|Josh Smith, SF 36 MIN | 7-15 FG | 1-3 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 6 TO | 15 PTS | +9
His shooting wasn’t quite as bad as the stat line suggests, because he got stuck with the ball on the perimeter late in the shot clock a few times. But his six turnovers were absolutely as bad as the stat line suggest, even if many of them came from overly aggressively seeking looks near the rim for teammates. At least he was a bull defensively.
|Andre Drummond, C 40 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-4 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +9
Drummond made it look easy at times with five dunks and two layups, seven coming off assists and one off an offensive rebounds. He both defended actively while still defending the rim.
|Greg Monroe, C 37 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-4 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 15 PTS | +10
After missing his first three shots because he went up too weakly inside, Monroe took it much harder to the rack. Once it became clear Monroe had found his groove, he should have gotten the ball more than Smith did. Some of Monroe’s defensive issues seemed due to his switch from center to power forward. When pulled away from the paint, Monroe sometimes looked unsure of where to position himself.
|Chauncey Billups, PG 21 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +10
Billups saw, by far, a season low in playing time. When on the court, he didn’t make much of an impact.
|Will Bynum, PG 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +14
Avery Bradley had a very easy time getting by Bynum. On the other end, Bynum didn’t shoot well, but at least he took care of the ball. His chemistry with the other starters showed, too. Bynum assisted every other starter, including throwing an alley-oop to Drummond.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 11 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | 0
When Jerebko had the ball, disaster was often near.
|Kyle Singler, SF 21 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +2
Impressive as a cutter, poor as a spot-up shooter. Singler’s defense yielded mixed results, but his block of Gerald Wallace’s late corner 3-pointer was awesome.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 31 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-6 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -4
Jennings, making his Pistons debut, didn’t mesh seamlessly with Detroit’s jumbo front line. Shooting 5-of-12 is poor, and four assists with two turnovers in 31 minutes is just OK. But Jennings’ quick hands created four steals, which led to seven Pistons points. That more than made up for his acclimation issues. There’s plenty of time for Jennings to develop chemistry with his teammates – especially if he’s defended that aggressively.
|Rodney Stuckey, SG 27 MIN | 1-5 FG | 8-9 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | 0
Stuckey repeatedly created good shots, an excellent positive indicator for the rest of the season. But he typically either missed or drew a foul, a net positive tonight, but that could swing either way. Stuckey can control his defense, tough, and he defended hard and effectively.
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
With Jennings and Stuckey back, Caldwell-Pope unsurprisingly fell from the rotation.
The Pistons definitely have more talent than the Celtics, but once Boston stopped trying to match Detroit’s size, the Celtics stretched the floor and gave the Pistons trouble. The Pistons continued their aggressive ball movement, but that is increasingly leading to turnovers. I didn’t expect Cheeks to solve the backcourt rotation the very first game every guard was healthy, but that’s the coach’s next task.
That was… aesthetically pleasing until the game started
The Pistons debuted their navy blue “Motor City” uniforms, and matched against the Celtics’ classic whites, they looked sharp. But once the game began, a combined 45 combined turnovers and 17 percent 3-point shooting made for an ugly contest.
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