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3-on-3: Brandon Jennings, J.R. Smith and the Pistons hosting the Knicks

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, three of us will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. Please add your responses in the comments.

1. Well, we won’t be seeing any of J.R. Smith’s little brother Chris against the Pistons, but we will see Brandon Jennings and Smith. Is it fair to expect any fireworks? 

Brady Fredericksen, PistonPowered: Not between Smith and Jennings. The NBA is full of faux tough guys. Neither Jennings nor Smith are even anywhere close to the phony Kevin Garnetts or Matt Barnes of the league, but this was all talk — it always is. What I do think will happen — and it’s going to be the worst thing in the world to watch — is a “I’M GONNA SHOW YOU!” mentality from both guys. Jennings and Smith already take a million shots anyway, so why not shoot even more when you’re trying to “get in them pockets” as Smith poetically coined during this week’s beef.

Tim Thielke, PistonPowered: Expect fireworks? No. But don’t be too shocked if they happen. Smith is one of the most unpredictable people in the NBA.

David Vertsberger, KnickerBlogger:  I would expect some trash-talking, but nothing more. I just don’t think it’s that serious and both of these players have a lot to lose in really creating a stir. But if anyone does start something bigger, it’ll be Smith considering he was the “victim” of this whole silly situation and he’s had a reputation of being… well, dumb.

2. The Knicks have been just as dysfunctional as the Pistons early on. What’s more likely — a Pistons’ defensive revival or a coming-out party for the Knicks’ stagnant offense?

Brady Fredericksen: The Knicks are back, baby. I think the Pistons are going to have a field day in the paint against the Knicks intimidating front court of Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin, but similar to Sunday’s game against the Lakers, you have to defend well — IE: not allow teams to rain down 3-pointers — to make those easy scoring opportunities matter. I do find the likely small-ball matchup of Josh Smith versus Carmelo Anthony interesting. That’s a situation where, if the Pistons do win this game, they’ll have to win that matchup.

Tim Thielke: Offense drives narratives, so I’ll have to say the latter. For a low-scoring game to be chalked up to great defense rather than lousy offense, the great defense has to be expected going into the game. That won’t be the case for this tilt.

David Vertsberger: It’s a tough question when you consider that both of these teams’ problems on those ends weren’t expected and seem easy enough to solve. I’d go with Detroit’s defensive revival because of how new a good part of their lineups are and how blind Mike Woodson has looked early on. The Knicks were terrific year-round last year on offense, but a lot of that happened while it being stagnant.

3. One of these teams has to win this game, so who walks away victorious and why?

Brady Fredericksen: I don’t want to sound grim (but self-deprecating? of course), however, the Knicks are going literally shoot the Pistons out of this game faster than an angry saloon owner in an old-timey country western movie. That’s how awful the Pistons’ defense has been, not to mention how poorly they played against the Knicks last year — losing by an average of 15 points while allowing the Knicks to shoot (roughly) 110 percent from the field.

Tim Thielke: This could largely come down to Smith’s defense of Anthony. That should be a matchup his strengths are well suited to, but he hasn’t done well defending out of the paint so far this season. On the other hand, let’s see the Knicks pack the paint with ferocious interior defenders like Anthony and Bargnani. I’ll pick the Pistons because their scoring differential has been two points better so far.

David Vertsberger: It’s got to be the Knicks to me because of their super-spacing starting five they’ve played with Tyson Chandler out with injury. The Pistons’ bigs are not going to have a fun time guarding the perimeter for 48 minutes. One thing that worries me is Detroit’s transition game however, as the Knicks have been porous defending the fast break. Should be either a fun or brutal game, nonetheless.

11 Comments

  • Nov 19, 20138:42 am
    by jg22

    Reply

    I know one thing, Cheeks better not start the same frontcourt if he wants any chance of getting his defense in order.
    There is no way we can match up with a small ball team with this frontcourt. Monroe is going to have to come off the bench this game. 
    I don’t know, when they signed Smith much of the talk was they would play it game by game, based on matchups. While he wasn’t a true SF or PF, he could defend both, and we would use him accordingly depending on opponent. Thus in a game like this, you obviously need him at PF, and one of Dre/Monroe will need to come off the bench, as there’s no way they can guard a SG, like they’ve been starting JR Smith at SF.
    So I’m interested to see what Cheeks does with his lineup tonight. If he really cares about defense or not, and if he has the cajones to tell Monroe he’s coming off the bench.

    If not, and he starts the same trio up front and expects success defending the 3 ball, then he’s clueless.
    The Pistons have the personel to match up with almost style. Yet they refuse to adapt game by game, and prefer to just get beat playing their own game every night. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be going small to match these small ball teams. We have the players to do it, while still technically be big because of Drummond/Smith inside. Yet we have to SUPER big to the point where we can’t match up with these teams. 
    Against Indiana and Chicago, sure it makes sense in those matchups, but there’s no reason they can’t downsize for games like this to give themselves the best chance to win. If its because of Monroe’s soft ego not wanting to come off the bench,  then tell him to GTFO

    • Nov 19, 201310:50 am
      by Georgio

      Reply

      If you think the frontline is going to be changed then you are going to be very disappointed. The problem with defending the 3 ball is not the frontline it’s how they defend the pick and roll. The opposing PG gets into the paint and the defense has to suck in and then he dishes out to the 3 pt shooters and we can’t recover in time. The Pistons should blitz the ball handler on all pick and rolls and drive him out to the 3pt line before releasing, that disrupts the offense, takes time off the clock and stops our paint from being violated.  Our bigs are all mobile enough to do that and get back to their man. 

    • Nov 19, 201312:09 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Why wouldn’t the Pistons force them to play big ball?  We should be able to dominate the paint both on offense and defense.  I would much rather be taking the higher percentage shots and force them to be taking the lower percentage ones.  Especially if we are pulling in all the rebounds.

      • Nov 19, 201312:16 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        If our Jumbo lineup was truly a strength, we would be able to force teams to match up against us. It isn’t, so we can’t. At the very least, it should be fun to watch the Monroe-Melo mismatch.

        • Nov 19, 20131:10 pm
          by Huddy

          Reply

          Yeah because if we would just trade Monroe the Pistons would be dominating Melo.  Melo is one of the best scorers in the league and matches up well against everyone in the league.  There is no one line up that dominates players like that.  So far this season the Spurs dominated the Knicks even though Tim Duncan isn’t some great perimeter defender and Anthony didn’t attempt a 3 pointer against the traditional PF line up.  Anthony outrebounded the best rebounder in the game (Love), put up 22, and lost.  Against Houston he scored 45 pts on 56% shooting…and lost.  In his only two games against the Heat and LEBRON JAMES last year he had 30 and 32 pts.  He scores and will always score, but that has little to do with opposing teams success against the Knicks.  Beating the Knicks has everything to do with making sure guys like Bargnani, Smith, etc. aren’t putting up 20+.
           
          The Pistons can’t force the Knicks to play a traditional line up because with Chandler out they don’t have one.  They have to rely on their small ball no matter how good any other line up is because thats what they have (the same reason they are attempting to move Shumpert despite his value).
           
          I am not saying the Pistons are definitely winning the game it is just pointless to point to not being able to stop Melo as some key to the game or as evidence the Piston’s line up doesn’t work.

  • Nov 19, 20139:52 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    1. Well, we won’t be seeing any of J.R. Smith’s little brother Chris against the Pistons, but we will see Brandon Jennings and Smith. Is it fair to expect any fireworks? 
    I REALLY , REALLY HOPE SO! Brandon Jennings when motivated and full interested becomes one of the best players at his position in the league. if Smith switches on Jennings during a defensive rotation i want Jennings to take make the bucket and then stare him down. This team needs a spark,edge or cockiness something.
    2. The Knicks have been just as dysfunctional as the Pistons early on. What’s more likely — a Pistons’ defensive revival or a coming-out party for the Knicks’ stagnant offense?
    Pistons have a legit excuse, the Knicks dont, The Knicks are basically the same team they were and have been since Carmelo came to town, they are only missing Tyson Chandler, last year they didnt have Shumpert. Offense still flows through Melo, and they will still live and die by the 3 ball…While the Pistons have basically put together a whole new team, and they are still figuring things out…so i wouldnt call the Pistons dysfunctional, I’d say they are in therapy…but if the knicks lose tonight, they have the Pacers tomorrow…then a 4 game road trip…they could easily be 3-11 or 4-10 by the end of November….we can kick up our feet and see what dysfunctional looks like..
    3. One of these teams has to win this game, so who walks away victorious and why?
    Pistons didnt take the Lakers seriously, I really believe just though the Lakers would fold, and that zone defense would outlast the Kobeless Lakers. Tonight I expect to see different defensive energy. Forget Cheeks guys like Rasheed, and Billups are not going to let the Pistons become a soft defensive team. Im predicting Drummond will have a 20-20 games or something really close…and Josh Smith has put together 2 really nice games…39 total points 13/25 from the field, 5/11 for 3′s 16rebs 10ast 5blks 7stls…. I still believe the pistons are gonna finish this month out strong…Pistons over the Knicks 
     

  • Nov 19, 20139:54 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    1. Well, we won’t be seeing any of J.R. Smith’s little brother Chris against the Pistons, but we will see Brandon Jennings and Smith. Is it fair to expect any fireworks? 
    I REALLY , REALLY HOPE SO! Brandon Jennings when motivated and full interested becomes one of the best players at his position in the league. if Smith switches on Jennings during a defensive rotation i want Jennings to take make the bucket and then stare him down. This team needs a spark,edge or cockiness something.
    2. The Knicks have been just as dysfunctional as the Pistons early on. What’s more likely — a Pistons’ defensive revival or a coming-out party for the Knicks’ stagnant offense?
    Pistons have a legit excuse, the Knicks dont, The Knicks are basically the same team they were and have been since Carmelo came to town, they are only missing Tyson Chandler, last year they didnt have Shumpert. Offense still flows through Melo, and they will still live and die by the 3 ball…While the Pistons have basically put together a whole new team, and they are still figuring things out…so i wouldnt call the Pistons dysfunctional, I’d say they are in therapy…but if the knicks lose tonight, they have the Pacers tomorrow…then a 4 game road trip…they could easily be 3-11 or 4-10 by the end of November….we can kick up our feet and see what dysfunctional looks like..
    3. One of these teams has to win this game, so who walks away victorious and why?
    Pistons didnt take the Lakers seriously, I really believe just though the Lakers would fold, and that zone defense would outlast the Kobeless Lakers. Tonight I expect to see different defensive energy. Forget Cheeks guys like Rasheed, and Billups are not going to let the Pistons become a soft defensive team. Im predicting Drummond will have a 20-20 games or something really close…and Josh Smith has put together 2 really nice games…39 total points 13/25 from the field, 5/11 for 3?s 16rebs 10ast 5blks 7stls…. I still believe the pistons are gonna finish this month out strong…Pistons over the Knicks 

  • Nov 19, 201310:14 am
    by Jodi "The Guru" Jezz

    Reply

    Man, if we don’t beat the weak ass Knicks I’m going to be pissed!..I have too many cocky friends who are Knick fans…If Jennings and JR Smith get into it hopefully our team shows some heart and backs him up…

    • Nov 19, 201312:15 pm
      by PistonFan10239

      Reply

      Jodi lives! Come back to realgm, ever since you left the board it seems dull and trolls are everywhere. Your press conference was hilarious

      • Nov 19, 201312:18 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Yes. That’s a fantastic idea. Go back to realgm!

  • Nov 19, 20136:46 pm
    by CityofKlompton

    Reply

    I predict an all-out slop fest. It’s going to be ugly for stretches on both sides.

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