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Pistons’ next stop: OKC

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (0-5) at Oklahoma City Thunder (3-2)
  • Date: November 9, 2012
  • Time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The defending Western Conference champions are coming off a road victory at Chicago last night and seem to be rounding into form after starting out the season with losses at the hands of San Antonio and Atlanta.

At the moment, Scott Brooks’ unit is playing well on both ends of the court, appearing in the top 10 of both offensive and defensive efficiency rankings.

On offense, Oklahoma City is converting 46.4 percent of their shots from the field (eighth in the NBA) and also manufacturing 26.4 free throw attempts per game (third in the league).

The Thunder do a good job of utilizing Kevin Durant as well as the players around him to get a multitude of different looks from all over the court. For instance, OKC might have KD come off a pin down screen for a catch shoot, where he is a lethal shooter; but should that initial action be well defended, the Texas product can still put the ball on the floor and head to the rim and dish off to a player for an open jumper after the defense clogs up the paint.

Brooks also likes to put Durant in pick-and-roll situations with Kendrick Perkins, to pull weak side defenders into the lane and give Serge Ibaka an uncontested mid-range jumper, which he excels at hitting.

Further exacerbating issues for opposing defenses, the Thunder might run their superstar off screens on one side of the floor and also do the same thing for Kevin Martin on the other side, which forces defenses to play honest and make decisions on where to shift their personnel. With the way Martin is shooting the ball so far this season, the decision is incredibly tough because he is making opponents pay for sagging off of him.

And should those options fail to open up, Scott Brooks still has Russell Westbrook that can break down just about any defender off the dribble, or he can go to a pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop with either Durant or Ibaka.

The Thunder also like to use Nick Collison in the screen action or as a point of pressure release from the high post because he is a good passer that finds players cutting back door. And just for good measure, the Thunder deploy a small lineup of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Martin, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant and a  center of choice (Ibaka, Collison or Perkins) to spread out defenses and also get out in transition where they score 14.6 fast break points per game (13th in the association).

The Thunder have a good offense, but not a perfect one.

Westbrook is prone to heat checks, where he fires away wild shots and Kevin Martin occasionally takes contested jumpers early in the shot clock seemingly to test defenses and also to get himself going. Consequently, the Thunder can become too perimeter oriented and forget to attack the paint where they are deadly as far as finishing in there.

On defense, the Thunder surrender a mere 41.5 percent field goal shooting because they do a good job of keeping teams out on the perimeter by clogging the paint. Kendrick Perkins is a physical interior player that discourages post up opportunities, while Serge Ibaka is a gifted shot blocker that routinely changes shots and thus makes it quite difficult for teams to convert near the basket. The end result is a team that yields 35.6 points in the paint on average (fourth in the NBA).

As good as Perkins and Ibaka are, the defensive glory shouldn’t be reserved for them. The Thunder put an emphasis on rotating to the paint all the while recovering in time to challenge shooters. Consequently, they avoid fouling and play solid half-court defense.

In addition, their young legs make it as such that they have the speed and quickness to get back in transition and prevent teams from getting easy scores.

The Pistons will obviously have their hands full but should be able to use a couple of combinations to take advantage of a Thunder defense that likes to pack the paint. Indeed, using a stretch four in the mold of Jonas Jerebko or even going small with Tayshaun Prince at power forward could prove to be beneficial especially if Ibaka is defending them given that he likes to retreat to the paint to challenge shots. Monroe is quite adept at finding open players, thus if he gets matched up against Perkins and Ibaka comes to help as the Pistons center attacks him on the interior, it should create open looks from long-range where Detroit can capitalize and force OKC to adjust their strategy.

Read about the Thunder

Daily Thunder.

84 Comments

  • Nov 9, 20127:26 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Out-on-a-limb predictions: Thunder blow us out, Durant’s scoring average takes a huge bump, Westbrook has a field day, Drummond gets 5 minutes of court time, OKC’s record will be 4-2, someone reading this blog will get severely drunk tonight after watching the game and have to get his/her stomach pumped. 

    Random question: what percentage of the reader-base is estimated to be female? I’m sure you have some back-end data estimates on it if you use an Analytics platform? Every comment I read, I guess to be male but that could be a very false assumption I had not until now considered. 

    (Yeah.. it’s Friday.. I need to leave work…) 

  • Nov 9, 20127:43 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    It’ll be a fun game for only one of these teams tonight. 

    • Nov 9, 20128:01 pm
      by I U HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Frank will break and Play them both together tonight…and I really hope they produce…because it will be a wake up call

  • Nov 9, 20128:13 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    Maybe wearing our home whites on the road is just what we need.

  • Nov 9, 20128:26 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Moose is getting his block on.

  • Nov 9, 20128:52 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Dre is having a field day, to whoever said he would negatively affect our offense, I hope you’re taking note. Hopefully so is Frank. 

    • Nov 9, 20129:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Someone said that? How would a guy who only dunks and gets offensive boards negatively impact an offense? I mean, if you run your offense through him, then yeah, he’d suck. But if they don’t run plays for him, his only possible negative is his awful FT shooting.

      • Nov 9, 20129:11 pm
        by Vince

        Reply

        Slap Dog Hoops : “[...] Playing him w/ Monroes is even a worse idea given Drummond’s shortcomings in the skills department.  The Pistons will end up getting outscored all of the time because Andre is so liited offensively and his presence will hurt Monroe because Drummond will be clogging the paint preventing Monroes to find any kind of comfort zone in the paint.  It’s not difficult for me to see why Frank has not put those two together,  I’m just surprised that you could not see it.”

        Dre is awesome because he doesn’t need plays to score, I don’t think he understands that. But yeah his only con would be his terrible Free Throw %. 

        • Nov 9, 20129:21 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Oh. Haha. I ignore that guy’s comments. He’s been saying insane stuff on here for years.

          • Nov 9, 20129:25 pm
            by Vince

            Haha fair enough

  • Nov 9, 20129:00 pm
    by I HATE U FRANK

    Reply

    DRUMMOND AND MONROE WOULD BE SOOO BEASTLY FOR US…MAYBE SOMEDAY

  • Nov 9, 20129:05 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Has Kendrick Perkins always been this awful? Or is this a new thing?

    • Nov 9, 20129:13 pm
      by Jameson

      Reply

      HE’S ALWAYS BEEN SO BAD

    • Nov 9, 20129:18 pm
      by I HATE U FRANK

      Reply

      He has become the most important non-important player in the NBA…. all they ever talk about is his mean face….
       
       

  • Nov 9, 20129:13 pm
    by Jameson Draper

    Reply

    I love Lawrence Frank’s enthusiasm.

  • Nov 9, 20129:20 pm
    by I HATE U FRANK

    Reply

    Drummond is soo clearly better than Max its silly…. if nothing else drummond alter shots….he forces teams to shoot jumpers and not get lay-ups….

  • Nov 9, 20129:22 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    surprise!  the pistons have not been blown out.
    the offense has looked pretty good.  at least you can see what they are trying to do, even if it isn’t always successful.  or what this fan would like to see.  but at least it looks like a competently-run offense at times.
    defensively, they are just overmatched and every nba team knows they have a huge hole in the middle.  
    every team they have played has just taken the ball and jammed it down the middle, daring them to stop them. 
    frank seems to think he can make up for the lack of a shotblocker the same way philly did last year – with a swarming defense that relies on quick hands and great positioning – but, for whatever reason, the pistons haven’t been able to pull that trick off.  
    frank needs to face reality and understand that he desperately needs 20-30 good minutes out of drummond, if only because he needs his size and shotblocking.
    how long will it take him to stop being so stubborn? 

    • Nov 9, 20129:24 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Underplayed storyline this season because everyone has been distracted with the ‘WHY WON’T THEY PLAY DRUMMOND?!’ thing, but the starting guards have been really, really awful defensively. With the speed/size  Stuckey and Knight have, there’s really no reason for them to be this bad on D.

      • Nov 9, 20129:35 pm
        by I HATE U FRANK

        Reply

        not defending the defense of the guards…but they have been playing in a terrible defensive system….and then recently they have gone man to man…. with no shot blockers….other than when drummond is in the game

  • Nov 9, 20129:27 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Seeing Maxiell trying to defend Ibaka is making me cringe.

  • Nov 9, 20129:29 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    oopss…hope i didn’t speak to soon.
    okc just bumped that lead up to double digits and they look like they are trying to deliver a knockout blow.
    let’s see what kind of heart detroit has.
    good timeout by frank.  he could sense the game starting to get away from detroit.
    now how will his team react? 

  • Nov 9, 20129:33 pm
    by FIREFRANK

    Reply

    You just dont get it do you Frank? Maxiel is not a baby eater

  • Nov 9, 20129:38 pm
    by I HATE U FRANK

    Reply

    See What Drummond bring to the game on that 24 sec? He makes team shoot jumpers

    • Nov 9, 20129:45 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      yep.  he helped cause that 24 second call.  okc was trying to back down the pistons’ guard, but the offensive player saw drummond cheating over to give help and he would not go inside with drummond down there.  
      he has that kind of respect even now.
      amazing. 

  • Nov 9, 20129:40 pm
    by FIREFRANK

    Reply

    Nice D Maxiel. u just make mr. ibaka looks like richard hamilton.. LOL

  • Nov 9, 20129:41 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    This is a way different team when Stuckey has it going offensively. And……. !@#%!@%!@ Drummond looks injured — WHY DID YOU PLAY HIM FRANK???!!!!

    • Nov 9, 20129:41 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      False alarm..

    • Nov 9, 20129:42 pm
      by theicon77

      Reply

      WHY DID YOU PLAY HIM FRANK—–nice one.

  • Nov 9, 20129:41 pm
    by I HATE U FRANK

    Reply

    smh… everytime Drummond goes down I cringe

  • Nov 9, 20129:45 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    DRE AND MONROE! 

    • Nov 9, 20129:47 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      yes.  i could not believe it!

  • Nov 9, 20129:46 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    FINALLY!!!!

  • Nov 9, 20129:47 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    Wait…are they in together?

  • Nov 9, 20129:48 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    what do you know!!!
    a drummond layup off a pass from monroe! 

  • Nov 9, 20129:48 pm
    by KEEPFRANK

    Reply

    Dre and Greg together?? The anticipation.. is like waiting in tent for the premier of star wars

  • Nov 9, 20129:48 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    HMMMM????? WHAT GOING ON HERE??? I DIDNT EXPECT THIS AT ALL

  • Nov 9, 20129:50 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Dre and Monroe on the court together > 7 – 0 run for the Pistons

    • Nov 9, 20129:51 pm
      by Vince

      Reply

      9-2 Wooooo screw you Frank! They better be playing together in the 4th!

      • Nov 9, 20129:53 pm
        by I LOVE U FRANK

        Reply

        AND HOPEFULLY THIS IS THE START OF THE END FOR THE MAXIELL ERA!!!(ATLEAST HIM GETTING MORE MINUTES THAN DRE

        • Nov 9, 20129:57 pm
          by Vince

          Reply

          See you say that, but I’m pretty sure if Dre and Moose both had triple doubles playing together Frank would start Maxiell.

          • Nov 9, 201210:07 pm
            by I LOVE U FRANK

            lol thats why i said its the start

  • Nov 9, 20129:52 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Love the subtle name change Ray aka “Love/Hate You Frank”

    • Nov 9, 201210:03 pm
      by I LOVE U FRANK

      Reply

      lol it was never personal

  • Nov 9, 20129:52 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    gee…  i guess having two talented young seven footers in your front court might just be a good thing.

  • Nov 9, 20129:53 pm
    by KEEPFRANK

    Reply

    THIS SHOULD BE THE STARTER FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON

  • Nov 9, 20129:55 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Love to see a Moose feeding a Bull

  • Nov 9, 20129:55 pm
    by KEEPFRANK

    Reply

    No matter win or loose. I love what Im seeing when they both together on the court!

    • Nov 9, 20129:57 pm
      by Vince

      Reply

      Hahahaha another name change? 

  • Nov 9, 201210:00 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    BAD PASS WILL CMON

  • Nov 9, 201210:02 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Drummond just did a nice job on that pick and roll. Good to see

  • Nov 9, 201210:04 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    next stage for drummond is the bump and dunk

  • Nov 9, 201210:05 pm
    by KEEPFRANK

    Reply

    When will we be playing the Wizards? 

  • Nov 9, 201210:06 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    no reason to trap the ball ….. we gave them that 3

  • Nov 9, 201210:09 pm
    by jingzy

    Reply

    will is killing us 

  • Nov 9, 201210:09 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    OKC reminds me of the 04-06 pistons. Let lesser teams hang around and then put them away in the 4th.
     

  • Nov 9, 201210:10 pm
    by garenh

    Reply

    will is no match for Kmart, take him out idiot… 

  • Nov 9, 201210:13 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    greg gotta make hid ft

  • Nov 9, 201210:15 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    DRUMMOND IS GOOD AROUND THE BASKET

  • Nov 9, 201210:19 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Great to see Drummond is giving both ibala and Perkins some trouble. With a little exp he is going to be GOOD

  • Nov 9, 201210:20 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    remember when Grant Hill was a rookie…and we sucked as a team but because of Grant it didnt even matter? that how I feel when Dre is in the game…. win or lose…as long as Drummond is getting minutes with Monroe and touches
     

  • Nov 9, 201210:22 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    most surprising thing is that drummond gets so much respect defensively.  you can see the okc players looking for him when he is in the game.
    amazing, considering that he is a rookie who has played so few minutes. 

    • Nov 9, 201210:30 pm
      by Vince

      Reply

      Seems they acknowledge Drummond’s defensive prowess more so than Frank, although it seems he has seen the light. It’ll be interesting to see if Drummond plays another 20 minute performance tomorrow.

      • Nov 9, 201210:40 pm
        by D_S_V

        Reply

        For a while it seemed that Will Bynum was the only one who knew how to get the most out of Drummond. He plays almost Iverson-like with Drummond – attacking to draw defenders and his shots are almost like passes (when he’s not actually throwing the oop) to Drummond.

  • Nov 9, 201210:24 pm
    by KEEPFRANK

    Reply

    DRUMMOND IS DOMINATING WITHOUT THE BALL. ALL HAIL ANDRE THE GIANT

  • Nov 9, 201210:25 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    drummond, on the verge of a double/double.

    • Nov 9, 201210:33 pm
      by DREGREGG

      Reply

      Coach Frank successfully replaced Dre in the nick of time

  • Nov 9, 201210:25 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    0-6 but Drummond had his coming out party and he didnt do it because of garbage time
     

  • Nov 9, 201210:29 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Drummond!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

    Random factoid: Grant Long does postgame interviews for FSN – Oklahoma 

    • Nov 9, 201210:31 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      grant long…a guy who should have been a lifetime piston.

      • Nov 9, 201210:34 pm
        by DREGREGG

        Reply

        I remember T Mills for threeeee

  • Nov 9, 201210:29 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    eventually they are going to have to give it to drummond in the post…and if he can make his FT 60% watchout

  • Nov 9, 201210:29 pm
    by theicon77

    Reply

    The game was competitive and I was not expecting that. Add that to the game Andre had and I come away relatively happy.

  • Nov 9, 201210:30 pm
    by I LOVE U FRANK

    Reply

    at the beginning of the night i said it was gonna happen tonight

  • Nov 9, 201210:32 pm
    by DREGREGG

    Reply

    One more rebound Frank. I guess its not important for Dre to get double-double.

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