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Back home: Bring on the Thunder

Essentials

  • Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder (5-2) at Detroit Pistons (0-7)
  • Date: November 12, 2012
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

After a disastrous six-game western road trip, the Detroit Pistons are finally back home with a chance to play their second home game of the season when they host the OKC Thunder tonight. The Pistons fell at the hands of the Thunder by double figures last week and will be looking not only for their first victory of the season, but also a little bit of payback.

In their previous encounter, the Thunder put up 105 points on 53.5 percent field goal shooting because the Pistons failed to come up with a good recipe to limit Oklahoma City. Indeed, Scott Brooks’ group got whatever it is that they wanted for the most part by stretching out Detroit’s defense with ball movement and perimeter shooters in the mold of Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin. Every time players for the Thunder put the ball on the floor, they were afforded the possibility of getting inside the paint where they had a chance to score or get fouled, or kick the ball back out to an open man for a mid-range jumper or 3-point shot.

These avenues were made possible thanks in large part to Serge Ibaka who made a multitude of open shots in the pick-and-pop action with Russell Westbrook. This forced Lawrence Frank to stretch out his defense, thus resulting in some wide open driving lanes.

In addition, OKC benefitted from the fact that Detroit’s second unit occasionally oversold their pick-and-roll defensive coverage by rotating before the Thunder even ran the action, which meant that the screener could adjust his screening angle or simply slip out and go away from the play where he was left wide open. Add all of these factors up and Russell Westbrook and company scored 40 points in the paint, manufactured 26 free throw attempts and converted 8-of-20 shots from 3-point range.

Given that the Pistons’ defensive woes started thanks in large part to Ibaka’s shooting, it will be interesting to see if Frank tilts his defense towards the power forward at the expense of another Thunder shooter, or whether the strategy remains the same and they dare the big man to beat them again with mid-range and long 2-point shots.

On defense, the Thunder have a good tandem of big men in Serge Ibaka and Kendick Perkins. Ibaka is the perennial shot changer, as he challenges players at the rim and makes them adjust their attempts or pass the ball out to a shooter for fear of getting their shot swatted into the first row. Perkins on the other hand lacks lateral quickness, which makes him a target to attack in the pick-and-roll, but his strength and toughness make it as such that opposing centers have a tough time scoring on him, especially on the low block in post up situations.

With that said, in their previous encounter, Detroit was able to ring up 50 points in the paint against them because of two reasons: the first one was a result of Ibaka going after every shot defensively, which often resulted in giving up offensive rebounding position; where the Pistons got 19 second chance points. The second reason was OKC’s small lineups, where Andre Drummond flourished because of his size, where he could just catch and finish above most of the Thunder defenders.

Drummond wasn’t alone in this respect, Greg Monroe looked especially aggressive whenever he was defended by Nick Collison, and often looked for the ball on the low block but was thwarted at times as the Kansas product fronted him to prevent him from getting the ball. Unfortunately for Lawrence Frank, his players have a relatively low collective IQ and thus never they adjusted on the fly to take advantage of Collison’s defense by flashing a player to the high post to feed Monroe with a lob pass for an easy finish.

Perhaps Detroit will make the adjustment this time around since they now know to expect the defensive tactic, but it remains to be seen.

Also, it’s worth noting that the Pistons’ starting backcourt struggled in their last encounter with the Thunder, which isn’t necessarily surprising when you realize that OKC’s starting guards are tall and strong. On the flip side, Stuckey and Knight looked a little better against a second unit — big surprise I know — composed of Reggie Jackson and Eric Maynor.

The Pistons’ personnel won’t change, but perhaps their strategy against the Thunder will.

Read about the Thunder

Daily Thunder.

80 Comments

  • Nov 12, 20126:26 pm
    by DasMark

    Reply

    Barring a miracle turn around and a few all star caliber performances by Detroit, we can call it an early night.

    I don’t see Detroit’s first win coming until Friday, against Orlando. Even then, it’s no guarantee.  

  • Nov 12, 20126:49 pm
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    i feel good about tonight….

    We are OKC 4th game in 5 nights..

     

  • Nov 12, 20127:09 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    I feel good about tonight. I think Drummond is more likely to play in a blow out.

    • Nov 12, 20127:51 pm
      by I DISAGREE

      Reply

      if i said that…then imma bad fan smh
       

  • Nov 12, 20127:34 pm
    by jerrific

    Reply

    hopefully our recent games are an indication that frank is opening up to giving drummond consistent minutes. i doubt he will repeat his ladt performance against them, but i expect at least another 8 and 8 if he gets enough minutes.

    on another note, anyone else excited about the lakers hire? they simultaneously became the most exciting team to watch in the nba, and the least likely contender to win i title (i hope.)

  • Nov 12, 20127:39 pm
    by kiya

    Reply

    The pistons might not win until they play Toronto and if they keep on playing the way that they are now it might take them even longer to win a game 

  • Nov 12, 20127:44 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Palace this empty. Smh.

    • Nov 12, 20127:52 pm
      by I DISAGREE

      Reply

      when your coach deflates every bit of excitement about the team thats what happens

  • Nov 12, 20127:52 pm
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    The Thunder look tired and sloppy …we can steal this one

    • Nov 12, 20128:00 pm
      by Vince

      Reply

      Not if Knight keeps throwing away passes, nor if we can’t knock down free-throws, and lets not forget fouling the Thunder everytime they have possession.

  • Nov 12, 20127:59 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Wow. How many fouls do we want to give out before the end of the first? 

  • Nov 12, 20128:00 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    I’m so tired of Will Bynum. 

  • Nov 12, 20128:01 pm
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    smh…id attack a team at the rim when the best rim protecting option is the bench God bless “the Process”

    • Nov 12, 20128:01 pm
      by I DISAGREE

      Reply

      “is on the bench”

  • Nov 12, 20128:04 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Wooooo foul fest in Detroit!

  • Nov 12, 20128:06 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    FFS. You know what? At this point, if you want to foul the opposition make it a body slam, bang them up a bit. This team needs toughness. 

  • Nov 12, 20128:06 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Dre comes in for 10s, putback dunk.

  • Nov 12, 20128:06 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Are we really fouling on every defensive possession? I’m appalled to say that I think we really may be… 

  • Nov 12, 20128:07 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    Here come the comments.

  • Nov 12, 20128:08 pm
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    Drummond gets in the game,,,and we got in the positive…(I love the Process)

  • Nov 12, 20128:10 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    9 fouls in 12 minutes. Wow. Just wow.

  • Nov 12, 20128:18 pm
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    martin is killing stuckey

    • Nov 12, 20128:44 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Granted, Martin has been killing everyone this season.

      • Nov 12, 20128:50 pm
        by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

        Reply

        true….

  • Nov 12, 20128:23 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Improvement on the rotation here: having Drummond the the backup forwards out there with nice D on Martin by Singler

    • Nov 12, 20128:24 pm
      by Corey

      Reply

      Sorry for the gibberish post.

  • Nov 12, 20128:27 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    FRANK. FRANK. FRANK. CAN YOU SEE DRUMMOND? CAN YOU? THE ENTIRE PALACE JUST CAME TO LIFE. CAN YOU SEE HIM BEASTING? CAN YOU? THEN WHY AREN’T YOU STARTING HIM?

  • Nov 12, 20128:27 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    drummond is making it tough to take him out.  

  • Nov 12, 20128:27 pm
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    Andre aka The PROCESS Drummond!!!

  • Nov 12, 20128:29 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    More man to man defense…

  • Nov 12, 20128:30 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    It’s funny how all these experts call Drummond RAW. If he’s raw I want a whole bunch of Drummonds on my team. He’s doing the same thing he did in AAU and High school. The man has skills.
     

  • Nov 12, 20128:37 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    smh

  • Nov 12, 20128:38 pm
    by jingzy

    Reply

    trust the starters to screw up everything…

  • Nov 12, 20128:39 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    Ha Ha Ha , Frank really has his plan going. The process!!! Take Drummond out and watch a 12 point lead evaporate. 

  • Nov 12, 20128:41 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    That is so weird. When Drummond isn’t on the court the Thunder go on a huge run.

    Its almost like his defensive presence solidifies the paint.

    • Nov 12, 20128:46 pm
      by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

      Reply

      it would be nice if they actually passed it to him under the basket

      • Nov 12, 20129:28 pm
        by Scott Free

        Reply

        Yeah imagine how good he could be if they actually gave him the ball!

  • Nov 12, 20128:42 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    i think its scarey when maxiel is  more comfortable shooting than ur guards

  • Nov 12, 20128:44 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    westbrook 5-15 yikes

  • Nov 12, 20128:45 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    Drummond aka the Process = +11 in 9mins

  • Nov 12, 20128:47 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    Yeah Westbrook is like that poor FG percentage and turnover prone But he plays with effort and his team wins. So most ignore those stats with him.
     

  • Nov 12, 20128:47 pm
    by Indonesianpiston

    Reply

    The process is beasting and still gets no reward with playing time. Do something joe d

    • Nov 12, 20128:53 pm
      by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

      Reply

      LOL@ The Process is catching on…

      he played almost the entire 2nd qrt…

      But they have to start looking for him under the basket …he in money down there 

  • Nov 12, 20128:57 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

     I wish he would start now just so those posts will stop. 

  • Nov 12, 20129:08 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    I ENJOY WATCHING DURANT MORE THAN LEBRON

    • Nov 12, 20129:15 pm
      by theicon77

      Reply

      Durant’s game is smoother in my opinion. 

      • Nov 12, 20129:16 pm
        by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

        Reply

        i agree … 

  • Nov 12, 20129:13 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    feel good to be playing ahead

  • Nov 12, 20129:18 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    when Knight keeps his head up, and makes the simple pass he is very good

  • Nov 12, 20129:21 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    ok Max I see u

  • Nov 12, 20129:24 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    I like the effort and Singler clutch 3 pointer. Fingers crossed

  • Nov 12, 20129:26 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    Martin is gonna make OKC fans forget about Harden

  • Nov 12, 20129:29 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    is Westbrook always this dirty?

  • Nov 12, 20129:31 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    The crowd is going crazy! The Palace has filled up. Great ambiance! These are the Pistons we want to see! 

  • Nov 12, 20129:33 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    So we expanded the lead without Drummond.  By the logic in here if we put him in now we should have an easy win. Lets hope that’s true. 

  • Nov 12, 20129:36 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    Settle down boys.

  • Nov 12, 20129:41 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    ok time for coaching

  • Nov 12, 20129:45 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    not gonna judge but it would have been perfect time when they were up 11pts…to play Drummond and  monroe together….but oh well

    • Nov 12, 20129:48 pm
      by theicon77

      Reply

      Why stop judging now?

      • Nov 12, 201210:15 pm
        by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

        Reply

        because its all been said….

    • Nov 12, 20129:54 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      playing drummond will make it harder to get shabazz/nerlens/zeller

      that’s gotta be it, right? 

  • Nov 12, 20129:52 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Why isn’t English playing?

  • Nov 12, 20129:58 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    It’s nice to see some fight.
     

    • Nov 12, 201210:00 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The Pistons have a legitimate shot at winning this thing.

      • Nov 12, 201210:10 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        So much for that. but Detroit did put a scare in them.

  • Nov 12, 201210:00 pm
    by JMaxForever

    Reply

    Thank you Jason. You’re my savior!

  • Nov 12, 201210:01 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    BS foul.  Considering how rough a game it has been. 

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