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The Miami Heat have no answer for Austin Daye

In 38 minutes against the Miami Heat this season, Austin Daye is shooting 59 percent. In 371 minutes against everyone else, he’s shooting 26 percent.

Daye didn’t have the kind of impact in tonight’s loss to the Heat that he had earlier in the season when he scored a career high 28 points in a much more competitive game against Miami. But his eight minutes did triple the total number of minutes he’s played in March, he did shoot 3-for-4 and he did not play in the passive, tentative way he so often has this season.

Daye still being on the roster after the trade deadline was a mild surprise, considering his seeming lack of fit in the system Lawrence Frank is trying to build here. But Joe Dumars’ comments after the deadline passed suggesting that the organization still has faith in Daye would lead me to believe that he’s going to get another opportunity at regular minutes before this season ends. Tonight was a good step in that direction.

The man immediately ahead of Daye on the depth chart, Damien Wilkins, also played pretty well against the Heat, but the good news is Wilkins playing decent doesn’t necessarily mean Daye has to sit. The only competitive lineup Frank put on the floor tonight, starting late in the third quarter, featured both Wilkins and Daye along with Will Bynum, Ben Wallace and Jonas Jerebko. Bynum pushed the ball, Wallace, Jerebko and Wilkins hustled and the helter-skelter nature of that lineup set Daye up for a few nice, easy looks, something he desperately needs to break out of his slump. I also liked that lineup simply because it paired Daye with four high-energy guys who scrap and hustle. Those are traits that really need to rub off on Daye if he’s going to play more.

The opportunity for minutes over at least the next week or so should be there. Rodney Stuckey missed his second 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 shooting guard could be the small chance he needs to re-assert himself as a rotation player. In the past, Daye has had a hard time taking advantage of the bit minutes he does get and making a strong case that he’s deserving of more time on the court. Tonight, he played confidently and looked like a player who can do positive things for the Pistons. Hopefully he gets a chance to build on his small positive steps he took and hopefully he takes advantage of it.

Gordon didn’t have it

Dan Feldman noted earlier today just how out of nowhere Gordon’s 45-point game against the Nuggets was. He also brought up the unpleasant but likely scenario that the aggressive, dangerous scorer we saw in Denver was probably a one-game-only thing. He was right. Gordon’s first 3-point attempt against the Heat was way off and he missed all four of his attempts. He only shot the ball 10 times overall in 31 minutes and was back to being the passive spot-up shooter who doesn’t often look for his own offense we’ve grown accustomed to.

Part of the issue tonight was Gordon had a much tougher assignment on defense. Not that the Nuggets’ guards are slouches, but having to account for Arron Afflalo is a bit easier than having to worry about Dwyane Wade. Gordon understandably struggled at that end of the floor and it looked like having to pay extra attention to Wade and constantly worry about the tendency of Miami’s perimeter players to not only force turnovers, but to take off for run-outs afterwards, took a tool on his offense. His shots were usually contested and he turned the ball over seven times.

Knight scores efficiently

Brandon Knight turned it over three times and only had two assists against that tough Miami perimeter D, but he was able to get his shots off and get in the lane a little bit against the Heat. Unlike Gordon, Knight hit all four of his threes, so that opened things up a bit for him on the drive. With Stuckey out and Gordon struggling, Knight shifted over and spent time at shooting guard with Bynum running the point.

I know there’s a great debate and a few people who get offended every time it’s pointed out that Knight isn’t really a point guard yet, but with Stuckey out, it is more obvious that although Knight is getting better at taking care of the ball, the Pistons need Stuckey’s PG-like skills to help their offense run better.

Knight also broke the franchise rookie record for 3-pointers in a season, topping Lindsey Hunter’s previous record of 69. Knight still has a ways to go this season to build on that too.

Length bothers bigs

Greg Monroe, Jason Maxiell and Wallace combined to shoot 3-for-15. Joel Anthony and Chris Bosh only blocked three shots, but they altered many more. Monroe never got comfortable offensively and he had a terrible defensive first half, losing track of Anthony for a couple early buckets and he was regularly late with help when Miami’s wings penetrated. Struggling against athletic shot blockers like Anthony is nothing new for Monroe, but I was disappointed that he didn’t seem to use any of his trademark craftiness against Anthony. Early on, Monroe went straight into Anthony without using any pump fakes or secondary moves, making it very easy for Anthony to contest his shots and force him into bad misses.

12 Comments

  • Mar 23, 201211:50 pm
    by kamal

    Reply

    This is getting on my nerves.  Why is the team going away from Greg Monroe.  He’s the team’s best offensive weapon, and he only gets 4 attempts?  

    I’m starting to sense that Frank believes he’s coaching the New Jersey Nets of the past and thinks he’s got a run ‘n gun team out there.  He doesn’t.  He’s got THE best young post player in the game and he’s not utilizing his strengths.  We should win, lose, or draw with him.

    And I don’t want to hear about defense ’cause Knight gets abused damn near nightly and he still gets to normal minutes and touches.

    Greg Monroe should get no less than 15 shots and 30 minutes per game. 

    • Mar 23, 201211:54 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      It would be one thing if Monroe was getting abused by Chris Bosh. He was getting abused by Joel freaking Anthony. Monroe and really the entire starting five except for Knight played horrible. Game was out of reach by the end of the third, so the starters got benched. Reserves made the score a little more respectable. Monroe averages 13 shots and 32 minutes per game, so it’s not like tonight was the norm. He played horrible in a blowout. He should definitely not have a quick hook all the time, but when you are letting Joel Anthony score easy baskets because you have zero defensive awareness, you deserve to be benched.

      • Mar 24, 201212:07 am
        by kamal

        Reply

        Joel Anthony made 3 buckets.  This wasn’t exactly Wilt Chamberlain out there.  The first two were within the first two minutes of the game.  So I won’t say he was getting abused by Anthony.  

        Look, I’ll be the first to admit that Monroe is a HORRIBLE defender.  However, when he’s out, it’s Ben and Jerebko or Ben and Maxiell.  Defenses now can sag off of our bigs and focus on the guards.  

        If this guy is our future, it can’t be good for his psyche is he gets bench every if he’s not having a kick ass game through 3 quarters.  Can’t learn from the bench.

      • Mar 24, 201210:09 am
        by Daye and Knight

        Reply

        Patrick couldn’t be more RIGHT in this one…Joel Anthony…smdh Monroe needs to work on his defense over the summer and tonight shows he’s not a finished product like most fans on here would like to think. The Sky is the limit for him and Knight to grow tho and I see the both of them getting better in time, especially Monroe if we get a Center in this draft and move Monroe to the 4 so he isn’t getting beat up in the paint all the time.

        Side note: Gordon follows his 45 point outburst with 10 points and 7 TO’s…dude is a joke lol

    • Mar 23, 201211:58 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Seriously … tonight was maybe the worst I’ve seen Monroe play since early in his rookie year. He’s had a few bad games this year, but his defense was so unbelievably awful tonight.

  • Mar 24, 201212:34 am
    by Tiko

    Reply

    can we just tank the rest of the season by starting Daye and shutting down Stuckey and Tayshaun please? thanks… Patrick and Dan work your clout to get this message sent to the front office…

  • [...] The Miami Heat have no answer for Austin Daye By Patrick Hayes • 10:35 pm • March 23, 2012 [...]

  • Mar 24, 20122:26 am
    by Mark

    Reply

    I thought Monroe got taken out because it was late in the 3rd, they were down by 25, and they have to travel to NY and play tomorrow night to start a 4 game road trip. Looked like it was just a rest thing, imo.

    I dont see where Monroe got abused by anybody on defense. Anthony had 6 pts and Turiaf had 4. He was 2-5, so it wasnt like was missing everything on offense either.

    MIA’s D was just awesome, they were doubling everything and recovering in time. And also collapsing the paint around the basket. imo, thats why Monroe didn’t get many shots. They tried to go to him at times, but MIA collapsed on him and forced him to pass. All they allowed on D were contested jumpshots. Thats why the perimeters got a lot of shots up. Monroe’s not a jumpshooter so he didn’t.

  • Mar 24, 20122:34 am
    by Mark

    Reply

    Even though I think it was more MIA’s team D that forced the ball out of Monroe’s hands, I have a theory on why he may struggle other times against long athetic bigs.

    All he practices against are undersized bigs in Ben, Max, and Jonas. He never sees these long athletic shotblockers in practice.

    I feel good about Monroe’s ability to adapt and learn how to be effective against anybody. And I think once we get that long athletic shot-blocker that we need, paired next to him, and he’s practicing against said big everyday, I think it won’t be long after that we see Monroe have figured out how to succeed against those types.

    This big man that we draft will not only make our team and Monroe better on the court in games, he will also make Monroe better by giving him a great teammate to practice against.

    • Mar 24, 20122:57 pm
      by MrBlockedShot

      Reply

      That’s a good point about Monroe’s horrible night.  
      Anyway I can’t understand what happens to him. No excuse he had Anthony and Bosh defending him. Come on, Anthony is an above-the-average defender and Bosh is more offensive oriented, no way he was overmatched, at least in the offensive end. Monroe has not been able to develop a basic and consistent offensive skillset yet in my opinion. And what’s worst, he has worsened it . He has been scoring inconsistently over the past games (not so much, but he always gets his tip-ins, layups and free throws). But, frankly, he’s going backwards in terms of improving his offensive game. He has stopped shooting from 12-15 feet( so hesistant to that several times he loses the ball or travels), his footwork has been missing in action for decades and his post moves and hooks have been so limited and predictable. Do you remember that game against Milwaukee? Those 32p 16r? Oh My! it seems it has been a decade since that…Not to mention his deffensive game, dreadful and passive most of the times. It’s clear he needs help inside and someone that complement his lack of athletism (Drumond? ..hopefully). Apparently bad news that he gets to see last minutes of some games from the bench, but if you’re not playing good maybe that will help you to figure out how to play better next time and learn from your mistakes.

  • Mar 24, 20123:31 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    “In 38 minutes against the Miami Heat this season, Austin Daye is shooting 59 percent….”
    gee…you would think that a smart coach would imagine that it would be a good thing to play a guy who’d had that kind of success more than 8 minutes of gargage time, especially when your team was down by more than 20 points pretty early in the game.
    he’d had his best night of the year against miami, the team was down a bunch from the second quarter on, the team desperately needed scoring and the team’s starting guard was out injured.  additionally, miami was inverting their guards, posting up shane battier on little will bynum and pounding the boards because of their huge size advantage.  with stuckey out, the pistons have a backcourt that looks like a bunch of midgets…
    but does larry “napoleon” frank try a guy who might just be able to help because of his size and because he’s had success scoring against that team?
    no…of course not.  he’d rather play his pets – wilkins and wallace – in order to make whatever point he’s trying to make.
    and he’s rather bench his best player – which he’s done a couple of times this year – to send a message, or for whatever crazy reason he benches his best player.
    what a lousy game coach.  an assistant who’s a victim of the peter principle.  he doesn’t have a freakin clue about handling nba players.  he’s a bobby knight protege, and how many bobby knight proteges have won nba titles? 
    it’s going to be a long 3 years.

  • Mar 24, 20128:40 am
    by swish22

    Reply

    It was a tough spot for a big performance. Returning off the west coast trip and losing that emotional game in Denver and playing without your most physical guard. A betting man would’ve been on the Heat here!

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