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Brandon Knight shines, Greg Monroe labors against Heat

Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, for all the grouping of them together as the Pistons’ future, are at very different stages of their development.

That was especially evident Sunday’s 98-75 loss to the Heat.

Monroe (11 points and seven rebounds) and Knight (16 points and five rebounds) were two of the Pistons’ only three players to make most of their shots, and by the box score, those two were similarly effective.

But Monroe’s numbers were much harder to come by.

Miami clearly gameplanned for Monroe, who has established himself as a a very good interior scorer. Ronny Turiaf’s crafty defense and quick hands gave Monroe trouble, and the Heat even used LeBron James against Monroe a bit. The second-year Piston labored while involved early, was kept at bay by Miami for most of the game and added a few meaningless points late.

That left Knight, a Miami native, to have a solid homecoming. He made 2-of-4 3-pointers and got to the rim as effectively as could be imagined against the Heat’s tight defense.

Knight had only one assist, but the Heat allowed just eight total assists. Passing the ball effectively, let alone making shots, against their defense was problematic.

The Pistons shot 37.3 percent from the field and largely resorted to long jumpers, including going 3-of-19 on 3-pointers. LeBron (26 points) and Chris (Bosh 22 points and nine rebounds) will get credit for their offensive, but they led a Miami defense that was excellent.

Knight didn’t play in the fourth quarter, by then, the game’s result was long decided. Knight’s defense didn’t look worthy of warranting a benching, but maybe I missed missed something. Or, perhaps, Lawrence Frank wanted to rest his point guard.

Either way, Knight was the lone bright spot for the Pistons in a particularly flat game, which was especially nice to see considering the game’s location.


  • Apr 8, 201210:32 pm
    by Talan


    I watched this game on my DVR until midway through the third quarter when it was clear we had given up. Those heat announcers love some Brandon Knight. Kid has flashes of brilliance for a rookie and I hope this years trial by fire amount of minutes he’s been given pays off next year. 

    Anybody else see this? Detroit’s Damien Wilkins says Pistons have “indicated’’ they’d like him to return next season and he wants that. “They indicated they want me back but we’ll see what happens,’’ said Wilkins, a free agent this summer. The guard says he wants to remain with the Pistons “as long as they want me here.’’ 

    I don’t hate Damien Wilkins, but the best thing I can say about him is he is cheap. There are players that have much more potential and value than Damien that should be getting the majority of his minutes. Lets hope this means they are looking to trade Tay.

  • Apr 8, 201210:52 pm
    by Elliot


    Why is Villanueva not playing?  This is exactly the type of game that he should have played in.  I like Frank as a coach but I think he is a little fanatical with his precious rotation.  I read this http://www.nba.com/pistons/features/truebluepistons_120407.html and really would like to see Charlie V play.  I know the pistons are playing better, but they are still a bad team that is not going any where this season.    I mean Jason Maxiel would no way be starting on a playoff team.  I think frank thinks a little too highly of his current rotation at power forward.  People may not agree with this statement, but the pistons are paying to much money not to play Charlie V.  They at least have to give him some consistent minutes to see what he can do.

    • Apr 8, 201211:02 pm
      by RalphHau


      Elliot I agree with you 100%, why doesn’t Coach Frank play charlie V, that is a pretty expensive asset to be sitting the pine and I also heard that Vernon M was also available.  What is going on, I keep hearing they don’t want to “Tank” but at whose expense.  Is this a personal thing with Coach Frank do we have a new Coach Kue drama starting up again??????

  • Apr 9, 20121:27 am
    by Jodi Jezz


    I wouldn’t say Knight Shined…He only had 1 assist!!

    • Apr 9, 20121:57 am
      by Mark


      yeah, Knights a good scorer, 2nd among all rookies, but we drafted him to be a PG, and his high assist games are few and far between.

      If he ends up like Stuckey, being more of a SG, we’re screwed. Because at only 6-3 he CANT be moved to SG, unlike Stuckey who had the option at 6-5.

      Maybe its just a matter of getting better shooters around him to get those assists up, because he does set up a lot of good shots, teammates just dont seem to make a lot of them.

      • Apr 9, 20125:52 pm
        by tarsier


        That’s why they work so well together. They are basically each half a PG and half a SG so you end up with a total of a PG and a SG when they are on the court together.

  • Apr 9, 20121:42 am
    by rick77


    I think Macklin will get minutes before Villanueva does simply because he has seen game action lately. Dont be suprised if Charlie V does make a cameo though, but Im willing to doubt he does. The team may be looking at it from a long term stance and probably want him to be at full health completely before they play him. Many of us know what type of player he is and what he brings so why waste him for a few games just to see what he can do when we already know. I would be more interested to see what Macklin can do since he has been playing in the D league and what type of player he can be moving forward. In a way the whole Charlie V thing could be a strategic way of losing games w/o indirectly saying so. Im no fan of such a thing in the pro’s but you never know in sports. If you check the latest projections we are tied like 9th place with a few teams and projected to win like 25-27 games. It scares me a bit because I want a high draft choice but it also offers hope for the future.

  • Apr 9, 20121:53 am
    by Mark


    Interesting take on the Heat gameplanning for Monroe tonight. I hadn’t really thought about it like that, and actually is a credit to Monroe, even though he played awful.

    When they put LeBron on him it was almost like when we play Howard, Shaq, etc and our gameplan is to throw a bunch of different looks at him. Thats a credit to Monroe’s stature around the league, if he’s getting that type of treatment from defenses now.

    Obviously sucks that it was effective against him and worked, but maybe just another step in his development, learning how to deal with multiple defenders like that.

    idk whats up with Greg/Frank, but it seems like the more he gets benched the worse he plays. In other words, Franks punishment seems to be having negative results. Monroe is not a defensive player. Frank is delusional if he thinks he’s going to only play the players who are great defensively and get by like that. Monroe’s strength right now is offense. Frank should still let him do what he does well on the court – like offense, while he’s learning to do the things he doesnt – like defense.

    He benches him for poor defense and now his confidence seems shot and as a result his offense is now bad too. Franks dick-riding of Big Ben is going to get him fired one day because next year its just going to be Frank/Monroe, and he’d be wise not to burn any bridges with Greg over these benchings in favor of a guy who is retiring in 2 weeks.

    • Apr 9, 201211:27 am
      by D_S_V


      Ya but L Frank is just trying to win games though. (Am I being sarcastic?)

  • Apr 9, 20123:01 pm
    by Corey


    Keeping Maxiel as the starting power forward. Reducing Monroe’s minutes. Keeping Stuckey coming off the bench for a while. Not giving CV a shot.

    JJ would be way better than Wilkins as the backup 3. And that would open minutes for CV or Macklin to play backup 4. Maybe Frank is the master of tanking subtly.

    This post is only half-joking.

    • Apr 9, 20125:55 pm
      by tarsier


      If this is the Pistons tanking, they are definitely a playoff team next year.

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