether that’s a positive or negative for the team.

For Jerebko, it’s fantastic.

He ran the floor with energy, shot well from outside and showed excellent activity defensively. It was great having him back, and he looks much more polished than he did two years ago.

Unfortunately, there were a couple kinks he didn’t show during his rookie season:

1. David West (11 points on 3-of-12 shooting and seven offensive rebounds) and Tyler Hansbrough (15 points on 6-of-14 shooting and five offensive rebounds) gave Jerebko a tough time in the paint. Jerebko’s active defense helped, but man-on-man, he was pretty up and down.

2. Jerebko showed a nice stroke on a couple nice long twos, but he must do a better job of recognizing where the 3-point line is.  For 50 percent more points, it would have been worth the slightly longer attempt.

Hopefully, that’s rust and nothing more.

Brandon Knight a work in progress

Brandon Knight was more down than up in his debut. He missed all three of his 2-point shots, turned the ball over four times and had no assists in 16 minutes. Offensively and defensively, he looked a bit lost. Perhaps, not too lost to see regular minutes – but probably too lost to run the offense for significant stretches.

On the plus side, he made 3-of-6 3-pointers to take advantage of what might be his biggest strength right now.

Rodney Stuckey steps up defensively, struggles offensively

Rodney Stuckey played strong defense, which he does fairly often. More than merely using his size and foot speed to stay between his man and the basket, his M.O., Stuckey harassed the Pacers effectively. His quick hands got a couple steals, and he deflected more balls.

His offense – despite a strong final line of 17 points and six assists – wasn’t as impressive. Outside of the game’s final 15 minutes – which the Pistons began down 24 and never threatened in – Stuckey scored four points on 1-of-6 shooting, attempted just two free throws, assisted four baskets and turned the ball over twice in 24 minutes. On the night, he missed four layups, including two the Pacers blocked.

I’m not faulting Stuckey for padding his stats, and that late play might be a real sign of progress for the late arrival to training camp. But I’d like to see better play with in a game still contested before I lavish praise.

Greg Monroe’s non-game

Greg Monroe’s season will start Wednesday against Cleveland, as far as I’m concern. Five fouls held Monroe to 21:39 – the least he’s played in his last 19 games. In fact, since New Year’s, Monroe played fewer minutes just twice.

He scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds tonight, but he barely impacted the game. It was hardly the performance I expected from Monroe, who’s coming off a strong rookie year looking to evolve into a more rounded player.

If foul trouble remains a concern, we’ll address it, but a few of Monroe’s fouls tonight seemed pretty touchy. I’d guess this was just a fluke.

Ben Wallace can still defend

Ben Wallace (seven rebounds and three blocks in 18 minutes) provided a spark off the bench. He took a few minutes to warm up, but once he did, the Pistons’ defense picked up.

I’m not sure Wallace, 37, can handle an expanded load or back-to-backs, let alone back-to-back-to-backs. But for one night, it was nice to see he can still play.

Ben Gordon still can’t score

Ben Gordon (4-of-14, including 1-of-4 on 3-pointers, for 14 points with five turnovers) looked off. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, because he’s been off the last two years.

He’ll have good games, when he looks like the Bulls’ Ben Gordon, and everyone will get excited. But I fear games like this will be more common.

Transition perimeter defense

Lawrence Frank will have his hands full fixing the Pistons defense, but closing on the perimeter would be a great place to start. The Pacers shot 7-of-15 on 3-pointers, many of them coming on fastbreaks or semi-fastbreaks. Often, every Piston racing up the court went to the lane rather than identifying trailers.

Another approach to solving that issue would be preventing fastbreaks. The Pistons’ turnover rate (17.6) would’ve ranked last in the league last season. Hopefully, that’s a product of the lockout, but the Pacers didn’t have nearly the same trouble taking care of the ball.

Small play from small forwards

Tayshaun Prince (six points, three rebounds, two assists and a block) played a largely forgettable 34 minutes. His backup, Austin Daye (no points and a misleadingly high seven defensive rebounds*) didn’t do much, either. And third-string Damien Wilkins didn’t play.

*One came off a missed free throw. One came after a blocked shot. Three came when power forwards took jumpers and weren’t in the lane to crash the offensive glass. One came as the third quarter expired.

The Pistons need more production from that position.


  • Dec 26, 20119:51 pm
    by qm22


    Well, that was a pretty ridiculously mistake riddled performance as bad as about any in memory. I disagree with some of these on the list of dashed hopes, though…

    Hope that Rodney Stuckey would finally finisher better inside.

    He didn’t really do that bad. He had a few times where he put up an ugly shot and seemed to think he was fouled (I couldn’t tell), but he scored on some of those attempts, and unlike previous seasons was able to find a capable finisher once he got inside (Jerebko)

    Hope that Ben Gordon would score like he did with the Bulls.

    He was a very hot/cold player with the Bulls, sometimes he would do this too. Although I don’t remember turnovers being part of that in Chicago, however, given the lack of offensive preparation and cohesion on offense I wouldn’t give up on him.

    Hope that Jonas Jerebko would pick up where he left off two years ago.

    I’m not sure if he didn’t do that, unless I forgot something. He seemed like a really great complimentary option on offense, like before… His defense and rebounding were awful but I think going against Hibbert and West front courts was never his forte.
    Also not sure about Prince–he looked injured if it was not my imagination. He did play much less selfishly, which was a positive.

  • Dec 26, 201110:11 pm
    by Adam


    I think the first thing to take away from this game is that the Pistons obviously need another big man, badly. I do not like saying it, but it will nice to have Villanueva back over Maxiell because Maxiell was horrible, and he is done as any sort of NBA rotation player.
    The rest did not look THAT horrible. Monroe will have more production if he does not get in foul trouble. 17 and 6 is the best you can get from Stuckey–he quietly had a solid game.
    Ben Gordon should shoot better than he did, and he still had 14, so that should not to be horrible. And finally, Ben Wallace was impressive–the rest of the Pistons should take something from him–his tenacity is incredible for a man of his age.
    In the end, I think the Pistons are exactly as everyone expected to be–not the worst team in the league, but below the 8th spot in the league–unfortunate.

  • Dec 26, 201110:15 pm
    by vic


    Not if you’re hoping for Andre Drummond! I already knew that if we didnt get a big man, we would be the worst team in the league. We are a double double machine for opposing 4s and 5s. Indiana had 3 double doubles tonight – Hibbert, Hansbrrough, and West. Jerebko was our best player, and he’s really a smaill forward. Monroe is not a Center.

    • Dec 27, 201110:57 am
      by Sebastian


      vic, you are so right: Monroe is a PF and Jerebko is a SF and each should be starting at these positions.

      Doesn’t Joe wear glasses? He should be able to see that OUR squad needs a true Center on the roster. Go get Fesenko! Put his azz in the starting line-up, so that WE at the very least will have guys playing in their correct positions.

      How it the h-e- double hockey sticks are going to win any games with guys playing out of position.

      The line-up should be as follows:

      PG -Stuckey/Knight/Bynum (Knight getting 30 minutes at the point and Stuckey getting significant minutes at the SG)
      SG- Daye/Ben G.
      SF- Jerebko/Tay/Wilkens
      PF- Monroe/Charlie V.
      C- Fesenko/Big Ben/Maxey/Maclin 

  • Dec 26, 201110:16 pm
    by Max


    A lot of national pundits are predicting the Pacers to finish in the east’s upper tier and I don’t see why they are wrong.  Only the Heat and Bulls are really a good bet to finish ahead of them.  They were a young playoff team last year that acquired a veteran all star.  They have a huge team in general and I wish Greg Monroe had grown 2 inches during the off season the way Paul George did.
    That said, the Pistons looked pretty bad though the calls were pretty curious during the first quarter and got them off to a rough start.   The refs took Stukey out of the game when he tried to assert himself as a rebounder and defender but he is going to have to continue to be aggressive in that role and avoid getting so many calls.
    On that score, Stuckey was playing pretty well per minute and should have gotten some more assists but Gordon was just woeful.   He scored a few times, but it seemed like the Pistons couldn’t get anything going together.  I remember one play where Jerebko dove out of bounds to retrieve an errant ball and he passed it right through the other four Pistons on the floor and they called a turnover when a Pacer got the ball.  On another, Big Ben was wide open under the basket and Stuckey hit him in the head with a pass because he wasn’t looking.  Just horrible.
    We can still hope for some better chemistry over time though.

  • Dec 26, 201110:20 pm
    by Micah Wels


    Tough Match up for the Pistons, but most teams are going to be bigger than us so we need to learn from this.  When you are smaller in size you need to attack the rim and get to the line and put their bigs on the bench.  On top EvERYboday, guards included need to rebound more.  Indiana is a good team though, should get the 4-6 spot in the playoffs.

  • Dec 26, 201110:21 pm
    by Micah Wels


    Knight hit three 3pointers, not bad.  I don’t think he had an assist but not bad for the amount of time.

  • Dec 26, 201110:25 pm
    by Adam


    I guess the worst part about the whole night as a Pistons fan was how horrible Austin Daye looked. While he did grab 7 rebounds that were awesome for a team that struggled with rebounding, I had expected him to be instant offense for this team, and he did nothing and looked completely lost.
    It was only one game though, so hopefully he improves next game

    • Dec 27, 20116:10 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yep, it’s nice that he rebounds, but this team is desperate for someone who can consistently hit shots. Daye could be that guy, but he has to take more than three shots.

  • Dec 26, 201111:11 pm
    by Steve K


    Perfect headline.

    Hard to find anything positive from that game.
    Everything that you feared coming into the season came true. Gordon looked dreadful. Monroe couldn’t box out. Either could JJ. Stuckey did nothing to improve those around him. And Knight was a turnover machine.


    I know I’ll watch, but I can’t imagine many fans paying $$ to see this poor excuse for a professional team.

  • Dec 26, 201111:18 pm
    by Ignacio


    We can’t deny this loss is dissapointing, I’m kinda happy about Jerebko, no doubt he was the best piston on court,. Indiana is a great team, and the add of David West make their frontcourt even better, we don’t have any player that can stop a player like him (I think West had 9off reb).
    Stuckey didn’t do it bad, neither Gordon. Indiana will be on the top of the east this year, it was a hard game, and I still have hope, I’ve had it since Billups left the team… we just have to wait.

  • Dec 26, 201111:48 pm
    by BrianP


    Obviously, the backcourt needs work, but I see hope with Stuckey and Knight. I have no such optimism with our bigs. Monroe needs a guy like David West lining up next to him to be truly effective. I give Jerebko credit for competing, but he was no match for Indiana’s front line, and he and Monroe will be abused pretty regularly this season.

  • Dec 26, 201111:54 pm
    by Kelly


    Bg and Tay need to step it up. Talk about offensive struggles for stuckey!! These guys did huh??? What…! I give Bg more credit because he was more agressive

  • Dec 27, 201112:01 am
    by Nealz


    Stuckey should of had 9 assist if it wasn’t for our poor shooting. That’s for the negative know it not above saying he isn’t making his teamates better. And he was the one trying to get the lead down to 10 with 4&1/2 left in the game.

    Knight just had his first game jetters. Nice long ball but Penetrate and Dish my friend!! Once he starts being the second play maker it will help out a ton.

    • Dec 27, 20116:07 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Who is the first playmaker?

      • Dec 27, 201111:49 pm
        by Laser


        Same old Pistons, right? We finally have a reasonable hierarchy with two point guards and two shooting/combo guards, and what do we do? Start the shooting guards, of course! Same old motherf*cking Pistons. Disgusting.

  • Dec 27, 201112:06 am
    by Stein


    BG needs about 5 screens a play if he is ever going to score more than 15 a game. Get it done team!

    • Dec 27, 20116:06 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Other than Ben Wallace, who won’t play big minutes this season, the Pistons have no good screen setters. This was also an underplayed aspect in Hamilton’s declining production. Far from the only reason that Rip’s shooting went down, but there’s a big difference in coming off screens set by Ben/Rasheed Wallace/McDyess than ones set by Maxiell/Wilcox/Villanueva.

      • Dec 27, 201111:51 pm
        by Laser


        Can you please tell Feldman this?

        • Dec 27, 201111:57 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          Oh, Hamilton still wasn’t good and the excuses made for him are ridic. I’ve particularly never bought the “he just needs a good PG” argument. He started taking worse shots, he stopped moving without the ball as much, he got old, the talent around him got worse and his attitude sucked. Having poor screen setters certainly didn’t help his production at all, but there were many factors in his decline.

          Also, he’s shooting 40 percent through two games in Chicago. Small sample size I know, but I wholeheartedly believe age has been by far the biggest factor in the decline in his production, as it is with all guards post-30.

  • Dec 27, 201112:30 am
    by Laser


    That was an atrocity. Strong possibility we’re worse than last year (having just swapped Rip, Tracy and Wilcox for a pair of rookies and a healthy Jerebko). A few capsule notes:
    1) I loved hearing the “buzz words” they’ve wisely chosen to hype the season around. CLEAN SLATE. NEW DIRECTION. Very appropriate, I think, and they inspire much confidence tacked on a team that looks virtually indistinguishable from the product we’ve been subjected to for the past two seasons, both on paper and on the floor. Also, ACCOUNTABILITY rings a bit hollow as long as our GM still has his job.
    2) Jerebko was our best player by a mile, and that is a very VERY bad thing. Expect that to be a running theme.
    3) I had this hunch before, but I really have a hunch Greg Monroe isn’t as good as we thought he was. Everybody who’s remotely competent just looks better being surrounded by this mess (see Jerebko’s rookie campaign), and he was one of the few players on our team with a defined role and earmarked minutes last season. We’re going to have to run the offense through him quite a bit to see how good he really is.
    4) Tayshaun was not nearly involved enough, especially very early on. He was our go-to player last season, and for good reason, but he was a non-factor when the game actually looked competitive. I’d like to see him get the opportunity to make more plays, especially in this weird motion offense we’re running…
    5) …Speaking of which, I’m not in love with this motion offense. I suppose it mitigates the problems we have by having ZERO playmakers in the starting lineup, but what would mitigate that even more is if we inserted one of our two (2) bench playmakers into the starting lineup. Put the ball in the hands of Knight or Bynum and let them run the show. This basically looks like the offensive scheme we started with last season; it didn’t work then, and it makes even less sense now that we don’t have an absurd glut of perimeter players. Let’s give our players some damn roles already.
    6) Ben Gordon is useless, and LITERALLY the only thing Rodney Stuckey does well on offense is get to the rim and draw fouls as he misses layups. This is not a starting backcourt, and the experiment must end soon.
    This was painful and embarrassing and I can’t wait for the flurry of excuses that will keep everyone’s gums flapping until this season mercifully ends. My favorite so far was how Charlie V’s absence was responsible for our shortcomings on rebounding and interior defense. I literally shit blood on my couch when I heard Blaha say that one. God help us all. Except Dumars, who needs to answer for this.

    • Dec 27, 20116:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      “I had this hunch before, but I really have a hunch Greg Monroe isn’t as good as we thought he was.”

      I’m really worried about Monroe as a defensive rebounder and defensive player in general. His rebound total was so good last season because he crashed the offensive glass. He was average as a defensive rebounder. Offensive rebounding is definitely a vital skill, but he also benefited from the fact that the Pistons have/had a roster of shot missers. I hope he’s still a force on the offensive glass, but I’m not sure he can replicated that production, and that could make his overall rebounding total suffer.

      And on defense, he just has very little lateral quickness and no leaping ability. He’s smart, and hopefully that helps him close the gap, but I’m not convinced he’ll be more than an average defender in his career.

  • Dec 27, 20111:23 am
    by Jayg108


    NOPOINTSINTHEPAINT:  Still can’t understand why they haven’t traded for a TRUE CENTER.  Like Vic said above: Monroe is not a center.
    good things:

    one good thing is that they’re starting the year without any injuries.
    another good thing is Stuckey is decent trade bait
    last good thing:BG can be amnestied next year

    • Dec 27, 20118:17 am
      by Laser


      Still can’t understand why people like you ask questions like this about trading for a center. Who do we offer, and who do we get back? We have very few tradable pieces, and we can’t get enough for them to validate a trade. Show me a team with a true center to spare and a desire for overpaid, mediocre combo guards or soft, mediocre forwards and I’ll show you a GM who won’t have his job next year.
      And the only silver lining in starting the year free of injury is that the organization can’t use health as an excuse this time. But they’ll find more excuses; they’ll just have to be more creative and insulting about it.
      Also, even though Stuckey could be considered decent trade bait, (1) I have a feeling Dumars wouldn’t trade him since he’d never get much in return, not to make up for what he did to the team in the name of building around him; even if he did, (2) we would have a GAPING hole to fill at shooting guard, given the diminutive size of our backcourt with or without him.
      Finally, we could amnesty Ben Gordon this afternoon, but I don’t think it’s happening as long as Joe miraculously keeps his job. To amnesty Gordon is to admit that he was a mistake and take a TOTAL loss on the $58 million he was paid three summers ago. I don’t think Joe is willing to do that, because he’s more interested in making excuses and trying to save face than in actually fixing the team.

      • Dec 27, 201111:03 am
        by jayg108


        the trade for center comment I made was regarding failing to get Kaman for Prince.  Prince did not want to be 2nd or 3rd fiddle on the Clips, so Joe didn’t pull the trigger.
        I’m with you on the underlying meaning of those moves would be Joe D admitting he made mistakes.  Dan or Pat rebutted saying that Joe D usually comes back to correct his errors.
        I thought the official Amnesty period is over.  that is that period where salary from waived player would be spread over 2 seasons.

        • Dec 27, 20116:01 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          The Pistons were probably interested in Kaman, but there is no way of knowing if that was actually an offer on the table. Prince would’ve had to be willing to sign with the Clips, the Pistons would’ve had to want Kaman and the Clips would’ve had to pay Prince as much as he apparently was worth to the Pistons. I know the Clips liked Prince, but I don’t know if they would’ve offered him four years.

          Further, Kaman’s expiring deal was a huge trade chip for LA in the Paul trade. So moving it for a serviceable but unspectacular player like Prince would’ve taken them out of the running for CP3, or at the very least hurt their chances. I think Kaman-for-Prince is something they would’ve explored if they didn’t get Paul, but I’m sure they would’ve waited for the CP3 situation to play out before doing anything with Kaman.

      • Dec 27, 20115:57 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        “we could amnesty Ben Gordon this afternoon”

        jayg108 is right … I believe the amnesty period for this season is over now until next offseason.

        • Dec 27, 201111:53 pm
          by Laser


          aight, I dint know that.

  • Dec 27, 20111:50 am
    by Pacman


    Um, do you actually enjoy the Pistons’ losing? Does it make your constant negative campaign against the Pistons somehow feel justified? I can’t believe the low standard of journalism here. Being unbiased doesn’t mean wanting the Pistons to do poorly.
    So first you say that all hope has expired, and then you say you’re not going to overreact to one loss. Sure, the Pistons didn’t play terrific basketball, but losing your opening game on the road to a team many expect to be knocking on the door of the big four in the East is not cause for despair alone.
    Give Frank a chance to work through these issues. The team will rebound better and control the ball better. Monroe will learn to adjust to the new foul rules. Stuckey, Prince and Daye will all play better. Lastly, Villanueva will provide a scoring punch to the second unit.
    Oh, but that doesn’t matter as all hope is lost because we lost one game which we shouldn’t overreact to.

    • Dec 27, 20118:23 am
      by Laser


      I don’t think you’re particularly adept at reading comprehension. The hopelessness doesn’t come from the fact that it was a loss, but from the way it happened. And if you watched that game and held out any hope whatsoever that this team is going to look substantially different than it did the past two years, I don’t know what you could contribute to the conversation besides blind optimism. The only things to take away from that game are despair, hopelessness, exhaustion, feelings like that. This team could be vastly improved by season’s end and still be a complete disaster.

    • Dec 27, 20119:51 am
      by gerdz


      agreed. i think this is a fanbase for pistons haters.

    • Dec 27, 20115:54 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      See, this type of comment is getting really annoying. “Um, do you actually enjoy the Pistons’ losing?”

      Seriously, I don’t mean disrespect with this, but that’s about as stupid, thoughtless an argument as anyone could make about anything.

      Criticism is fantastic if it’s done intelligently. Take points made in Dan’s post and say, “This is wrong for x and y reasons.” (And no, “your a h8ter! who hates the Pistonz” is not a legitimate reason). Check a few of the comments below. They disagreed with elements of the post and did a decent job of producing a counterpoint.

      Comments like yours and a few others on here add absolutely nothing of value. I can’t make you or anyone else comment a certain way, but I really fail to understand how posting crap like this accomplishes anything. All it will do is make the comments section here a cesspool of ignorance and it will make the commenters who truly do make intelligent points, both favorable and unfavorable towards the content, not want to post here anymore.

      • Dec 27, 20118:00 pm
        by Pacman


        Hey Mate,
        I truly meant no offense to you or the site, I was just bummed out after the loss, but wasn’t in the mood for the negativity that, I don’t mean dissrrespect, but it has become a far too constant theme on this site.
        Now, I’ll assume you just read my first paragraph and gave up after that (which I don’t blame), but I do think my point with the article was that it starts by saying that all hope is lost, yet also says we shouldn’t overreact to one loss. That doesn’t make sense to me.
        Additionally, I thought there was still hope because I don’t think it is the worst thing in the world to lose an away game to a playoff team after a lockout. I still think we have hope because of the play of Jerebko and that we basically played the Pacers without our best player (Monroe–I think Dan touched on this).

        • Dec 27, 20118:30 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          Listen, I understand that people don’t always like or agree with criticism. I really do get that. Many fans love the Pistons through good times and bad, and I certainly don’t want to dissuade that. Dan and I are fans of the team and organization ourselves, and have been our entire lives. But the mission of this site is not to be the Detroit Pistons fan club. We obviously have certain biases and perspectives, as any writer does. We both write things know that there will be people who disagree. Hell, we both want passionate, well-thought-out disagreements with what we write if it merits it. I have no issue whatsoever with you or any other commenter not agreeing with Dan’s post.

          But there have been a couple of things lately that have been driving me insane in the comments section. First is the “you are just hating” non-argument that people pass off as intelligent discourse. It’s not. And frankly, I think many commenters are capable of better arguments than that. I don’t want to discourage dissent. I just want it to be intelligent, I want it to be a back and forth dialogue rather than “these writers just hate the team and are trying to be negative.” That is not only not accurate, it is adding nothing to a larger discussion of what exactly went wrong (and a lot of things did go wrong) in that first game.

          Secondly, it’s not fair to say that negativity “has become a far too constant theme on this site.” It isn’t. Yes, there is far more negative than positive with the organization right now, as with any rebuilding franchise. But that doesn’t mean we go out of our way to ignore positive things. We link to virtually anything newsworthy written or said about the team, positive or negative. We also have had several recurring features on the site, like Chevette to Corvette for example, that celebrate the history of this team. Saying that negativity on this site is a constant theme is not only a weak argument, it isn’t accurate. The main goal of PistonPowered is to be a comprehensive source of Pistons opinion, news, analysis, etc. There are definite, tangible things to be excited about with this team. Monroe had a great rookie season, Jerebko looks like he will bounce back nicely from injury and while Knight played poorly, he’s still loaded with potential. Those will be constant themes throughout the season. But Dan and I, first and foremost, strive to give our honest assessments on what we see when we watch games. I know I won’t, and I’m sure he won’t either, apologize for writing about things negatively if we see them as negatives.

          Like I said, that doesn’t mean we are right necessarily. We’re trying to start discussions down here in the comments with what we write. But if those discussions, as many have of late, veer into the “you guys are just hating” type of responses, then the value of dialogue in the comments section is hurt severely.

          • Dec 28, 20117:52 am
            by Pacman

            Thanks for taking the time to reply.
            I was never asking for you to be a Pistons’ fan club. It would not be a site worth visiting if that’s all you became. I guess I just prefer looking for positives in a team as opposed to hearing about the negatives (which I KNOW are many). Is that such a bad thing? I just get upset that people assume (not you) that because I don’t criticise the Pistons more often, that I’m just a homer. I like to think that I can be a realist, while still enjoying supporting the Pistons.
            Keep up the good work!

        • Dec 27, 201111:56 pm
          by Laser


          Hey PACMAN, if you don’t like negativity and bad vibes, don’t watch the Pistons this season. Probably best to avoid them next season, too. And possibly the one after that. And ESPECIALLY don’t read any content about them for the next few years. Anything positive you’ll read about them will be bullshit from flag-wavers and Joe Dumars apologists, or from the organization itself.

          • Dec 28, 20117:56 am
            by Pacman

            Hey LASER, thanks for your words of wisdom, mate. Obviously that might be something you would consider doing, but as a true fan, I’m not going to desert the ship. Good luck with the WALLOWING in negativity this season. At least I have the sense to know that the Pistons are rebuilding, but I can still ENJOY watching the team as I watch the POSITIVE FUTURE of the Pistons develop. Thanks so much, LASER.

  • Dec 27, 20112:07 am
    by frankie d


    i’m just wondering who thought that anything would be different this year.
    this is essentially the same team,  the main  addition being a nice rookie guard who is learning to adjust from being a scorer to being a playmaker. 
    and a new coach with  record that should inspire anything but confidence.
    this new coach has a sub-500 career record after 7 years.  after an initial, very successful run as an interim coach, his winning percentage has gone down steadilly – except for one year that looks like a fluke in retrospect.
    when he was fired, he’d lost 16 straight games at the beginning of the year.  i may be wrong, but i think that is a record.
    the team has lacked quality play from the point guard position, but the team started the same point guard it started last year. 
    the team has lacked a defensive and offensive presence in the post, but joe d curiously refuses to address that need.  the only addition to the front line is a second round draft choice who may not see the court the entire year.
    so….why would anyone expect the result this year to be any different from recent results?
    what happened tonight was eerily similar to what happened so often last year, and it looked exactly like what happened this preseason.
    why is that a surprise?

  • Dec 27, 20113:22 am
    by flip


    Dan, great summation of the masacre we just witnessed, but you could’ve saved a lot of time and energy and just wrote “Pure Garbage” and we’d all know exactly what you meant. lol

  • Dec 27, 20116:48 am
    by pokerpro932


    I cant even begin to tell you how disappointed I was after I saw this horrifying game last night.Personally,I didnt see any changes from last year.Everything is one huge mess and Im afraid that the team is beggining to show a losers mentality.Their body language was just terrible and I really didnt see someone making an effort to bring us back in the game except for stuckey,who tried to take it inside on every trip,but also didnt look fired up or at any means concentrated.All the off rebounds….nothing to say here,just pure misery.
    I did see some positive things though and I hope you saw them too.Our shot selection wasnt that bad,guys just werent hitting their shots.BG was wide open on many occasions,but he was just off.Also we did try to push the ball after Opposing teams misses and turnovers,although with no success.Lets hope that we compete better in the next game.
    P.S. Sorry for the bad english but Im all the way from Bulgaria.
    P.S.2. That adds insult to injury,as I got up at 2 a.m. to watch the game…I will do it again nevertheless when we host the cavs. ;)

    • Dec 27, 20118:30 am
      by Laser


      The point about shot selection being good is an interesting one. You say it’s a positive that their shot selection was good even though their shots didn’t fall. But I don’t take this as a positive, because the underlying point is that we don’t have any hope of putting up points without shooting the ball well; all we do is take jumpers, we aren’t going to be able to shoot the lights out most nights, we have no reliable ways of scoring in the post or getting easy buckets, and our defense isn’t good enough to keep us in games when our shots aren’t falling, which will be more often than not.

      • Dec 27, 20115:48 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        Yeah, I felt kind of similar. It’s great to get open looks if you have players who consistently make them, but this is a roster full of streaky to poor outside shooters. Their best jump shooter, Daye, is still a guy who doesn’t look to figure prominently in the rotation yet.

  • Dec 27, 20117:50 am
    by Murph


    Clearly, it was all Rip Hamilton’s fault.

    • Dec 27, 20118:24 am
      by Laser


      Ahahahahahahahahahaaha LOVE IT!

    • Dec 27, 201111:53 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Hamilton is shooting 40 percent through two games in Chicago.

      • Dec 28, 201112:02 am
        by Laser


        I’m no math whiz, but I’m certain 4/14 is less than 30%. Plus, Rip is a plus defender who’s guaranteed to have a better AST:TO ratio than Gordon. It’s probably a safe bet that our guards don’t average combined 40% shooting.

        • Dec 28, 201112:07 am
          by Patrick Hayes


          Oh, I would never defend Gordon. But it is beyond me how anyone thinks not having Hamilton on the roster is some sort of travesty.

  • Dec 27, 20118:10 am
    by Chris


    Try not to overreact too much.
    It is one game.
    Unless all your hopes and desires revolve around their performance in one game. The Pistons are trying to build a team that will produce success in the long term. Whether or not they achieve that can not be judged by one game- it will take a few years.
    No doubt the players- and the team- will progress as the season does. Try to enjoy the process.

    • Dec 27, 20115:46 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      “The Pistons are trying to build a team that will produce success in the long term.”

      How does playing Jason Maxiell 16 minutes contribute to that long-term success?

      • Dec 28, 201112:05 am
        by Laser


        In defense of the Pistons, they had to give Max spot minutes to make up for the absence of Charlie Villanueva… wait. Never mind.
        But seriously, folks, obviously nothing this team does has a thing to do with long-term success. Anyone who says otherwise is objectively wrong (Copyright Laser). They want to win as many games as possible every season, which means they will win roughly 25-33% of their games until Joe Dumars is fired or assassinated.

  • Dec 27, 20118:18 am
    by JJ


    The most disappointing thing about this game was the lack of playing time for Knight, Daye and Monroe. Monroe had a rare high fouling game, which limited his minutes. He is a good young player, he just had some bad breaks but the Cavs game should go a different way.
    Daye didn’t even shoot the ball. He’s a catch and shoot guy not a guy who can create his own shot. Had he been playing with a PG that couldve given him open looks, he probably wouldve scored. Daye was never put in position to score
    Knight needs to be allowed to play through his mistakes. Theres no excuse for him to play less than 25mpg at all this season. He’s our future, he needs the PT to learn the game and develop chemistry with his teammates.
    Lastly, Frank needs to run some offensive sets. He hasn’t taught this team a thing about offense and it shows.

    • Dec 27, 20115:45 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      The same thing happened to Daye last year. He showed flashes of aggression on offense in the preseason, then when he got regular season minutes, he became really hesitant to shoot. Last year, he was being played out of position at the four, so that impacted his offense. Not sure why he looked so passive on offense against Indiana.

  • Dec 27, 20119:05 am
    by frankie d


    it is a cheap shot to add qualifiers when discussing daye’s rebounding. you could do that with any player and his rebounds. god knows what could be said about guys like zach randolph and moses malone, guys who routinely pad – padded – their numbers by playing volleyball off the backboard.
    daye has always been a good rebounder, a guy who boards better than one might imagine, considering his lack of bulk. he will actually fight for rebounds, which is another reason he would be a nice fit at the SG spot. the team needs all the rebounding help it can get. having a SG who can help out on the boards is a nice thing.
    he had a bad game, but his rebounding was one bright spot.

    • Dec 27, 201111:08 am
      by Marvin Jones


      Thank you Frankie d, I was thinking the same thing, it seems Feldman is a hater just like I suspected. Daye got 7 boards in 14 min, how is that anything but a positive. With the way we were being manhandeled on the glass I thought Daye should have played more and that Macklin, a legitimate 6’10 player, should have played some instead of the 6’6 Maxiell. It’s the very first game of the season how can some people be so negative, Laser excluded of course because he’s ALWAYS negative.

      • Dec 27, 20115:43 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        Calling someone a hater is the stupidest, laziest argument someone could make. It says more about the accuser’s lack of intellect than it does about the so-called ‘hater.’ Disagree with the assessment and say why it is wrong. I could just reply to everyone of your light on substance comments with “Marvin is just a PistonPowered hater,” but that wouldn’t really add much to the dialogue.

  • Dec 27, 20119:15 am
    by Rodman4Life


    over-reacting!  Just one game, let’s not adopt pessimism so swiftly.  The Pacers are much better and we stink on the road.

    • Dec 28, 201112:07 am
      by Laser


      Yes, the road. That’s it. We stink on the road. At home we’re solid. Rock solid.

  • Dec 27, 20119:34 am
    by Shaun


    Everyone is so depressed on here. It’s not 16 games like the NFL..66! How could you be hopless after one game? JJ had 17! Stuckey the same with two steals and a huge block! For guys who are so post to be over paid I’m not complaining.

  • Dec 27, 201111:16 am
    by Sebastian


    Folks, WE played so bad last night that NBATV didn’t even show the Pacer vs. Pistons highlights. They showed every other game’s highlights but OUR game.

    I don’t even believe that they mentioned that there was a game between US and the Pacers, so as far as NBATV is concerned the Pistons and Pacers are both, 0-0.

    Dam(n) disgraceful!!!

    • Dec 27, 20111:42 pm
      by Jodi Jezz


      What NBATV are you looking at?? I seen the Pacers VS. Pistons highlights…It must have been past your bedtime…

      • Dec 27, 20113:45 pm
        by Sebastian


        Mr. Jezz, perhaps I blinked and missed it, but I watched two reruns of Game Time and didn’t hear or see one mention of OUR piss-poor effort in Indianapolis.
        But, that’s okay.

  • Dec 27, 20111:40 pm
    by Jodi Jezz


    It was our 1st game, everybody needs to calm down…I been saying we need a Center cause Monroe is PF…It’s funny how some people are just realizing that, SMH…

    • Dec 27, 20115:40 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yes, and talented centers grow on trees, so the Pistons just magically finding one or convincing a team to give them one for Jason Maxiell is extremely likely to happen.

  • Dec 27, 20113:06 pm
    by Max


    Everyone keeps saying the Pistons have the same cast this year but by my count, 2 of their 6 top rotation players, Jerebko and Knight, didn’t play for the team at all last year and one of the six, Greg Monroe, had more plays run for him last night than he did all last season and figures to have a completely different role.  On that score, though I doubt him greatly, Ben Gordon, will have a consistent role for the first time since he’s been a Piston and enough minutes to prove doubters wrong.  Finally, the Pistons best player. Rodney Stuckey, will be playing a lot more shooting guard and maybe small forward than ever before which some have been hoping would happen for years.
    BTW:  All you real Piston s fans…,….tell me you didn’t feel great and have hope when Greg Monroe knocked down his first mid range jumper on a play that had actually been called for him?   To me, that was the best thing I saw at all last night.

    • Dec 27, 20113:43 pm
      by Sebastian


      Max, Stuckey is anything but a Small Forward. And, didn’t Monroe’s first 2 points come within the first 60 seconds of the game.
      Afterwards, the overrated, second year player, who plays out of position did little else.

      • Dec 27, 20116:07 pm
        by Max


        They are going to play some three guard lineups and some of the time against other three guard lineups.  Whenever they do so, Stuckey will invariably be playing the small forward role in certain respects and it isn’t like he hasn’t led the team in rebounds on many a night for a guard in the past and yes been asked to guard LBJ.
        They are a small team but they can attack the rim and get to the line and they need to be that kind of attacking team for a variety of reasons.
        I’m in NY and was watching the Pacers broadcast last night and their announcers actually defended a Paul George foul on Stuckey by saying Stuckey was was much too big and strong for him.  HAHAHAHAHA, but Stuckey has shown on many occasions an ability to match up with 3s and while George is a 2, he is bigger than a lot of 3s and Stuckey was getting the better of him last night.

    • Dec 27, 20115:39 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I don’t think anyone can categorically say that Stuckey will play more off the ball. Knight will get minutes, but Stuckey is going to primarily be a PG until Knight proves he can play much better than last night. Stuckey will play more off the ball if Knight wins the PG job, and that doesn’t look all that close to happening yet.

  • Dec 27, 20115:52 pm
    by brgulker


    Jonas was fantastic but somehow that is turned into a negative for the team as a whole.

    Dont get it.

    • Dec 27, 20116:40 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Dan wrote, “For Jerebko, it’s fantastic.”

      I mean, do you think Jonas Jerebko being your best player is a positive thing for your team? I love Jerebko, but if he’s the best player, it will be like his rookie season all over again, and I’m not looking forward to watching that.

      • Dec 27, 201110:04 pm
        by Max


        He only looked the best player for one night and only looked that way, in my opinion because Stuckey and Monroe were plagued with fouls.  However, whatever the reason, I would hope this group is the kind of team that boasts of different players playing like the best player  from night to night.  There is not enough separation between these players for them not to look to take advantage of matchups versus trying to have an identity of being a team that does the same thing every night.
        Jerebko’s play was nothing short of very encouraging as even optimistic projections should admit that he ought to be rusty.

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