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Ben Gordon!!!!!!! (Pistons lose to Nuggets)

Ben Gordon, pressed into the starting lineup with Rodney Stuckey injured, scored six points points in the first quarter, 21 points in the second quarter and 15 points in the third quarter. With each shot, seemingly an impossible performance for him, Gordon did the impossible: erased the sad reality surrounding this awesome game.

For a time, Gordon’s hefty contract didn’t matter. The Pistons’ awful record didn’t matter. And Arron Afflalo, usually a capable defender, sure as heck didn’t matter.

Nothing mattered but Gordon scoring at an utterly fantastic rate.

He looked like the Gordon who played for the Bulls – the elite outside shooter and quality scorer. The performance was dazzling and electrifying, and I’m sure it boosted television ratings as many tweeted encouragement to watch Gordon’s night.

Gordon finished with 45 points – the most since Richard Hamilton scored 51 in 2006, his high with Detroit and three shy of his career high.

But late in the third quarter, Gordon, who had dashed around screens – the best set by Jason Maxiell – to score many of his points, was mostly standing still. Gordon’s increased minutes, exasperated by Denver’s thin air, were taking a toll.

The Magic was wearing off. Gordon’s time machine that had driven off a ravine, hit 88 miles per hour and returned him to reality.

And to his absolute credit, Gordon stopped forcing shots when it became clear he would no longer be efficient. Five of his eight assists came after he scored his 40th point.

In the end, Gordon’s spectacular night won’t change anything. It won’t ease the burden of Gordon’s $58 million contract. It doesn’t make the Pistons relevant. And it doesn’t mean Gordon has suddenly returned to form. Rodney Stuckey should start again when he gets healthy, and I’m nearly certain he will.

It became clear early in the season that Pistons games would be successful if their young players progressed and they lost – the ultimate combination for progressing to contention. But I think there’s a third prong: From time to time, it’s fun to see incredible performances from Detroit. Tonight, Gordon provided that – and the Pistons lost. What a great night.

JaVale McGee’s dunk a Greg Monroe gaffe

With the Pistons up three and five seconds left, Gordon fouled a driving Afflalo, who scored on continuation. Although Afflalo missed the free throw, JaVale McGee worked around Greg Monroe and dunked the putback to win his Nuggets debut.

Monroe finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, but he made very little positive impact tonight. Those numbers are boosted by a high pace, some uncontested rebounds and Monroe choosing his spots. For the most part, the Pistons need Monroe to be more assertive and take the ball out of his less-efficient teammates’ hands.

I’m not sure he’s capable yet of shouldering that load on a nightly basis, but at least he appears to know he must box out better. After the game, Monroe tweeted:

This is unacceptable on my part. I have to be better!

I love the attitude.

Ben Gordon matches 3-pointer record

Ben Gordon made 9-of-9 3-pointers, tying a record he already held with Latrell Sprewell for most 3-pointers in a game without missing. In a wild game, which the Nuggets led 45-20, Gordon’s outside shooting will have the longest-lasting impact. The rest of the night will be forgotten soon enough, but when someone next challenges the record, Gordon’s 9-of-9 will come up.

If the Pistons had completed the comeback, that would have been their largest comeback of all time.

Jonas Jerebko defends well amidst chaos

The Pistons allowed Denver to make 18 of its first 22 shots, including 6-of-8 3-pointers. What was Detroit doing wrong defensively? Everything. The major issue I saw: the Pistons were slow rotating initially, and when the Nuggets repeatedly made the extra pass, the Pistons had no chance to close.

Only Jonas Jerebko defended well throughout the game. He forced Al Harrington into tough shots, though Harrington made most of them. Sometimes, there’s nothing a defender can do.

29 Comments

  • Mar 21, 201211:46 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    An awesome game by BG ruined by one of his trademark bonehead plays. I think he fouled Afflalo at the end because he wanted the game to go into overtime so he could score 50 points and try and get the NBA record for 3s which is in fact held by Ty Lawson’s 10 for 10 effort. Lawson beat out Sprewell & Gordon who both previously had 9-9.

    • Mar 21, 201211:47 pm
      by RationalSportsFan

      Reply

      Lawson missed after his 10-10 start though.  So, BG and Coach-Choker are still by themselves in the record book for most three-pinters w/out a miss.

    • Mar 22, 20125:56 am
      by swish22

      Reply

      “I think he fouled Afflalo because he wanted the game to go into overtime”
       Simply a clueless thought!   MAybe there was no thought there at all! now  that I think about it!
      Monroe had a tough job last night as he does every night playing on a undersized front line!
      It’s something he’ll learn from and be better for down the road!  He’s always had some wind issues and playing at the high altitude didn’t make it any easier for this hard working MAN!  He knows he let the team down and he’s a TEAM PLAYER!
        

  • Mar 21, 201211:46 pm
    by RationalSportsFan

    Reply

    I like to imagine that Larry Frank hypnotized Ben into thinking the Nuggets were the Celtics, he was a Bull, and the year was 2009.
     
    Seriously, I’ve been waiting for this type of confident performance for years.

  • Mar 21, 201211:55 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    the showboat guy beat us… the big guys didn’t boxed out enough… what a waste… good game by BG anyway

  • Mar 21, 201211:59 pm
    by Steve K

    Reply

    From a choke stand-point, that loss was as bad as Bird-stealing-the-ball.

    Obviously, there wasn’t any emotional involvement or playoff pressure. So this will go down as just a bad, albeit painful loss.

    But, man, Gordon and Monroe are gonna be kicking themselves for some of the stupidest, bone-headed mistakes to choke away a lead.

  • Mar 22, 201212:04 am
    by David

    Reply

    Another nice stat tonight:
    By scoring 13 points tonight, Greg Monroe notched 759 points on the season; 8 more than he scored in 80 games last year. Almost twice as fast.

  • Mar 22, 201212:10 am
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Ben Gordon assisted on 30% of his teammates’ baskets. That is probably a personal record for him.

    • Mar 22, 201212:14 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’m gonna guess his previous best was assisting 9 of 31 or 29.0% on 11/06/06 compared to tonight’s 8 of 27 or 29.6%.

      • Mar 22, 20126:03 am
        by swish22

        Reply

        Tarsier, you’re working way too hard, statistically speaking of course!  You must have been a Strat-o-matic guy.   Good work, if Patrick or Dan ever get arrested for activism via the NDAA we know where to
        go to replace them!    

  • Mar 22, 201212:19 am
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    Great game! Could have won it if Gordon knew hoe to foul and Monroe could box out but oh we’ll. I’ll be at the game Friday against the Heat hopefully they can pull of a miracle…that and I hope Stuckey returns.

    • Mar 22, 201212:23 am
      by Daye and Knight

      Reply

      *how…not hoe my bad lol

    • Mar 22, 20121:18 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      monroe tried to box out, but mcgee is such an athletic freak he was able to do something very few, if any seven footers could do.  when you look at what he did, it was extremely impressive..
      the way he first made contact with monroe, then took a step back – it was like he did ricky mahorn’s pull-the-chair move on the box out – did a little swim move around monroe, who was off-balance at that point, and then accelerated to the basket.  just a great athletic move that very few guys could pull off.    that kind of athleticism is why he might be worth a gamble.
      yea, monroe screwed up and should have had better concentration, but you have to also give credit to mcgee.

      • Mar 22, 20121:55 pm
        by RationalSportsFan

        Reply

        Agreed on that McGee play.  Everyone just ripping on Greg is missing how ridiculous what Javale did was.  As you describe, he basically drops back with the first two steps of a cornerback, stops, immediately accelerates, and throws it down.  Few players in the league could possibly make that play.
         
        Though I am sure Greg will adjust and never be fooled like that again.

        • Mar 22, 20122:42 pm
          by sebastian

          Reply

          But, did anyone see Tay just standing in the lane watching it all take place.

  • Mar 22, 201212:43 am
    by Tiko

    Reply

    Great game to watch

  • Mar 22, 201212:53 am
    by danny

    Reply

    Learned nothing tonight; Gordon is capable of shooting well; Gordon is an idiot.

    • Mar 22, 20125:59 am
      by swish22

      Reply

      Why should tonight be any different than other days in your life!   Is your name Danny Gordon !

    • Mar 22, 20125:59 am
      by Jakob Eich

      Reply

      LOL

  • Mar 22, 20126:03 am
    by Jakob Eich

    Reply

    It was an exciting game to watch. BG finally got hot against a dismal Denver defense, Denver is really bad at defending the 3-point shot at home and BG really exploited that. Unfortunately he committed a bonehead foul and sent Afflalo to the FT line. Now, you know how hard it is to keep McGee from rebounding if he is committed, you cannot box him out everytime, he is quite possibly the most athletic big man in the NBA nowadays (along with D12 and DeAndre 3000). You should never foul in this situation in the first place, then you don’t give McGee the opportunity to get the rebound. There could have also been a long miss for McGee to grab, so this was Gordon’s fault. Nevertheless, we would not have been in this game if it weren’t for him so I guess there is no reason to blame him …

    • Mar 22, 20126:41 am
      by swish22

      Reply

       You usually can get away with some physical D at the end of games anyways so just get a body on everyone and no breakdowns should always be the strategy!   I’m a big  Frank fan so it’s good to see he has returned some sanity to last years calamity!  The majority of the team seem to be buying into the team first mentality that is so critically important if you’re not possessing incredible talent!  

  • Mar 22, 20127:37 am
    by Kris

    Reply

    “The plan was to foul after two seconds went off the clock. I think we had a chance to foul before Afflalo actually got the ball. After he got the ball I was thinking to let him go but then I hear everybody screaming ‘foul, foul, foul!’ I should have stuck with my instincts and wrapped him up so he couldn’t finish.” – Ben Gordon.

  • Mar 22, 20128:49 am
    by Josh S

    Reply

    Figures Ben would have a night like this AFTER the trade deadline

  • Mar 22, 20129:23 am
    by domnick

    Reply

    we had a good run from last month… but since… its been awful… i guess i need to give up playoff hopes.. and lets think about the future..
    for me.. i like where we are right now…. and we just to start growing up faster… our team is going to be good next season.. (if we make good moves and good choices… then we will be back for title contention soon!)

  • Mar 22, 20129:30 am
    by Robert Zieger

    Reply

    This is another night that reminds me that Monroe is a good player. He may become very good.  Love his attitude and he’ll work at it.  But he can’t carry a team consistently.
    When all’s said and done, we’ll look back and see Stuckey as this team’s best player.  But a team with Rodney and Greg as their best players (and without a third option in sight) is a 30-35 win team in a full season. But add a couple more comparable players and the team will be competitive.

  • Mar 22, 201211:00 am
    by shawn brown

    Reply

    this game was lost on ben gordons clueless foul …the smart play in that situation is to let affalo have the basket.    i dont care that he scored 45 points , he has shown a knack for the bad play when it counts. 

    • Mar 23, 20125:20 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Oh how I hate the term “when it counts.” You do realize, don’t you, that what happens over the rest of the game counts just as much? The winner is the team that scores more points over the course of the entire game, not the team that scores more in “the clutch.” The only way in which “clutch” scoring counts more than any other type is in recognition from the media and irrational fans.

  • Mar 23, 20129:17 am
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    I think it was a game were we lived and died thanks to Gordon. He kept us alive in the game when our starting line-up was dreadful and we were down by 25 points.  The second unit took over and it was unbeliveable what he did in that stretch of the game. But, when it mattered most, when the game came down to the wire, he made bad decissions and bad shots. His foul is totatlly unexcusable for a player of his calibre. He should had left Afflalo drive to the basket as he was well out of reach and could do nothing to deny the lay-up. What a waste of game, we could have won there.

  • [...] straight game tonight and the team will rightly take its time with him. Ben Gordon followed up his spectacular Denver performance with a dud and Bynum is also known for his inconsistency. Daye’s ability to play minutes at [...]

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