The good news? Despite losing to Philadelphia tonight, Greg Monroe had his best offensive game since late November with 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Monroe bullied his way inside, he had three assists and limited his turnovers to two, got to the line 10 times and, in general, looked more comfortable than he has in some time.
The bad news? Monroe and the Pistons weren’t up to the task defensively against the Sixers. Philadelphia shot 54 percent overall and 36 percent from 3-point range, they out-rebounded the Pistons, they had 23 assists on 44 made shots and Jrue Holiday was unguardable with 21 points in the second half.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 26 MIN | 1-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -6Not even the fact that Maxiell was the only big on the Pistons who was active on the boards could make up for his awful shooting performance.|
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 37 MIN | 6-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | -12Prince had a good game, particularly his help on the glass, but an uncharacteristically dumb turnover late on an out of control drive when the Pistons were still in it knocks him from an A- to a B+.|
|Kyle Singler, SF 29 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -5Singler’s stat line wasn’t remarkable, but he did play pretty good defense on Jason Richardson.|
|Greg Monroe, C 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 8-10 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 22 PTS | -8A major, major step in the right direction for the previously slumping Monroe. His defense was bad and he missed a couple of close-range shots late in the fourth that would’ve kept the Pistons close. But he also made a fantastic catch of a really wild Brandon Knight pass that had him off balance on one of those missed shots.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 38 MIN | 8-18 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 22 PTS | -6Knight started slow, but deserves credit for turning things around. Jrue Holiday, as Dan pointed out in the preview, was a tough matchup for him (the second half proved as much), but Knight turning it over just twice was a positive.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 22 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +1Villanueva hit a couple of big threes to keep the Pistons close in the second half, had a couple of steals and helped out on the boards more than he usually does. He also had a bad turnover late and was part of an interior defense that fell asleep late on a Jason Richardson layup off an inbounds play. So in other words, it was a typical Villanueva up and down performance.|
|Corey Maggette, SF 8 MIN | 0-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -3Maggette continues to make a minimal, if any, impact when he’s in the game and somehow continues to hold onto his rotation spot.|
|Andre Drummond, C 14 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +1Drummond grabbed zero rebounds when he was on the floor, which is inexcusable for someone as big and talented as he is. Further complicating things, with Maxiell’s awful performance tonight, a strong performance by Drummond would’ve furthered his case for an increased role. Instead, he had his most passive effort of the season. HOWEVER … 13 minutes is still way too few for him, even in a bad performance. There’s a reason Jrue Holiday had a quiet first half and exploded in the second. Drummond’s rim-protecting presence (he did have two blocks in his 13+ minutes) changed the way Philly attacked. Without Drummond on the court, the Sixers went inside at will.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 31 MIN | 5-14 FG | 9-9 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 19 PTS | +3This grade was a lot higher until the final minutes of the game. Stuckey made an awful pass that resulted in a turnover, forced a three even though six seconds were left on the shot clock on another possession and was the one defending Holiday when Holiday hit a dagger jumper with less than a minute left to push Philly’s lead to five.|
|Lawrence Frank, CoachAlthough Drummond should’ve played more, I also don’t fault Frank much for sitting him. Sure, I think Drummond certainly would’ve made Philly think more about attacking the basket if he were on the court more in the second half. But I’ll also concede that Drummond didn’t seem to be playing particularly hard. I do, however, fault Frank for continuing to stick with Maggette. He has plenty of other bench options who deserve a shot at those minutes. And, once again, a bad start in the third quarter was a problem. The Pistons led by three at the half, but Philly erased that with a 14-0 run to open the third quarter. I have no idea what has been happening at halftime lately, but the Pistons continuously come out sluggish to start third quarters. That actually wasn’t an issue for Frank last season, it was more of a John Kuester thing, no idea why it suddenly is this season.|
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