|Jason Maxiell, PF 34 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +1
Maxiell deserves a nice, positive ‘"meh" for this performance. Maxiell has his limitations, but more often than not, including tonight, he meets most of his capabilities.
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 27 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -8
Prince moved better without the ball tonight, and after Kyle Singler played solid defense off the bench, Prince responded in kind. Isn’t that one thing we all want with this roster, for the younger players to push the veterans? Singler and Prince made that happen tonight.
|Greg Monroe, C 40 MIN | 8-15 FG | 5-7 FT | 12 REB | 11 AST | 21 PTS | +7
Greg "Curly Fries" Monroe had the Pistons’ first triple-double since Chauncey Billups in 2004. Detroit finally ran its offense through Monroe, and the results were encouraging. Monroe is the Pistons’ best offensive player, and the more he’s involved, the better. Because he’s such a good passer for a big man, it’s possible for Monroe to take so much responsibility, and I hope the Pistons keep giving it to him. Only his so-so defense on DeMarcus Cousins, admittedly a tough cover, kept him from earning an A+. Most importantly, Monroe still hit the offensive glass hard while distributing
|Brandon Knight, PG 33 MIN | 6-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 21 PTS | 0
Because Monroe and Rodney Stuckey ran the offense for so much of the night, Knight had a chance to play more off the ball. Right now, that suits him best. Unfortunately, for these Pistons to grow in the coming years, Knight probably must become their point guard. Games like this are good for Knight in the short term, but if he plays this role every night, I’m not sure that’s best for his development. At this point, I’d make developing Detroit’s young players the No. 1 priority for this season.
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 34 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 5 PTS | +8
The good news is Stuckey shot twice as well percentage-wise as he did in the Pistons’ first four games. The bad news is Stuckey shot 33 percent tonight. Stuckey’s ability to take on some point-guard duties freed Brandon Knight to play off the ball, which helped the Pistons. That’s a positive, I guess, but Stuckey’s lone value can’t be serving as Knight’s crutch.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 15 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -4
Jerebko got poked in the eye, shot two free throws while he could barely see, got leveled by a Thomas Robinson elbow (that caused Robinson to be ejected) — and stayed in the game. Jerebko has played better this season, but no Piston has shown more heart so far this year than Jerebko did tonight.
|Kyle Singler, SF 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -1
Singler earned the nod in the fourth quarter over Tayshaun Prince because of his defense. Singler didn’t shoot well, but it was nice to see his defensive effort reward.
|Andre Drummond, C 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4
Drummond would not have been the answer tonight. The Kings were scoring inside because of DeMarcus Cousins’ strong footwork in the post and their guards getting into the lane and dumping off the ball before Detroit rotated. A raw defender like Drummond wasn’t going solve those issues. That said, Drummond deserved more playing time — especially in the second half, when he played just 51 seconds. He needs minutes to develop, even in unfavorable situations, and although the Kings might shot better with him in the game, Drummond would have prevented a few offensive rebounds when they didn’t.
|Will Bynum, PG 15 MIN | 4-6 FG | 6-7 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -4
Bynum got his own offense tonight, which is fine, because he did it efficiently.
|Kim English, SG 10 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -5
English didn’t contribute much tonight, but he leaped over the front row going for a loose ball. Keep that effort up, and he’ll help the Pistons more games than he doesn’t.
|Lawrence Frank, HEAD COACH
This was Frank’s best-coached game of the season. Having Rodney Stuckey play on the ball more boosted Brandon Knight, and running the offense through Greg Monroe is obviously a good call. But Frank can’t be afraid to play Andre Drummond. The franchise’s future depends on Drummond, and he needs playing time to develop. As stated above, I also have questions about how playing this off-ball role will affect Knight’s progression.
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