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Pistons, Andre Drummond have some rare fun in win over the Wizards

It was easy to get distracted during tonight’s laugher of a game between the Pistons and Wizards, and so I occupied myself by laughing at the way Washington’s players continuously ignored Wizards coach Randy Wittman. Wittman is definitely this year’s John Kuester. At one point, after Cartier Martin elbowed Andre Drummond in the throat, cameras showed Wittman clearly agitated, yelling something at Martin in the Washington huddle. Martin got a smirk on his face, shook his head a little and looked like he had about as much interest in what Wittman was saying as the Wizards did in playing a NBA game Friday. If Cartier Martin is showing you up, you are in definite Kuester territory.

As much as there has been to complain about Lawrence Frank this season, he’s clearly nowhere near Wizards territory when it comes to respect from the players. Players aren’t showing him up. They are generally playing pretty hard. When things are going bad, it’s always nice to get a reminder of what things look like when they’re going really bad. Thankfully, the Wizards provided that tonight. Here were a few other random things that stood out to me:

- Drummond, obviously, had a night filled with spectacular plays. He blocked five shots (career high), grabbed 14 rebounds (career high), had some trademark dunks, a couple of fantastic passes and even banked in a free throw. Weirdly, when he got tired in the first half after playing nine straight minutes, I saw something I never thought I would this season. Drummond was gassed and asked to come out of the game, and he clearly needed to … on the possession before he could get replaced, the Wizards got a couple of offensive rebounds that Drummond would normally get to and Kevin Seraphin hit a sweeping hook over him that Drummond would normally swat about 30 feet down the court. For once this season, Frank didn’t want to take Drummond out of the game. I had no idea how to react to that moment.

- When Martin elbowed Drummond and the announcers were looking at the replay, Greg Kelser said that Martin elbowed Drummond “right there on Front Street.” I have no relevant reason to point that out, other than it gives me a chance to link to one of my favorite videos, former Saginaw High coach Lou Dawkins using ‘Front Street’ and other awesome roasts of his players in this video report.

- Slava Kravtsov saw his first action of the season when the Wizards chose him to shoot free throws when Rodney Stuckey was injured and had to leave the game and couldn’t shoot his. Kravtsov was active, but it was definitely easy to see why he hasn’t played a lot — if he catches the ball on offense and doesn’t have a dunk, things get ugly. On one sequence, he had the ball in the paint, did about four pump fakes, pivoted, lost ground and put up a weak shot that was blocked. Somehow he did all of that without traveling, which was pretty miraculous.

This game basically proved what we already know — the Pistons are a bad team, but they’re not as bad as the few bottom feeders in the league. They are significantly better than the Wizards, and anything less than a repeat performance in tomorrow’s game will be a major disappointment.

Note: Technical difficulties tonight, so graphics won’t be in the grades

Jason Maxiell – C-

Maxiell made little impact tonight, but it’s hard to give anyone lower than a C- in a game the team won so easily. The positive, obviously, is that mediocre performances by Maxiell combined with great performances by Drummond are always positive as Drummond’s quest for more minutes continues

Greg Monroe – B+

Monroe had a typical solid performance, but the biggest positive — just one turnover. The occasionally sloppy Monroe made good passes all night and took care of the ball well.

Tayshaun Prince – C-

Prince had a poor shooting game, but was part of a perimeter defense that forced Washington’s guards and wings into some truly awful shooting performances.

Kyle Singler – B-

Singler rebounded well, he defended well, he shot OK, he moved without the ball … nothing to complain about with his performance.

Brandon Knight – B

Like Monroe, he took decent care of the basketball (just two turnovers), he had four assists and he got to the line seven times. He missed a couple of open jumpers that he’d normally make, but that was the only real complaint with his performance tonight.

Austin Daye – D

Daye looked fluid, took shots within the offense and took shots that he should be able to make. But for whatever reason, ‘shots that he should be able to make’ is about the only way to describe Daye anymore. He was 2-for-9 tonight and is just 4-for-17 since re-entering the rotation. He did get seven rebounds and two blocked shots tonight, so at least his poor shooting didn’t cause the other areas of his game to fall off too.

Andre Drummond – A

The Wizards didn’t pose much of a challenge for Drummond, but that’s exactly the type of opponent young players sometimes struggle with. Drummond should dominate the undisciplined team the Wizards put on the floor Friday. Washington definitely helped him out by foolishly challenging him and taking bad chances against him, and Drummond made them pay just about every time someone tested him.

Charlie Villanueva – C-

His best play was finishing off a great Drummond pass for a nice reverse layup. Villanueva didn’t play bad, but he did miss a couple of open jumpers that, as the designated shooter off the bench, he needs to hit.

Rodney Stuckey – A

Stuckey looked great, so hopefully the shot to the face he took in the second half that knocked him out of the game is nothing serious. Stuckey shot 4-for-6 and had five assists and just one turnover in 17 minutes.

Will Bynum – B

Bynum stepped in, shot well (4-for-7) and only turned the ball over once in Stuckey’s absence. He did take one wild three for some reason (there was still time on the shot clock), but other than that, he gave decent backup minutes tonight.

Slava Kravstov – C-

I’m happy Kravtsov finally saw game action, and stepping into the weird situation when Stuckey went out and couldn’t shoot free throws was an awkward way to debut, but he hopped off the bench and made 1-for-2 at the line. He also had a nice dunk. He’s obviously a major work in progress who showed deficiencies even against an inferior Washington lineup, but he’s on the team, so you might as well play him.

Jonas Jerebko – A

Jerebko made the best of his garbage time minutes, with three points, four rebounds and a steal in less than six minutes. If Daye keeps struggling shooting the ball, and Jerebko builds on this, he’ll be back in the rotation soon.

30 Comments

  • Dec 21, 201211:11 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    The Pistons may be significantly better than the Wizards. But not this much better. This was a good game for Detroit and a bad one for Washington. A much less dominant win tomorrow would hardly qualify as “a major disappointment”.

    • Dec 21, 201211:20 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      For a team missing like its four best players, that plays with little effort and just played Shaun Livingston 35 minutes? No, sorry. If they don’t blow out Washington tomorrow too, it will be disappointing. The Pistons cruised tonight and didn’t even play great. They only shot 42 percent. They botched a couple of fast break attempts. They played well, but this was hardly a crisp performance. Washington, if this is the team they put on the floor tomorrow, is awful even by awful NBA team standards.

      • Dec 21, 201211:32 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I’m just saying, if you play the best team in the league against the worst team in the league, the spread will be less than 32 points. Not to say that it would be shocking to see a 32 point blowout, but it would be more than the average expectation.

        The Wiz may be worst team in the league (they definitely are with all those guys out) but the Pistons are not the best. So this was a bigger win than could be reasonably expected to recur. 

        • Dec 21, 201211:44 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          A dominating effort doesn’t mean that they have to win by the same margin. In fact, at home and coming off an embarrassment like this, Washington is likely to play better. But that doesn’t mean the Pistons should be any less dominant against them. Even Washington playing better is still significantly more awful than Detroit. If the Pistons don’t win easily, it will be disappointing.

  • Dec 21, 201211:41 pm
    by Delray313

    Reply

    ok slava has a long way to go to be a good nba player. does will bynum know how to pass the dam ball geeesshhh. I feel bad for the pistons i mean washington is missing wall ariza and nene dam i forgot bradley beal.

  • Dec 22, 201212:21 am
    by dtmfr

    Reply

    Drummond isn’t interested Patrick.

    • Dec 22, 20121:38 am
      by Jon

      Reply

      are you some kind of ‘cuse fan who just inherently hates him? i don’t understand. he’s already one of the best rebounders in the league and he’s 19!! he is active on both ends of the floor, definitely not disinterested. it is impossible to lead the league in offensive rebounding percentage while not trying

    • Dec 22, 201211:40 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’ve been trying to ignore your comments, but I just have to point out — any time you write something here, you expose yourself as a mental lightweight.

  • Dec 22, 201212:51 am
    by tarsier

    Reply

    You missed English

    • Dec 22, 201212:52 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      and Frank

    • Dec 22, 201211:39 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I don’t grade every player/coach every game. English didn’t do anything noteworthy one way or the other. I didn’t grade Frank because the game was basically over in the first 10 minutes. I honestly don’t really know how to evaluate what a coach does in a game that is as uncompetitive as this one.

      • Dec 22, 201212:46 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        That’s fair. I was just used to seeing basically everyone get graded.

  • Dec 22, 20122:20 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    what Drummond can become defensively is like WOW! As long as he suffers no majot injuries

    • Dec 22, 20129:37 am
      by DG

      Reply

      He and Anthony Davis are going to be battling it out for DPOY for the next decade.

  • Dec 22, 20122:36 am
    by dtmfr

    Reply

    Lol. Pistons win by 32 and Patrick doesn’t have the capacity to give Frank a grade.  Of course if the Pistons had lost there would have been no Frank grade omission.  Such a pathetic contradiction. Patrick is just a troll on his own website.

    • Dec 22, 201211:37 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Last warning.

      Frank was adequate. It’s hard to really grade a coach when the game was essentially over after one quarter. Did Frank coach this game like he would any other game after that point? I mean, the Pistons didn’t let up, and that’s a positive for the coach I guess, but it’s hard to really make an evaluation of what he did or didn’t do right in a game where one team was so clearly overmatched.

      • Dec 22, 20127:43 pm
        by dtmfr

        Reply

        “Last warning”….really? Who warns you? So you can call people out but they can’t call you out.  I see you’re also a fan of McCarthyism.

  • Dec 22, 20126:14 am
    by Tyrone

    Reply

    I think the real story is who is our back up SF.  At the start of the season on paper it looked like a log jam at the SF spot.  

    Singler has transition into SG, Maggette contract is up and end of this season, Daye has played multiple spots trying to show that he is worthy of being in the NBA, Jonas has played PF in the past (I think his natural position is SF), and Middleton is projecting to be a SF.  Tay is not in danger of loosing his spot to any of these players.  

    I like Maggette as a person but Im glade that he is not getting PT for now.  Daye and JJ need to  battle it out and show who wants to be on this team the most.  Daye would appear to have the better skill set, but JJ has the Heart and hustle.  Who wants it more?

     

    • Dec 22, 20126:45 am
      by Vic

      Reply

      I could have wrote that story last year. It’s JJ all the way

      • Dec 22, 20122:52 pm
        by MIKEYDE248

        Reply

        It’s by far JJ.  I think he show Frank how bad of a coach he is by not playing him for sooooo long and having a great game yesterday.  Hopefully this will bring him back into the rotation.

    • Dec 22, 20124:48 pm
      by jkg1610

      Reply

      Tayshaun needs to go!

    • Dec 22, 20127:35 pm
      by CNA5

      Reply

      Jerebko, as strange as it sounds, was given a rotation spot gift wrapped this year.  He had to do two things:

      1.  Improve that jump shot and take it without hesitation when left open.
      2.  Add some strength to avoid getting mauled in the post against most 4s.

      He chose, instead, to try to develop his skill set at the 3.  To his credit, he has improved very well at handling the ball and passing.  However, he’s still slow against wings on the perimeter.  He’s not confident knocking down contested jumpers (that’s the life of the modern perimeter player).  He’s still below average at taking his man off the dribble at the 3 (but above average as a 4).

       He’d have Charlie V’s minutes and more if he had improved the two things I mentioned above.  He simply didn’t.  He played 12 games of meaningful minutes.  The first 10, he averaged 20 per game.  He still took bad shots, got overpowered in the post, made bad decisions on the pick and roll, and frankly really didn’t fit a need with Drummond on the floor.  

      Furthermore, it appears that the Pistons see Jerebko (right or wrong- I’m not sure) as a 4 who can play a little 3.  His extension at $4.5M speaks a lot on what they think he is.  Market price for an offensively limited grinding 3 is somewhere around the LLE, around $1.5-2M.  A backup big who rebounds and can knock down a jumper goes for around the MLE, which is $3.5-5M.

      The thing I like about Frank is that he buries nobody.  If you work hard, you’ll eventually get another shot- whether it be foul trouble or injuries or the guy in front of you is just playing awful.

      Jerebko inevitably will get another shot.

  • Dec 22, 20129:02 am
    by sebastian

    Reply

    Patrick is correct when he writes: When things are going bad, it’s always nice to get a reminder of what things look like when they’re going really bad. Thankfully, the Wizards provided that tonight.
    So, WE fans should not get intoxicated with any misgivings that L. Frank should not be removed from his position as Head Coach of the Detroit Pistons, after beating the Wizards, again, on the second half of a home-and-home with the Wizards.
    WE’ will probably, more than likely, return to losing when wE play the Hawks on Wednesday in Atlanta.
    Also, this was the first time that everybody got an opportunity to see the floor: English, Jerebko, and the Ukraine all got a chance to perspirate.       

  • Dec 22, 20129:07 am
    by Brian S

    Reply

    anybody else notice  the pistons played 13 guys last night…  My guess is Kravtsov was dressed but not active and the FT thing got it confused.  Wonder if league imposes any penalties.

    • Dec 22, 201210:52 am
      by NickB

      Reply

      No, the NBA allows teams 13 active players now. The change happened during the lockout when everyone wasn’t in playing shape, now they’re just keeping it.

  • Dec 22, 201211:48 am
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    I agree, just like what Kenny Smith spoke on the other night on Inside the NBA. I may be paraphrasing slightly but this is what he said. “If a team wins by 7 or less, then credit the coach, more than 7 points then you credit the players.” You can say the same for losses too. 

  • Dec 22, 20121:21 pm
    by Mone

    Reply

    Why does so many people love JJ?? He is not really good at anything but hustling..

    • Dec 22, 20127:07 pm
      by Tyrone

      Reply

      IMO, JJ hart and hustle are much better than Daye’s scoring ability.  Daye is slow and weak, he is exposed every night on the NBA level because he is not physical enough at this level.  I would take the guy with less skill but who works harder and wants to play and win more than the guy with a sweet shoot but is not physical enough to get his shoot off.  JJ is a better fit that Daye for this team.

  • Dec 22, 20124:51 pm
    by jkg1610

    Reply

    We need tayshaun and maxille out the starting lineup period tayshaun always push the ball up the court and ignore bk7 for a stupid shot and max is undersized! frank needss to GROW some BALLS and play drummond at center starting!

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