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Pistons, at home, can’t keep up with 18-34 New Orleans Hornets

New Orleans Hornets 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 Detroit Pistons
Jason Maxiell, PF 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -23

Usually, I’d use this section as a plea for Andre Drummond to start. With Drummond out injured (and maybe already penciled into the starting lineup when healthy), I’m not sure what to write here.

Greg Monroe, C 39 MIN | 8-15 FG | 1-7 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -10

Monroe is averaging 16/11/3 in wins and 16/9/3 in losses this season. Essentially, he’s elevated himself past that X-Factor level to the point he plays well almost every game, win or loss. Monroe’s 17 points and 11 rebounds will actually lower his February per-game averages. Robin Lopez did plenty of his damage against Monroe, and though Monroe is somewhat culpable, Lopez deserves more credit than Monroe does blame.

Jose Calderon, PG 34 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -17

Calderon won’t play this well every night, but he can near this level of efficiency more often than not – and way more often than any Pistons point guard lately. Calderon has already tied Brandon Knight with four eight-assist games for the Pistons this season, and team-leader Will Bynum (six such games) is in Calderon’s sights.

Brandon Knight, PG 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | -24

Like: Knight’s shot selection. He took all 10 of his shots either in the paint or from beyond the arc, the two most efficient areas on the floor.

Dislike: Knight’s shooting. He went 2-for-7 in the paint and 1-for-3 on 3-pointers.

Kyle Singler, SG 29 MIN | 4-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -22

Another quality game at small forward from Singler, who’s averaging 11.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game since moving from shooting guard when the Pistons traded Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. There are still questions about Singler’s long-term ability – at the moment, I believe he could be the fifth starter on a good team – but all indications are that he’s better suited to play small forward than shooting guard.

Charlie Villanueva, PF 20 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -4

Villanueva scored 21 points against the Spurs on Friday and 18 points against the Bucks on Saturday, but he’d never posted 18 in three straight games with the Pistons. Don’t worry, he didn’t come close to breaking the streak tonight.

Will Bynum, PG 22 MIN | 0-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +3

Bynum now has more 0-for-at-least-8 games in the last two years combined (two) than anyone else in the NBA.

Rodney Stuckey, PG 30 MIN | 4-12 FG | 11-13 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | -2

Stuckey’s 11 free throws made and 13 free throws attempted are each Pistons highs this season. Entering tonight, Stuckey had attempted 1.3 times as many free throws as 3-pointers. In every previous season, Stuckey attempted at least three times as many free throws as 3-pointers. Whether it’s Stuckey’s fault, Lawrence Frank‘s fault or a shared blame, Stuckey’s offensive game has been a mess this season. Hopefully, this game signifies some type of change, but I doubt it.

Lawrence Frank

Frank chanced using an eight-man rotation, not inserting Kim English or Jonas Jerebko until late in the third quarter, and the risk didn’t pay off. The Pistons wasted big minutes from their top players just to trail by nine in the first quarter, 14 in the second quarter and 20 in the third quarter. Monty Williams out-coached him, and Frank admitted as much after the game. Missing Drummond definitely hurt the Pistons, but I’m not giving Frank sympathy points for that. Frank, all season, has been prepping the Pistons to play without Drummond on the court.

Most Valuable Player

Robin Lopez (23 points on 9-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds) scored 13 points on 5-on-5 shooting in the first quarter to set an active tone early for the Hornets. This was his first double-double of the calendar year.


Ryan Anderson had 31 points in 31 minutes, joining Samuel Dalembert, Dion Waiters and Antawn Jamison as the only reserves this season to score that many points and do so at a point-per-minute rate. He’s also now the only player this season with multiple 30-point, 0-free-throw-attempt games.

Defining moment

After the Pistons opened the game on an 8-0 run, Hornets coach Monty Williams called timeout and settled his team, which responded with its own 8-0 run and trailed only briefly afterward. Williams’ steady hand is a big reason the Hornets have more road wins (10) than the Celtics, Jazz, Lakers and Trail Blazers.


  • Feb 11, 201310:27 pm
    by mixmasta


    Aside from bad defensive effort on top of hot shooting by the Hornets, officiating was terrible tonight. NO didn’t get the same calls we got even if they commit the same action on us.
    Good effort to try to come back but it’s a little too late.
    Now do we miss Andre or what?

    • Feb 11, 201311:06 pm
      by Steve K


      I would totally agree. Those “blocking” calls were brutal. I know the Pistons were their own worst enemy in the 2nd half, but those calls were mostly in the 1st, when the game still hung in the balance.

  • Feb 11, 201311:15 pm
    by Blocks By Dre


    I know this is random but Spurs tried offering Blair to us. Not sure what we would have given them in the deal but we turned it down, according to Chris Broussard. Last year I would have been upset over this but since we have Drummond, Monroe and Max we don’t really need Blair.

    • Feb 12, 201312:27 am
      by Jacob


      hoopswolrd.com says we are interested in gerald henderson and josh smith, I hope not

      • Feb 12, 201312:34 am
        by ryan


        Me too. Gerald Henderson has proven nothing and Josh Smith is a nutter.

      • Feb 12, 201312:36 am
        by Blocks By Dre


        I wouldn’t mind a starting lineup of:


        Our bench would be:


        Defensively, outside of Calderon we would be scary especially our front court with Smith and Drummond swatting shots! Offensively, Henderson and Smith would be explosive which would be productive and put butts in the seats of the palace given their high flying dunks. Pair their explosiveness at the rim with Drummond and that would make us exciting to watch. 

        • Feb 12, 20131:35 am
          by Steve


          You can’t be serious…Smith has the worst shot selection in the league and that’s reflected in his terrible true shooting % and effective FG %. Henderson is a little better – at least he’s better than Stuckey.

          Henderson .514 TS/.455 eFG
          Smith .432/.386 (UGH)
          Singler .533/.501 
          Stuckey .494/.431

          • Feb 12, 20134:52 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            agreed theres no reason smith shouldnt be a 20+ppg 10reb guy dominate guy night in night out…he plays with a chip on his shoulder but doesnt know why or how to channel it

  • Feb 11, 201311:24 pm
    by Some random guy


    Boston , Philadelphia and Milwaukee all lost today so we’re still in good position to make a run 

    • Feb 12, 201310:28 am
      by tarsier


      Not really. Everyone losing is just as disastrous to the Pistons’ (nonexistent) playoff chances as is everyone winning. It takes one more game off the slate without Detroit making up any ground.

      At this point, Detroit is 6.5 games out of the last playoff spot with just 29 games to go. That’s an insanely hard gap to make up. Especially with arguably their best player out for an extended period.

      And you have to look out for Toronto. What with the Gay trade and the Drummond injury, they are a good bet to leapfrog Detroit and are the more likely of the two teams to somehow overcome the odds and sneak into the playoffs. 

  • Feb 11, 201311:37 pm
    by Haan


    It wouldn’t have closed the gap, but why didn’t Kravtsov get some decent burn while our frontcourt was getting torched?

  • Feb 12, 201312:16 am
    by ryan


    I’m cheering for us not to make the playoffs and don’t understand why anyone would be cheering for us to make the playoffs given our draft pick situation. Making the playoffs would be a huge loss.

    • Feb 12, 20131:06 am
      by Mark


      Pistons are in a catch 22 because after the Drummonf injury, the best thing is to just tank for a better draft pick. But at the same time, they just traded for Calderon and want badly to resign him. In order to do that they have to prove to him we can build a winner here. Thats starts with winning right now while he’s here.

      So thats the reason you want to win games – if you want to have a good chance at resigning Calderon. If you think we’ll get a better player than Jose picking 10th in this draft, I don’t see it. The #1 priority should be winning right now in order to sell Calderon on resigning here. 

      • Feb 12, 201310:31 am
        by tarsier


        Calderon isn’t a superstar who can pick his destination. If Detroit wants to re-sign Calderon, it probably can. He re-upped with the miserable Raptors.

        And consider the competition. How many teams in the league right now need a very solid PG with no star potential? No rebuilding team will pursue him. Only a contender. And I doubt any of them would offer him a full MLE. 

  • Feb 12, 20131:00 am
    by Mark


    I believe Calderon now has 39 asts and only 7 TOs as a Piston. 

    He’s definitely earned the starting PG spot and I don’t think Knight is getting it back anytime soon, unless Calderon decides not to resign here. Even then, I get the sense the Pistons may look elsewhere for another true PG before going back to Knight.

    And with Knight not performing well at SG either, makes you wonder about his future here. Ideally, all of your young players become all-stars, but thats not realistic. Monroe and Drummond appear on that path. If Knight doesn’t pan out, not the end of the world. Get what you can for him and move on with a great young frontcourt to build around. The main reason you know players like Monroe, Drummond, and Calderon are keepers is they produce consistently every night. The may not be perfect, but you know what you’re going to get from them every game, and you need that consistency to build a team and know what you need to go get. Knight is more like Stuckey in that regard. Great one game, not so great the next two games.

    Monroe, Drummond, Calderon, and if they can get Josh Smith, thats a nice core to build around.

  • Feb 12, 20131:38 am
    by Steve


    Anyone clambering for Josh Smith needs to read this: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/49283/courtvision-the-worst-shooters-so-far

    • Feb 12, 201310:43 am
      by tarsier


      I don’t think that provides any new concepts. Just a few specific details. But everyone knows this about Josh Smith. He is an insane talent. But he shoots from far away much too often.

      Even with all his terribly flawed decision making, he is still a well above average player. He doesn’t deserve the max deal he wants. And anyone would be a fool to give it to him. But at $9-11M/yr, he represents fantastic value.

      The reason so many people want Smoove is exactly what you pointed out. He represents fantastic value because he would basically be fairly paid at ~10M if he keep on playing like an idiot. But it’s possible that another team could set his head straight. maybe a long shot, but a possibility. And that’s where the value comes in. If that ever happens (and he’s not on a max contract or just about), he will be an incredibly underpaid star. Underpaid stars are how you win in the league.

  • Feb 12, 20131:40 am
    by ryan


    No it isn’t. Josh Smith isn’t the kind of player you build around.

    And to everyone who keeps ripping Brandon Knight I have one thing to say. He’s going to make you all look as stupid as Skip Bayless.

  • Feb 12, 20131:44 am
    by Brigs


    Josh smith plays POWER forward not small forward he has never played extensive minutes at the 3 spot he also isn’t a good outside shooter which if we acquire him would give us basically no floor spacing. i know everybody wants a star player but josh smith isn’t one when he’s playing his natural position and he certainly won’t be one playing out of position.

    • Feb 12, 20138:42 am
      by G


      Smith usually plays SF in Atlanta’s offense. He’s certainly not a perimeter player, but he thinks he is. 

  • Feb 12, 20132:14 am
    by Mark


    Well I for one never said anything about acquiring Josh Smith for his shooting ability. 

    You acquire Smith for his defense, athleticism, shot-blocking, finishing inside, playmaking, ability to defend multiple positions, etc.

    Essentially its his versatility, defense, and athleticism that makes him so intriguing to me.

    He’s not a true SF offensively, and he may have trouble guarding the 6-6, 6-7 speedy SFs. But those aren’t the ones you worry about at that position. Its the 6-8, 6-9 guys like LeBron, Melo, and Durant. And while no one can really guard those players, he’s one of the few that give you a chance to guard them, because he’s got the same size, length, athleticism, and defensive instincts.

    You can play him at either position. You can go big with Drummond/Monroe/Smith. You can go small with Drummond/Smith.

    Teams can pack the paint, but if you put two great 3 pt shooting guards on the perimeter, they won’t. Besides, its not that easy to pack the paint when you have the size we’d have on the frontline with all 3 of them up front together. When you are bigger than the opponent at every position up front, they can try to keep you out of the paint, but its not like it’ll be easy for them to do. And if they commit 4 guys to the paint, we’ll have open 3 pt shots all day.

    You don’t need all 5 players to be great shooters to space the court. You just need 2 or 3 of them to be consistent shooters from outside, who will make defenses pay every time they get left open. I believe Calderon is one of those types of shooters. I’m not sold on Knight yet, but I like our chances of winning the paint battle with a frontline of Drummond/Monroe/Smith.

    • Feb 12, 20134:11 am
      by oats


      I think you grossly underestimate how bad of a shooter Josh Smith is. He is absolutely awful outside of 8 feet. He shoots 27% outside of that range, and it accounts for about half his shots. Do we really think playing him at the 3 more won’t make him take even more of those? I just don’t buy that 2 guards will open the court for 3 guys who can’t shoot. That doesn’t hold up. 3 guys within 8 feet of the basket could almost be guarded with one player, and as of now that is about the range of Smith/Monroe/Drummond. Seriously, their size advantage would be largely negated by having two help defenders in striking distance. That is why I suspect Smith would respond by moving away from the basket more, and that is not a good thing. We’re talking about a max contract, or close to one for Smith, who will be one of the worst shooters at his position if he moves to the 3 for a solid portion of his minutes. Detroit would be doing this while knowing that the offense will be a train wreck until Monroe adds some range and starts knocking down the 10-15 foot jumper, assuming he ever does. If it turns out that Smith/Monroe/Drummond can’t play extended minutes together, which is a very strong possibility, then either Smith or Monroe will have to move to the bench to limit that lineup playing together. Then when Monroe and Drummond have to get their first real contracts the team would have a load of money tied up in 3 guys who can’t share court time. That’s a serious problem and it’s an awful lot of risk.
      As for his defense, keep in mind that playing more on the perimeter will take Smith away from the hoop and would likely cut into his blocked shots a little bit. While you are right that the scary SFs aren’t the smaller Iggy type SFs (and Iggy would have a field day being guarded by Smith), you seem to miss out on the fact that the bigger guys will also blow by Smith. LeBron would run by him all day long, as would Paul George or Rudy Gay. Durant is much quicker than people seem to realize and has a great first step. He’d probably hold up better against Anthony, but Melo would get his points anyways. Oh, and those smaller guys are suddenly much scarier when their defender can’t keep up. Monroe is already a bit slow for his position at the 4, Smith would be slow at the 3, and Calderon would be slow at the point. None of them are terribly slow, but that’s a lot of guys a half step behind when defense is supposed to be the selling point of this lineup. I’m just not convinced the defense of this lineup would be as dominant as they’d need to be in order to offset the offensive deficiencies they’d likely have.

      • Feb 12, 201310:49 am
        by tarsier


        Why exactly do you think Smith would be a slow SF? I agree that if he were here, it shouldn’t be on a max or near max deal. And that his minutes at SF (at least offensively) should be limited. But Josh Smith is the furthest thing from slow. He is pretty much the same freak athlete that LeBron is. He just lacks James’ talent and basketball IQ.

        But it’s true that if Monroe, Drummond, and Smith were all on the same team, Monroe would need to develop a bit more range. Like, an order of magnitude more even than he needs to right now. 

        • Feb 12, 20133:30 pm
          by oats


          I’ve watched him play a decent amount, and he is really fast for a PF, but I think he looks a tad slow for a perimeter player. Not so much his speed running the length of the court, but rather his lateral quickness. I might be wrong on that, he might be plenty quick. Even if he is, that is really low on my list of reasons to not want him at the kind of contract it will take to get him. We’re talking close to a max deal for a SF that can’t shoot at all.

          • Feb 12, 20134:59 pm
            by tarsier

            If it’s close to a max deal, I agree wholeheartedly. If he can be had for what he is worth, which is around $10M/yr, I would be interested.

            And if he were on the Pistons, he should only get spot minutes at SF. With both Monroe and Drummond able to play C, there are lots of minutes to be had at PF. 

  • Feb 12, 20132:30 am
    by Jay


    For those of you who watched the game, you’d have seen that the Pistons didn’t give up until about 1 minute left in the game. That’s something I haven’t seen in years. I’d give Frank a D or C- for that fact. He admitted he messed up in the beginning of the game and wasn’t ready, but gotta give it to him for keeping the guys in there and trying till the end. 

    • Feb 12, 20134:01 am
      by pistonsPoland


      The game was over after first Monty Williams timeout. Pistons never looked like they can compete with Hornets today.

  • Feb 12, 20133:30 am
    by Mrshourite


    I use to be a HUGE fan of Josh Smith, but I’m kind of past that now. Not really feeling Granger either. At least Josh plays D, but either one would be an upgrade, not worth max dollars tho. 

    • Feb 12, 20138:48 am
      by G


      Interesting connection the Pistons have with Josh Smith – Atlanta got him with Detroit’s pick from the Rasheed Wallace deal.

  • Feb 12, 20137:04 am
    by Corey


    Josh doesn’t fit unless you want Monroe to be the first big off the bench, or to be traded away. I agree with those posting that Drummond, Monroe, and Smith can’t play effectively together. Better to spend big money on a SF than on a PF who can’t shoot that you’ll then play at SF.

    love the comments about consistency that was made above. We need players who still contribute when their shot isn’t falling, whether that assists, rebounds, blocks, steals, or just being all over their men on D.

    • Feb 12, 201310:50 am
      by tarsier


      Or unless you want Smith to be the first big off the bench.

  • Feb 12, 20137:41 am
    by swish22


    As much as I enjoyed the two up tempo wins If I were building this team moving forward I would certainly build it in the old school Pistons mode.  Half court hoop my friends.  We have two solid bigs and one is the next Bill Russell.   We don’t have any good transition defenders when you look at the current roster.  Monroe, no but getting better in the half court. Singler, no but a solid, smart half court defender.  I don’t think we have even one really good transition defender. Prince a couple of years ago.   In a slow down game we have the beast that is Drummond ready to keep offensive possessions alive and eliminate opponents from getting second chance points.  The bench last night we have two terrible defenders in transition in Bynum and C V and Stuckey who has the talent but his mentality is woefully weak.   Calderon can take a charge here and there but he’s not going to stop many breakouts by opponents.  Hopefully Joe can rediscover his roots and build us the best defensive half court team in the league.   

    • Feb 12, 201310:56 am
      by tarsier


      OK, Drummond is wonderful and all. But the next Bill Russell? You do realize that you are talking about a guy who averaged 22.5 rebounds per game for his career, owned the head-to-head matchups with the most statistically impressive player in NBA history, and was the best player on 11 championship teams in just 13 years?

      If Drummond were the next Bill Russell, his 20 mpg would have the Pistons in playoff position right now. 

      • Feb 12, 201312:43 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        I know the Drummond hype its great for the City…. and im not saying he cant be dominate…but they called Ben Wallce the next Bill Russell….

        look frank and Roy Rogers have screwed Drummond offensive development up, Offensively i just dont know what is being taught…

        so either Drummond is a terrible student, or he has terrible teachers…

        Offensive rebounds he is still bring the ball down low…
        Physically strong and quicker than most of his post defender..he goes into a fade away jumper
        As he powers to the basket, if someone looks like they oppose him…he does scoop lay-ups….

        Someone is failing this kid

        • Feb 12, 20133:38 pm
          by oats


          His offensive progress is pretty typical for young big men. If they are extremely limited offensive players in college they tend to not have added anything during their rookie season. It doesn’t make him a terrible student if he is the norm. Hell, Monroe came in to the league with a more polished offense and was reduced to the same kind of offensive game that Drummond is now displaying. Calm down on this one, this isn’t on the coaches.

  • Feb 12, 20138:12 am


    If will Bynum has any trade Value …. MOVE HIM NOW!!!!

    before he twist ankle, or break a fibula….

    0-8 shooting nights are not good for his value….

    If we can move Knight for another Young Guard… Go for it… Maybe an Evan Turner….

    Knight is young, but I just feel like he doesnt believe in Frank and Frank does not believe in him…it better to part ways now before it gets ugly

    • Feb 12, 20139:17 am
      by tarsier


      I’d love to move Knight for Turner. In general, I’m not sold on the idea of trading Knight because I don’t think his value will get a whole lot lower. But he got into the rising stars challenge. So maybe other teams think he is better than he really is. He is certainly worth shopping around.

      • Feb 12, 201312:26 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        Im not gonna defend Knight and Im not gonna attack Frank…

        But I just dont see a good player to coach or coach to player relationship…

        Knight probably seems like he doesnt fit into the Pistons future anymore, and Frank is probably thinking… I wish he didnt slip on Draft Knight…

        I just think is something comes along Dumars has to pull the trigger now..

  • Feb 12, 20138:37 am


    I GIVE UP!!!!! @Tarsier

    I am completely convinced that Knight and Frank have lost all faith in each other abilities…. Its the Body Language…Its the on the floor…its everything….

    Knight has a GREAT GAME!…. then he vanishes….

    On Game Frank makes him the focus then he doesnt…..

    Im not blaming Frank or Knight completely but something is missing between the two….

    its better to just trade Knight, if you believe Frank is the long term coach of this team

    • Feb 12, 20138:52 am
      by G


      I doubt anybody thinks Frank is the long-term coach of this team.

      • Feb 12, 20139:16 am
        by tarsier



      • Feb 12, 201312:35 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        we will see next year is the end of his contract….

  • Feb 12, 20139:10 am
    by Scott Free


    I know the Pistons would have lost this game regardless, but what was with those calls last night?!  I didn’t notice, was Tim Donaghy out there?

  • Feb 12, 201310:03 am
    by vali


    Watching the Pistons in the last 2 -3 weeks ( even as a neutral fan) what strikes me is the maddening level of inconsistency from one game to another;  you associate this with some low basketball IQ ( some players) and you have a recipe for disasters ( like last night). That was a very winnable game and a chance to move up in the standings. It seems that there is a lack of trust all around ( players versus coach and viceversa) and some poor body language ( hello, BK) that makes you shake your head in disbelief. There are more rumors in the Spanish press that Jose would consider moving back home to play either for Tau or Barcelona; I’m convinced that he would like 2-3 more years in NBA but you never know. I have a feeling that he should have a good talk to BK and explain to him , they are teammates and not enemies. Good luck to you guys vs the Wizards.

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