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Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith shine (at times, at least) in season-opening win over Wizards

Washington Wizards 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
113 Detroit Pistons
Josh Smith, SF 40 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 19 PTS | +13I love: Smith shooting 5-for-5 on 2-pointers, all of them at the rim. I like: Smith playing point forward and setting up his teammates, Smith’s defense tonight, Smith shooting 3-of-7 on 3-pointers. I can live with: Smith turning the ball over four times when he’s so eager to create for others. I can’t stand: a couple of Smith 3-point attempts, which were really forced.
Andre Drummond, C 26 MIN | 6-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +4Playing 17:43 in the first half, Drummond had 10 points, eight rebounds and one foul. He was an absolute beast on the glass and uses his quick hops to dunk whenever he got the ball near the rim. He didn’t excel individually defensively, but he moved well around the floor and bothered the Wizards in several areas of the court. It seemed, at times, they didn’t want to challenge him. Playing 8:35 in the second half, Drummond had two points, zero rebounds and four fouls. I don’t know whether he got tired, but the Pistons can’t afford to have him foul so much. They need him on the court more.
Greg Monroe, C 41 MIN | 6-15 FG | 12-15 FT | 16 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 24 PTS | +8Following a Josh Smith turnover to open the game, Monroe had turnovers on the Pistons’ second and third possessions. After that: 24 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and two turnovers. He’s been a near All-Star the last two years, and he’s already making his case this season. The Wizards had little answer for him and had to keep fouling him.
Chauncey Billups, PG 31 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +6Billups was the perfect steadying force for the Pistons’ offense, making 4-of-5 3-pointers to go with five assists and only one turnover. Giving Smith such a prominent role comes with the risk of ugly stretches, and Billups is a great foil to the higher-potential but more-erratic Smith-led offense.
Will Bynum, PG 38 MIN | 7-13 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 19 PTS | +9Bynum scored well early and scored well late, but he forced a couple unnecessary long 2s just as the Wizards began their comeback in the second half. It seemed Bynum just wanted to take a short break from working hard for a good shot. Then, John Wall started to give him trouble on both ends. I understand Bynum’s struggles against Wall, a better player. But the Pistons can’t just waste possessions on bad shots because they’re content with a double-digit lead. Overall, though, Bynum played well, if not a little sloppy.
Tony Mitchell, PF 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0Made a brief and meaningless cameo late as Maurice Cheeks stuck to an eight-man rotation.
Jonas Jerebko, PF 8 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | 0Uneven play and didn’t get much burn. Did Cheeks stretch a seven-man rotation to eight to give Jerebko spot minutes? Did Jerebko’s play lead to a reduced role? Did Cheeks plan all along to play Jerebko just a few minutes?
Kyle Singler, SF 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +8Cheeks’ pet took five 3-pointers, all from the corner. So, good news: Maybe Cheeks doesn’t hate that shot anymore. Bad news: Singler made only one of them tonight. In the long run, making those shots will be his role. Tonight, though, he rebounded well for his position and had a nice and-1 on a drive to the basket.
Peyton Siva, PG 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0Made a brief and meaningless cameo late as Cheeks stuck to an eight-man rotation.
Luigi Datome, SF 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0

Made a brief and meaningless cameo late as Cheeks stuck to an eight-man rotation. I was actually a little surprised Datome got in considering he missed so much time due to injury. If Cheeks just wanted to give his rookies a chance to get the debut monkeys off their backs, OK, nothing to see here. If he wanted to reward Mitchell and Siva for playing hard during the preseason, then why play Datome, too? Maybe he wanted to break the ice for Datome working his way into the rotation. Most likely, I’m reading too much into all this.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 27 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +7Caldwell-Pope shot 0-for-7 outside the paint. On the bright side, he got into the lane, where he shot 4-for-5, and he defended with effort.
Maurice CheeksThink Cheeks wanted this win? With Brandon Jennings and Rodney Stuckey out due to injury, Cheeks didn’t chance his first Pistons games on players he didn’t deem worthy of playing. He just shortened the rotation. I loved the ball movement early, but I didn’t think he quashed bits of laziness quickly enough once the Pistons got up by double digits.

102 Comments

  • Oct 30, 201310:36 pm
    by Jodi "The Guru" Jezz

    Reply

    I gotta admit I was wrong…If Monroe continues to play like he did tonight, he may very well get a max deal…Good win Pistons, I can’t wait until Jennings comes back…

    • Oct 31, 20131:12 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Monroe doesn’t have to play half this well to get a max deal. Barring injury, it’s already been established that he will get a max deal from somebody. What kind of contract did you think he was going to get? A tidy $40-48 mil 4 year deal? The old hometown discount? Right.

      • Oct 31, 20139:16 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Monroe won’t get a max deal if his stats decline significantly this year and many were predicting that would happen if ESPNs projected stats for the year are any indication.  Leave it to a know it all like you to basically state that the Monroe’s contract after a season has already been established when there is a whole season left to play.  

      • Oct 31, 20139:32 pm
        by Jodi "The Guru" Jezz

        Reply

        @Otis: I’m guessing that Monroe will average 17ppg, 9.2rebs, and 3.2asts ,and I’m also guessing that Monroe will get a 4yr/55.8mil deal from another team and we’ll end up matching…I don’t think we can call that a hometown discount..

        • Nov 1, 201312:33 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          You’re close. It’ll be a max deal and we’ll probably match it… assuming we get that far. My point is that Monroe’s play this season doesn’t really matter. If his numbers take a dip, I think it’s safe to say that people will chalk it up to him being in the wrong system, playing alongside another center and a power forward instead of floor spacers. Monroe is highly unlikely to regress in his age 23 season based on his own merits.

  • Oct 30, 201310:50 pm
    by Some Dude

    Reply

    The big 3 play great tonight….”At times”? why?

    Smith: 8-12FG / 3-7(3pts) / 5rbs = 19pts
    Drummond: 6-7 FG / 8rbs = 12pts
    Monroe: 6-15FG / 12-15FT / 16rbs = 24pts 

    (Total = 55pts / 29rbs / 9ast / 2blks)

    Is that not enough production? hard to ask for more than that, c’mon.
     

    • Oct 30, 201311:09 pm
      by Bill Laimbeer

      Reply

      That’s Feldman for you. This site *should* be called PistonSoured.

      • Oct 31, 20131:10 am
        by anacaniwelk

        Reply

        No doubt. He has his ideas on how things will/should play out, and even when it goes the other way on him he spins it to suit his opinion.  Very tiresome.

      • Oct 31, 20131:11 am
        by anacaniwelk

        Reply

         He has his ideas on how things will/should play out, and even when it goes the other way on him he spins it to suit his opinion.  Very tiresome.

    • Oct 30, 201311:14 pm
      by Jake

      Reply

      If those three combine for ~50/~30 per night, the Pistons will be looking at a 6 seed.

      • Oct 31, 201312:22 am
        by Some Dude

        Reply

         @ Jake

        Honestly if we get that kind of production from our bigs every night. Not even counting what we’ll get when Jennings returns. I’d even say 5th seed. 

        • Oct 31, 201312:42 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          But, my friend, we’re not going to be facing the hapless Wiz every night. The Pistons looked pretty good against those stiffs, but let’s not jump to conclusions until we’ve seen them in action against good teams.

          • Oct 31, 20131:06 pm
            by ckl

            Not the scrubby Wiz team of years past. They were a .500 team last year with Wall back, and pretty much everyone seems to have them pegged for one of the last playoff spots in the east. They were also a top 5 defense for that half of the season.

            Same tier as Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, and Atlanta. This is our direct competition for one of those last playoff slots. It was a good win.

          • Oct 31, 20131:44 pm
            by Otis

            On one hand, I understand that this team is generally perceived to be our direct competition for one of the last two playoff spots, but to be honest I could care less about those last two spots. The Pistons need to do better than that. Most of our key players are more-or-less finished products: Chauncey (who was indispensable last night), Bynum, Smith, Jennings, Stuckey, Jerebko, Charlie… Datome is like a nine year veteran. These guys are who they are. Monroe and Singler are probably very close to the players they’re going to be. Drummond and KCP certainly have significant room to grow, but Drummond has shown stretches of dominance since his debut and it’s not like KCP projects to be an All-Star or anything. Our only two total projects are last year’s second rounders, who aren’t franchise-altering type players. And yeah you’ve still got Stuckey and Villanueva’s money coming off the books next season, but most of that money is going directly into Monroe’s pay raise (assuming we keep him).
             
            In other words: This isn’t just some “stepping stone” type season. If the goal is an eventual championship, this team needs to do more this season than sneak into the playoffs and beat out the other teams like Cleveland and Washington and Toronto. We spent five years wallowing in misery for no reason, squandering assets along the way, and as a result we simply don’t have the room for improvement that they do. Cleveland especially has loads of untapped potential and draft picks, so any sort of playoff berth would be a great season for them. Not so with us. In and of itself, a playoff berth this season just means we get to say we didn’t miss the playoffs for SIX straight seasons, but it doesn’t amount to anything if our ceiling is getting laughed out of the first round. There’s probably cap space for one more significant perimeter player, and don’t forget we owe Charlotte our first rounder this year in a STACKED draft. So this season needs to be a serious measuring stick for what this team is capable of. I don’t think Mr. Gores is going to go into luxury tax territory unless the team is a serious contender.
             
            If we lock up the 5-6 seed this season, I think there’s a reasonable chance that one more significant free agent gets us over the hump. 7-8 and a quick first round exit and I think you’re on track to have a tax paying team that can’t get out of the second round.

          • Oct 31, 20133:50 pm
            by tarsier

            Otis, barring a miracle, this team isn’t about to turn into a championship favorite. But Monroe, Drummond, and Pope all still have a lot of room to grow and adding a guy like Deng would go a long way. If the Pistons can sneak into the playoffs with a 6-8 seed this season, they will have plenty of room to grow into a second tier contender.

            Probably the best comparison is the Pacers. In 2011, they snuck into the last playoff spot with a 37-45 record and no more apparent room for growth on their roster than is currently on Detroit’s. George still had a lot of room for improvement (like Drummond), but Hibbert looked to have nearly plateaued (like Monroe). Stephenson was their Singler. They didn’t have a Pope equivalent, but they did still have their coming draft pick (which was flipped for Hill) so that pretty much cancels out. Like today’s Pistons, they had upcoming cap space which they turned into David West. Granger was their Smith, and they managed to hit this second-tier contender status in spite of his injuries.

            How do the Pistons have any less room for improvement than they did? In fact, the Pistons should be able to do better assuming Smith doesn’t go down like Granger did. The Pacers will probably never win a title. But they at least have a puncher’s chance at it.

            Maybe that’s not good enough for you. But let’s face it, getting higher than that is something that only happens to most franchises every several decades. 5 years of misery is pretty common. So, while I would hope for more than this coming out of those lost seasons, this seems about what is reasonable to expect.

          • Oct 31, 20134:37 pm
            by oats

            @ Otis. The idea that Monroe is near his ceiling seems really strange. How often do guys peak at 23? It’s really rare, and most of the examples of it that I can think of involve serious injury problems preventing the guy from continuing to improve. I just don’t get this line of thinking. He should get stronger, develop more advanced post moves, and get a better feel for the game over the next several years. It’s also not unheard of for guys to develop improved range as they age, and Monroe’s solid free throw shooting suggests that he could a better jump shooter than he currently is. I obviously can’t know how much he will improve, but there is an awful lot of room for him to get better. Even if it’s just becoming a more efficient version of the guy he currently is, that still leaves a lot of room for growth.
             
            The other thing that needs to be mentioned is Drummond’s ceiling. The difference between a superstar player and a guy that has flashes from time to time is immense, and nothing changes a team’s potential like the addition of a superstar. His development alone could cause the team to go from a low end playoff team to a contender with zero other improvements being made. That’s what happens if he becomes the best center in the league, and that is very much something that could happen. That would completely change how good the team is. Then consider the fact that talented perimeter players generally like playing with talented big men because it makes their job much easier. He probably doesn’t get to where he lures anyone in next year, but Smith and Jennings aren’t signed forever. Smith’s contract will run out when Drummond is 24 and just beginning to enter his prime. If the team plays it smart then they could arrange to have some serious cap space right around then to try to lure someone into going to play with hopefully will be a young stud at center. Is it really all that likely that they are real contenders before Drummond hits his prime? I don’t think so, yet he alone guarantees that the team’s long term is anything but bleak even if they are just a quick playoff exit.
             
            As for Pope, right now he is a guy that likely would get no more than spot minutes for most teams. He is already a capable defender, but he makes some rookie mistakes and his shot is not falling. He could end up as a top notch defender and a capable shooter, and he’s shown some ability to get to the hoop and to the line. I’m describing a darn good starter, and that is way better than what he is now. Upgrading from what they team currently has to an above average starter at shooting guard would be a huge improvement for this team, and Pope could get there in time. It really doesn’t take an All Star to be a big improvement at shooting guard right now.

          • Oct 31, 20135:20 pm
            by tarsier

            Oats, I think the idea that Monroe is at or near his peak comes from the lack of improvement between years 2 and 3. And, honestly, the minimal improvement from the last third of year 1 to either of those years.

            But just because that’s where the line of reasoning comes from doesn’t mean I agree with it. It’s common for improvement to come in fits and starts rather than steadily and gradually. Players often appear to plateau before improving some more. Hence my comparison of Monroe to Hibbert (in terms of talent and rate of development, not in terms of playing style or specific abilities). 

          • Oct 31, 20139:31 pm
            by Max

            How do you guys have any patience to deal reasonably with Otis’ relentlessly negative bullshit and boohooing about his five years of misery as if he was some slave or in prison?   Even in his reaction to the team getting an important win over a direct competitor he is as miserable as ever.    

            @Otis  You may not respond to me but get things right.   The Pistons missed the playoffs four years in a row so if they get an 7th or 8th seed and have a poor showing they will be able to say they didn’t miss the playoffs five years in a row.   You can exaggerate your ludicrous opinions but facts are off limits.   

            Also, while you may have no use for such a scenario and won’t allow for this season being a stepping stone because of your absurd notion that no one agrees with regarding the players having no room for individual growth as players: are you really so ignorant of how teams develop collective chemistry over time and how incredibly rare it is for a team to have great chemistry in their first season together?

          • Nov 1, 201312:46 pm
            by Otis

            @tarsier: The difference between us and Indy is that Indy’s five best players combine to form their best unit. They have a legitimate C, PF, SF, SG, PG and depth to back it up. They make each other better. I think our ceiling is going to be adversely affected by our unconventional lineups. We don’t even have an “above average” wing on the entire roster. Singler holds his own, KCP is a question mark, but we’re two wings short of a real starting five.
             
            It’s worth looking at the chart a few posts up where it shows that our big men were basically a +2 against the Wiz (a bad team) but we were something like +30 when one of our big men sat. It’s not an accident that conventional basketball is played with five guys at different positions. We’re trying to re-invent the wheel here with this roster, and not by design but because these were the players available. This is why I’ve advocated a Monroe trade that brings back 75 cents on the dollar.
             
            @oats: When it comes to Monroe, it’s his almost nonexistent improvement since his second season combined with the fact that his lack of athleticism is always going to hinder him. He’s almost indistinguishable from the player he was when he was first made the focal point of the offense. He’s still too hesitant, he still refuses to develop a jumper, his defense is still heinous. His talents are mostly pretty refined, but he lacks the physical gifts that would inspire confidence that he has much room for growth. He’s a 16 and 9 guy. He’ll have a heck of a career putting up those numbers, playing no defense whatsoever, and making a lot of money. But just because he’s 23 doesn’t mean the sky is the limit.

          • Nov 1, 20131:43 pm
            by tarsier

            Otis,
            Fair point on the inferiority of fit. But I think that can be more than overcome by having fewer injury issues. Assuming, of course, that we are comparing to Indy without a healthy Granger. If he comes back and is the player he once was, Indy will be better off with him than the heights I expect Detroit to reach.

    • Oct 31, 201312:54 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Did you miss “Playing 8:35 in the second half, Drummond had two points, zero rebounds and four fouls.” If that doesn’t earn the “at times” disclaimer, what would?

      • Oct 31, 20136:05 am
        by Some Dude

        Reply

        @ tarsier

        That bad stretch Drummond played I woulnd’t really say he played bad. He got into foul trouble, being aggressive on defense and the calls didn’t go his way.  I don’t blame him for that. Still, overall an impressive showing.

        • Oct 31, 20131:48 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Admittedly, I didn’t pay very much attention to how he picked up his fouls. I was looking at other stuff, and by the time I noticed he had his fifth foul he was done. I’m not sure how much this has to do with other guys missing their assignments and him trying to compensate, but it struck me as odd, since he was almost never in foul trouble last season, even playing major minutes alongside defensive stalwarts like Charlie and Austin Daye. I love Andre, but guys need to be responsible for their foul trouble.

          • Oct 31, 20134:47 pm
            by oats

            It’s not that odd. Last year he came off the bench. Generally speaking, foul trouble is 2 fouls in the 1st quarter, 3 in the second, 4 in the 3rd, and 5 in the 4th. If he only plays about 3 minutes in the first quarter then he is reasonably unlikely to hit those marks early on in those quarters. By the time he does get to them it will likely be late enough that he can just be asked to ride it out for a few more minutes until he would naturally be coming out anyways since he was a 20 minute a game player. He averaged 4.2 fouls per 36 minutes last year. As a starter that would likely have him hitting those foul trouble marks relatively often. Not enough to count as a major problem, but often enough that it is something the coach will need to look out for.

          • Nov 1, 201312:50 pm
            by Otis

            You certainly don’t need to explain what “foul trouble” is to me. I understand that the situation was mitigated by his minutes, but even when he played starter’s minutes (which wasn’t often enough) he just didn’t seem to get into trouble. I’m contrasting this in my head with Amir Johnson, who couldn’t stay on the floor long enough to break a sweat before he had to sit. I won’t put too much stock in per 36 numbers here, partly because of how he was used, and partly because there’s a difference between smart fouls and foolish ones. Maybe it had something to do with first day jitters, but this situation bears monitoring.

      • Oct 31, 20138:02 am
        by ShimmeringWang

        Reply

        Yeah, Tarsier. How the hell are you going to blame Andre Drummond for the FOULS he committed? It’s almost like it’s PERSONAL with you. 

        • Oct 31, 20139:23 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I can’t tell whether this is absurdity or sarcasm.

    • Oct 31, 201311:12 am
      by jamesjones_det

      Reply

      My guess is he’s talking about the combined 10 TOs.  Josh had a couple of bad ones in particular but for the first game of the season I expect a bit play of sloppy play.

  • Oct 30, 201310:52 pm
    by JamesJames_Det

    Reply

    Hurry, we better trade Monroe…  Because we can…. :)

    Yes, you are going to hear this a lot this year Because it’s the dumbest NBA2K generation argument I’ve ever heard. 

    • Oct 31, 201312:52 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I still maintain that Dumars should be trying to make a Monroe/Love swap.

      • Oct 31, 20131:10 am
        by jg22

        Reply

        Heck no. Love is the most overated player in the league. 
         

      • Oct 31, 20136:07 am
        by Some Dude

        Reply

        @ tarsier

        If people complain Monroe doesn’t play D, imagine what will be said about Love, he’s even worse in that regard. He’s basically the same was Monroe, a scoring center/forward.  

        • Oct 31, 20138:01 am
          by ShimmeringWang

          Reply

          Please, please, please tell me you think “Kevin Love” and “Greg Monroe” are “basically the same.” Just say it one more time so I know I’m not having that dream again where the people that comment on professional sports blogs are fools. 

        • Oct 31, 20139:25 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Love is comparable to Monroe on the defensive end, probably even slightly worse. But he is a much better player. He is arguably the best rebounder in the league and a fantastic shooter.

          • Oct 31, 201310:25 am
            by gmehl

            Love would more than likely fit better alongside Smith & Drummond than what Monroe due to his ability to hit the midrange jump shot at a consistent clip. Love can also get hot from 3 too which would allow Smith to play more predominantly closer to the hoop. Anyway I can’t see that trade happening cause their salaries don’t match and I wouldn’t want to give up anything else than moose in that deal.

          • Oct 31, 201310:50 am
            by tarsier

            Ummm, yeah, that was the point I was making about Love being a fantastic shooter.

            I don’t know why you wouldn’t be willing to give up any additional assets to get back a player, but whatever. The Pistons wouldn’t need to. Throw in Stuckey or Villanueva (who aren’t really assets) and the salaries do match.

          • Oct 31, 20131:56 pm
            by Otis

            Love would be a much, much better fit. Hard to say he’d be any worse on defense, because Monroe may as well not even be on the floor when we’re on D. As for the salaries not matching, of course you’re not going to give up anything else of value; Moose is considerably younger and on a ridiculously cap-friendly contract this season, and under control for four more seasons, so you’d be giving the Wolves a very nice commodity. We’d certainly throw in Charlie to make salaries match, and maybe Jonas or something. Also, we could always even the deal out in other ways and take back some other assets.

          • Oct 31, 20135:21 pm
            by tarsier

            I’d happily give up Monroe+Stuckey/Villanueva+Pope for Love. And I’m growing on Pope. As I mentioned, I see a Tony Allen future in him.

  • Oct 30, 201310:53 pm
    by swish22

    Reply

    I’m also very excited about seeing Jennings running the point with this squad. We were 30-54 shooting inside the arc with a lot of bunnies.  Also loved Popes energy and defensive intensity and i’m hoping he can keep Rodney on the bench.  Lot of positives tonight.  I’ve been a big critic of Joe D’s for a few years now but he really did do a great job in the offseason it appears.

  • Oct 31, 20131:06 am
    by anacaniwelk

    Reply

    The thing I most enjoyed about this game was Cheeks sitting Drummond for much of the 2nd half. No Hack-a-Drummond tonight. Drummond is gonna cost the Pistons at least 5 games because of his horrid free throw shooting, but not tonight.  Thanks Mo!

    • Oct 31, 20131:17 am
      by jg22

      Reply

      Did you say the same thing in 2004 with Ben Wallace? 

      LOL u clown 

    • Oct 31, 20137:59 am
      by Turns

      Reply

      Then how many games will he win for the Pistons because of his rebounding/defense?  Fouls got Drummond to the bench, not a fear of hack-a-drummond

  • Oct 31, 20131:13 am
    by jg22

    Reply

    D+ for Pope?

    I thought the rookie was solid in his first game. 9 pts off the bench is all you can ask for from a rookie, and he also helped defend Beal into a tough shooting night.

    I give him a solid B- for his debut. 

    • Oct 31, 20133:10 am
      by Moonchild

      Reply

      I agree the d plus rating is bull

    • Oct 31, 20139:34 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The scoring total is fine… for someone who takes half as many shots.

      When someone shoots 12 times, you can definitely ask for a lot more than 9 points.

    • Oct 31, 20131:29 pm
      by jamesjones_det

      Reply

      Did you watch the game?  He didn’t look that good and still can’t hit an outside jumper.  D+ or C- is about the best I would give him.  Even on defense he was a bit shaky last night, too much over playing.
       
      I feel like I’m arguing with Darko fans all over again.  KCP isn’t as bad as Darko was but he doesn’t look to be this budding star some people are making him out to be.

    • Oct 31, 20132:03 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      B- makes sense if you’re grading on a curve, but this is prime time. I actually liked what I saw from him, despite extremely poor outside shooting. He looked very much like a rookie, but I wasn’t really disappointed. I thought he contributed. I won’t get too hung up on these grades, but in Dan’s defense KCP is going to need to hit those shots. 12 shots in a rookie debut off the bench as a #4 or 5 option is rather… um, bold. So he should be putting up at least 12 points on that many attempts.

  • Oct 31, 20131:16 am
    by Ryan P.

    Reply

    I liked what Jerebko brought to the game n the first half..although he tried to force things a little..but as our fourth big (and only big off the bench) I think he’s perfect to play about 10-14 minutes a night.   Basically he’s Smith’s backup..and I see no reason for that to change.  He has got to play with energy and run the floor and make open shots/take open lanes…I think Jonas can do it.

    I liked Cheeks going with the 7 man rotation in the 2nd half..he understood this was a game they needed to win. 

  • Oct 31, 20131:32 am
    by R

    Reply

    i would bump up singler’s c+ to a b- and pope’s d+ to a c+. 

    although he missed most of them, singler took shots he was supposed to take, and that and-1 was more than “nice”, it was timely, and helped stave off a big 4th qtr charge by the wiz. it really felt like that and-1 turned things around for detroit emotionally.

    as for pope, admittedly he was out of control, but i would curve his grade, being that he’s a rookie in his NBA debut. despite his FG%, his makes off drives were beautiful. and i can’t overstate how refreshing it is to see an athletic, defensively active, and overall competent 2 guard in detroit. it’s literally been, like, 5 years. on top of that, he’s shown flashes of potential in this one game that you wouldn’t ever see from stuck, ever, and perhaps even from rip *gasp* *blasphemy*

    but it’s early, lol. he still needs to make his  jumpshots, since we drafted him for that. but come on. a d+ despite a commendable defensive effort by bradley beal? that has to trump his bad offense!

  • Oct 31, 20132:17 am
    by domnick

    Reply

    drummond needs to stop fouling to stay longer… but he had a decent game!

    up next! MEMPHIS… 2-0 for DET! 

  • Oct 31, 20132:33 am
    by Raphael

    Reply

    I actually think KCP plated better or as good as singler. His shot wasn’t falling but his defense was excellent. He definitely played above a D grade. 

    • Oct 31, 20139:38 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The problem was less that his shot wasn’t falling and more that his shot doesn’t fall. These weren’t unfortunate misses, nearly every shot looked bad coming out of his hands.

      Here’s hoping he develops a shot, but until he does, he should work on it more in practice and less in games. For now, he looks very Tony Allen-esque.

      • Oct 31, 201310:04 am
        by Jon

        Reply

        his shots looked fine coming out of his hand. two of his shots that i remember bounced very softly off the rim for drummond to clean up. also, an average tony allen night is more than a d+, it’s more like a b.

        • Oct 31, 201310:54 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          They may have looked fine to you. Almost every time he shot, I could immediately call whether it would be short, wider right, or wide left.

          An average Tony Allen night does not involve taking so many shots because he knows better. But arguing about the grades is pointless. They’re highly subjective and there is no established scale for each player. The point is Pope did very well in one aspect and very poorly in another. 

          • Oct 31, 20132:06 pm
            by Otis

            Gotta agree with tarsier here. They didn’t look good coming out of his hands, and I was rarely surprised when they clanked. I was happy with how he played, but he needs to be like Rip in those old Rahmani commercials and take a thousand jumpers a day.

      • Oct 31, 201312:00 pm
        by Tyrell

        Reply

        How does someone who showed evidence of being at least a decent shooter in college all of a sudden become someone who can’t shoot? I’ll give a rookie the chance to get acclimated to the league first

        • Oct 31, 201312:33 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          How? I don’t know. But we are starting to stack up a fair amount of evidence that he’s not much of a shooter, both in terms of the stats and in terms of how his sots look.

          • Oct 31, 20132:12 pm
            by Otis

            I’ll be honest. I’m actually kind of speechless at how bad his shooting has been. He hasn’t looked especially comfortable, and it’s starting to get troubling. Not the biggest deal considering that Chauncey, Bynum and Jennings have to play, that Stuckey is going to play regardless of merit as always, and that Singler is probably once again going to play major minutes out of position at SG, especially if Datome is going to crack the rotation… but still. It’s troubling.

          • Oct 31, 20139:36 pm
            by Max

            His shot looked bad to me in summer league too but I think he should improve as he makes the adjustment to the speed of the game in the NBA.   It’s way too early to get panicky about it and he’s ahead of the curve defensively.  

  • Oct 31, 20133:14 am
    by pistons moribund

    Reply

    The only reason the Pistons will make the playoffs this year is because of CB.  He was the one coaching in the huddle and on the floor.  One game above .500, cant ask for more.  The rest is still the same.  MFWB still has his moments, good and bad.  Bullwinkle still can’t defend or make a jump shot from the elbow or the key.  Dre looks lost and makes awful fouls.  Cant wait for Stuck to Jennings to come back and throw up some bricks and take playing time away from CB and KCP.  Fire Mo and hire CB now!!!!!!Save our season!!!!!!!Cant get excited over the first game against a bad and hyped up team.

    • Oct 31, 20136:39 am
      by Vic

      Reply

      Correctamundo… Billups is actually the strategic coach of the team as a true PG. 
      I do love Mo Cheeks decisiveness and willingness to shorten the rotation and get wins. That shows that at least he has a plan. But make no mistake without Chauncey this team would not have a chance of putting it all together. Kudos to Joe for that.

      • Oct 31, 20138:12 am
        by Vic

        Reply

        Jennings is going to be a major upgrade over Bynum. Stuckey will be good for defending Rose,  irving, wall, etc.

    • Oct 31, 20138:05 am
      by Turns

      Reply

      I can only imagine what you would’ve said if they lost.  Way to give this team a chance.  Not trying to disrespect you but you just come off as a very sour individual.  Maybe time to root for another franchise

      • Oct 31, 20132:14 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Sour? A guy with “moribund” right there in his name? Where do you come up with this stuff? Don’t you know “moribund” is synonymous with puppies and butterfly kisses.

    • Oct 31, 20139:39 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “The only reason the Pistons will make the playoffs this year is because of CB.”

      Good to know that Monroe, Drummond, and Smith aren’t factors. I guess Dumars might as well trade them all for draft picks if they aren’t helping the Pistons make the playoffs anyway. 

      • Oct 31, 20132:17 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Not gonna lie, man. Billups was absolutely indispensable last night. I don’t think we win that game without him. The steadying force, the three pointers, he was incredible. On one hand, it was awesome to see him looking like his old self. On the other hand, it really made me wonder where we’d be without him. Hopefully Jennings will learn to do what Chauncey did last night and ease the burden, but don’t undersell how big he was.

        • Oct 31, 20133:56 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I don’t mean to imply that Chauncey was useless. I think the game would have been closer and may have even gone the other way if Detroit hadn’t had him.

          I just meant to point out that the comment I replied to was ludicrous. 

    • Oct 31, 201312:37 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Interesting that you somehow are aware of who was calling the plays and how much of last nights coaching was Cheeks or Billups.  You saw CB talking alot during the game and on the sidelines and decided he was doing all the coaching?  or were you in the huddle?

  • Oct 31, 20135:45 am
    by Ben

    Reply

    What are quashed bits of laziness? In what language does that make sense in a sentence? If your main language is English, please donate the portion of this article that makes no sense to a charity that involves the less fortunate. If you don’t, I can only assume that you will continue subpar work with no sense of responsibility toward it.

    • Oct 31, 20137:57 am
      by ShimmeringWang

      Reply

      The sentence in question: “I loved the ball movement early, but I didn’t think quashed bits of laziness quickly enough once the Pistons got up by double digits.”

      He accidentally left out the word “he” you tremendous ass. “…but I didn’t think he quashed bits of laziness quickly enough…” is how the sentence should read. Either you knew that, and are being a disingenuously critical prick, or you didn’t, and your critical skills are “subpar with no sense of responsibility toward it.” Whatever that means.  

      • Oct 31, 20132:32 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Let me help settle this before you guys get argumentative and start saying things you’ll both regret:
         
        On Shimmer’s side: Yes, I agree that it’s not a stretch to figure out that the word “he” should be there. And it’s obnoxious to gripe about this sort of thing when it’s just a harmless omission of a word. At most, it should be politely identified to the author, and if he cares he’ll change it.
         
        On Ben’s side: It was a bad phrase regardless. It’s no secret that Dan isn’t an especially good writer, and he has a terrible time using words optimally, or even correctly. “Bits of laziness” isn’t the best way to describe stretches of lackadaisical play. The point gets across, but it sounds strange. It’s fair to expect better from a writer. “Quash” he flat-out mangled. That’s just not how you use that word. For one thing, it’s primarily a legal term. For another thing, it refers to erasing/undoing/voiding, actions that aren’t equal to calling a time out. To quash the laziness would require reversing the clock and playing those stretches over again with more gusto. Calling a timeout doesn’t undo a bad stretch, it just provides an opportunity to put and end to a bad stretch. The word “quell” would have been appropriate, among many other words, but “quash” is just incorrect. I’ve tried to encourage Dan to stick to more basic language, but he insists on misusing words and bringing criticism like this on himself for reasons I don’t understand.

        • Oct 31, 20137:55 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          Definition of QUASH

          :  to suppress or extinguish summarily and completely <quasha rebellion>

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quash 

          • Nov 1, 20131:03 pm
            by Otis

            Dan, stop wasting time sharing definitions and take that time to optimize your word choices. You have, like, a billion words to choose from. There are plenty of synonyms for “stop” that don’t have an element of nullification that makes them special. You’re either being stubborn or you have no respect for the quality of words that make them special. It’s like people who say something is “pretty unique” or some shit. I’m trying to help you, for crying out loud. If you don’t care enough about language to pick the best word for the situation, just say so and I’ll leave you alone. I defended your typo, I wasn’t even the one who mentioned how weird your sentence was, and I wasn’t even going to say anything.

          • Nov 1, 20131:26 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Wow, I didn’t know we had a couple of Bill fuckin Shakespeares handing out writing advice down here. Thanks, dildos.

          • Nov 1, 20131:59 pm
            by tarsier

            Come on Feldman, you mean you don’t take ten minutes to research every word you type and consider whether it is the optimal word for the context of your article and for the tastes of you most nitpicking readers? 

          • Nov 1, 20132:01 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @tarsier:

            You should add, conduct said research while trying to quickly get a game recap posted so that those same nitpickers don’t comment to say, “Where is the game recap???” 

          • Nov 1, 20132:28 pm
            by Max

            We’ve got a bunch of Poloniuses around here. 

            In Hamlet: Act II Scene 2, while explaining to Gertrude and Claudius why Hamlet is mad, Polonius reads them the poem that Hamlet gave Ophelia: “To the celestial and my soul’s idol, the most beautified Ophelia,” then, pausing for an aside, adds his opinion: “that’s an ill phrase, a vile phrase; beautified is a vile phrase . . . .”  I think we can take Shakespeare’s word for it, that Polonius’s opinion of Hamlet’s poetry was Burghley’s opinion of Oxford’s poetry.

          • Nov 1, 20136:11 pm
            by Otis

            @Patrick: That was unnecessary. I’m only trying to be helpful.
             

          • Nov 2, 201312:08 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            So was I.

      • Oct 31, 20137:51 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        Thanks, fixed

  • Oct 31, 20137:27 am
    by Corey

    Reply

    “Quashing a bit of laziness” would mean stopping the players from being lazy on the court. I particularly remember one Will Bynum long 2 from just inside the 3 pt line with a defender all over him – with lots of time left on the shot clock.
    There’s nothing wrong with that English, although perhaps it stretched your vocabulary.
     
    On to other things: JJ’s playing time, I believe, was linked to Drummond in the 2nd half. Cheeks didn’t intend to play Smith and Monroe 40 minutes. When Drummond was ineffective and racking up fouls in the 2nd half, and the lead was slipping away, he was pulled for Monroe and Smith. JJ sitting back down so early was a side effect of those decisions. If Drummond had been effective and they’d kept the lead double digits, I’d bet Monroe and Smith would have sat until about the 6 minute mark, meaning JJ would have had about 6 minutes in each half.
    And if Monroe keeps playing like that, not only will he get a max deal, but we’ll be grateful to have him at the price.
     
     

  • Oct 31, 20137:47 am
    by ShimmeringWang

    Reply

    The comment section here is like, ach, the absolute dregs of YouTube.

    Have you ever read I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream? It’s a famous short story written by one of the masters of science fiction, Harlan Ellison. The plot isn’t easy to explain, but at one point, a sentient computer — a computer that controls the lives of the handful of human beings left alive, just to torture them — is asked, basically, how he feels about humans. 

    “HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I’VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE. THERE ARE 387.44 MILLION MILES OF PRINTED CIRCUITS IN WAFER THIN LAYERS THAT FILL MY COMPLEX. IF THE WORD HATE WAS ENGRAVED ON EACH NANOANGSTROM OF THOSE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MILES IT WOULD NOT EQUAL ONE ONE-BILLIONTH OF THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT FOR YOU. HATE. HATE.”

    That’s how I feel about the population of the comment section, here, for the most part. With a few exceptions, I’m filled with an inexplicable, illogical rage for you people. Those of you I don’t hate, well, I’m sure you can guess who you are. The rest of you: I plan on torturing you all fucking year. (Until I get bored.)

    • Oct 31, 20138:11 am
      by Vic

      Reply

      Get a counselor. Go to church. Get a life.

      Your comment is actually the only one on this page that sounds like it should be on YouTube. 

    • Oct 31, 20139:43 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Seriously dude? This site has one of the best comment sections I’ve seen. There are some people who aren’t so bright to be sure, but very few trolls. And there is relatively a lot of coherent, back-and-forth discussion, even if some of the perspectives shared strike me as inane.

      • Oct 31, 201310:20 am
        by ShimmeringWang

        Reply

        You are one of people who doesn’t fill me with perfect, white-hot rage. (That being said, I’m disappointed you didn’t pick up the sarcasm a few posts above. I put the words “PERSONAL” and “FOUL” in caps for a reason.) But the bitch-bitch-bitch about Feldman (or whomever) is so god damned blind ass stupid and misguided. 

        “Hey write for a different site if you don’t like the Pistons, bro. If you don’t think Greg Monroe is first team NBA THEN YOU AREN’T A REAL FAN!” 

        This place is a suckhole of suck when it comes to that shit. “IF YOU DON’T TERRY MILLS YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A GOSH DARN ALLEN IVERSON!” This team has been terrible for years, and not because of bad luck. It’s bad process! Hiring Cheeks, the Gordon trade, the Gordon signing, the CV contract… this stuff is indicative of bad process. And to not point it out would be absurd.

        Drummond hacked too much to stay in the game. Smith took some bad shots. Suggesting these guys played well “at times” is not sour by any stretch. KCP went 4/12 and was crappy and inefficient. Sure he’s a rookie, but he didn’t play well, and saying so isn’t being a downer. 

        Christ, you people. I’ll engage on any topic, any time. But all of the, “YOU’RE EITHER WITH US OR YOU’RE AGAINST US!” stuff is just nonsense. I’m a huge Pistons fan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be critical. Jesus guys. Come on
         

        • Oct 31, 201311:15 am
          by Turns

          Reply

          It’s so much better to be the guy that just sits back and bitches about any and every thing.  No offense man but you really come off as a total sourpuss.  It’s a lot more fun to root for a team and enjoy a WIN than it is to be over-critical and complain about your team beating a team that most figured to be fighting for a final playoff spot.  What are your expectations for this team?  This franchise has appeared and won a title the last three decades – that’s not too shabby for a smaller market team

        • Oct 31, 201312:46 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I agree that too many commenters here get up in arms whenever an article recognizes the negatives in a positive situation. They’re ok usually with being negative about bad things. But if something is overall positive, they’re not ok with both the good and bad of it being pointed out.

          However, you are comparing people who complain a bit too much about the general tone of a site’s body of work to you tube commenters. And you consider them worse?! At least these comments are meaningful and relate to the source. And you can have actual back-and-forths with many of them.

  • Oct 31, 20138:27 am
    by acr

    Reply

    nice first win… i’m really looking forward to seeing how things come together when jennings comes back.  i think that it’ll be uneven at first, but we should be fun to watch and get some wins this year…

  • Oct 31, 20139:15 am
    by hoophabit

    Reply

    I’d only agree that going into the D range for KCP is a little tough.  Rookie in his first real NBA game and all?  He played tough defense, scored 9 points, and only turned it twice.  Yes, he continues to struggle with his outside shot, but historically that’s one of his strengths.  Chasing Beal all night is no easy task.  Overall it was a promising beginning.  Oddly, I doubt if I’d have reacted if you’d have given him a C-.

    I’m always a little amazed at how people feel so free to abandon all civility because they can hide behind internet anonymity.  People can disagree without one of them being a “fool.”  Your HATE adds nothing to the conversation, although Harlan Ellison is a talented writer.  

  • Oct 31, 20139:32 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Drummond committed a few questionable fouls and he was given some questionable fouls…

    He was a force, because he keeps moving be doesnt stop, that hard to box out….

    i love the passing of the Bigs, Yeah i know 10 to’s….but it was nice to see the spacing…

    Last thing, they ran soo man different version of the pick and roll …often using the big rolling as a decoy… 

    that gonna give most teams nightmares…especially if players like Jennings, Billups, Bynum and Stuckey can either finish at the rim or knock down the 17 footer…

    I hope Billups and Sheed team them to have that put them away mindset…up 15 Wizards we nor that good to keep the game close…But outside of Billups we had no 3 point shooting…and soon teams are just gonna play zones…daring us to make shots
     

    • Oct 31, 20139:58 am
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Don’t forget Smith was 3-7.  I’ll take that, if he can keep it up.  I’m not expecting KCP to be (0-whatever) all season either.

  • Oct 31, 20139:49 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I hope Billups and Sheed teaches them how to have a put teams away mindset…up 15 Wizards we nor that good to keep the game close…But outside of Billups we had no 3 point shooting…and soon teams are just gonna play zones…daring us to make shots

    • Oct 31, 201310:27 am
      by Jon

      Reply

      let them play a zone. they’ll get 5 defensive rebounds the whole game while drummond monroe smith get endless second chance points

  • Oct 31, 201312:25 pm
    by Huddy

    Reply

    One game doesn’t dictate Jerebko’s worth, but I would definitely like to see Mitchell get a shot at those back up minutes.  Hes got the potential to bring the same kind of energy as JJ, but with more ability.  IMO JJ has needs a bigger role than what we saw last night to be happy anyway so Mitchell might very well be a better use of that back up time.
     
    I really liked how Billups was used last night.  He got plenty of opportunities to have the ball in his hands and not just wait around at the 3pt line, but still made an impact from outside.  If Jennings truly has toned down the ego and can share ball handling responsibilities I think they are a nice pairing.  Defensively they aren’t prime, but that starting line up has a lot of help inside on the drive.
     
    KCP and Singler need to hit shots.  It is king of nice to see KCP finishing inside well, but thats not what the team needs from him.  Same goes for Singler.  Rebounded well for his position…sure, but on a team with Smith, Monroe, Drummond added rebounding isn’t complimentary.  He was getting plenty of open looks just not knocking them down.  If that continues I expect to see Datome getting his chance out there.

  • Oct 31, 20131:04 pm
    by Sable

    Reply

    I’m not fond of the KCP grade.  Yes, he missed his outside shot and the charges were rookie mistakes, but it’s his first game.  You expect that.  If you watched the pre-season, you saw the same thing where he was just too hyped early on to hit his shots.  They started falling once he got settled in.
     
    What I don’t like about your grade, however, was you failed to notice his defensive energy.  Early on the wizards were up because they were getting wide open threes.  The bench came in and stabilized things in part because KCP was willing to hustle after those shooters.  Defense is 50% of the game, and I argue the more important 50%.  You can always pass to your teammates to take shots.  If you can’t guard your man, however, you are truly hurting your team.  Take his defense into account when you grade him and the other players.

    • Oct 31, 20131:18 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      The fact that KCP is a rookie doesn’t make him exempt from grades.  If he gets in a groove and starts shooting well then he will get graded better when that happens.  It is a grade for the game, not a running tally on the player’s ability.
       
      He played solid defense and D is 50% of the game…ok so even if he played 100% the best defense possible (which is hard to guage, but unlikely it was the best possible) then he is at a grade of 50% and add a poor offensive showing and you somehow come out with much better than 67-69%?  probably not. 

  • Oct 31, 20131:04 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    It’s funny, just as I was navigating to this site to see the recap, the thought occurred to me that I’d probably give great-to-solid grades to most everybody, especially our key players, but this was a pretty competitive game against a bad team. Hard to expect much more out of the team as a whole, so if you substitute the Wiz for stiffer competition I’m not sure how you could expect more out of our guys to pull out the win.
     
    Hope this doesn’t come off as too negative. And in case it doesn’t, I’ll add that Monroe looks as hesitant and useless with that bogus jump shot as ever. Be real nice for him to actually work on that like he said he’s been doing for the last, um, forever many years. He probably doesn’t care, because he’s a center anyways and is going to get a max contract from somebody.
     
    Memphis should be a decent measuring stick.

    • Oct 31, 20135:51 pm
      by Corey

      Reply

      A center having a mid-range jump shot is highly valuable- as Marc Gasol will likely demonstrate on Friday. But other than that you’re right- Monroe is still awfully hesitant to shoot that jumper. He probably did work on it all summer, but still doesn’t have any confidence in it.

      • Nov 1, 20131:08 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        I mean, you’re right about that “center with a jumper” bit. No question about that. But you seem to be implying that I’m asking too much by expecting it to come along one of these days. The thing is, I know he’s a center. You know he’s a center. He spreads the floor well enough for a center… but he’s our starting power forward now. And having a jumper is basically a prerequisite for a starting power forward. I’m not content to start two centers and have next-to-nothing out on the perimeter if neither one can spread the floor worth a damn.

    • Oct 31, 20139:45 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      The Pistons will only play 5 teams in the east all season who have any right to say they are really stiffer competition than the Wiz.   

    • Oct 31, 20139:46 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Otis loves the role of playing the enthusiasm police.  

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