|Greg Monroe, PF 34 MIN | 8-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +8
Monroe just looked different in this game. Confident. Assertive. Large. He was producing with the same effectiveness he typically does in his good games, but everything just seemed to come more smoothly than usual. That very well could have a lot to do with the Nets, who now trail the Pistons in defensive rating, but Monroe still deserves credit.
|Josh Smith, SF 33 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-8 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +14
I didn’t like his shot selection, but he made enough of them, defended hard and was active on the glass. … I just re-read that sentence and realized, "but he made enough of them"-pending, that sentence probably works in every Smith post-game writeup.
|Andre Drummond, C 27 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-4 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -5
Drummond was very active around the offensive basket, both going for offensive rebounds and making himself available for passes. But he didn’t make enough of a defensive impact.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 41 MIN | 2-10 FG | 10-10 FT | 2 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +4
Jennings recently told Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, "I don’t have any confidence in my shot right now. That’s the reason I’m missing, because there’s just no confidence there.” It was clear Jennings was still hesitant Sunday, passing up shots he’d typically take. And he still took 10 shots! So, that probably says something about his approach to the game. What saved Jennings’ scoring line? Shaun Livingston, who foolishly fouled Jennings on an off-balance long 2-pointer as the shot clock was expiring and then on a 3-pointer, and the Nets committing a defensive three-second violation that got Jennings a free throw and then intentionally fouling with the game clearly decided to get him two more freebies. At least Jennings did a pretty good job of getting his teammates good looks, both in the halfcourt and transition.
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 24 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +7
I still believe Caldwell-Pope will get past his rookie jitters and find his shooting stroke, even if he has to keep taking a ton of long 2-pointers to build his confidence, which he did Sunday. But until he actually gets past his rookie jitters and finds his shooting stroke, he’s going to receive poor grades.
|Tony Mitchell, PF 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0
Made no impact in 25 second of garbage time
|Josh Harrellson, PF 11 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +12
Harrellson’s size inside made it easier for his teammates defend aggressively further from the hoop, but he looked slow. That didn’t matter Sunday, though, because Harrellson ran hard all over the court.
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 12 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | 0
On his first offensive possession, Villanueva posted up 18 feet from the basket because he couldn’t get better positioning. He caught the entry pass (as much a pass to someone 18 feet from the basket qualifies as an entry pass) and promptly whipped around to shoot an airball with nine seconds on the shot clock. But Villanueva Villanuevaed Villanuevaing this game. He actually hustled after loose balls, defended OK and passed willingly. I bet he’ll make the rotation for Detroit’s next game, too.
|Kyle Singler, SF 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +7
Singler worked hard offensively, and that effort yielded good results. Defensively, he spent a lot of time scrambling to close out on open 3-point shooters, but I don’t think that all on him. The Nets, who made 14-of-26 3-pointers (54 percent), are just the latest team to take advantage of the Pistons’ poor perimeter rotations.
|Peyton Siva, PG 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2
Made no impact in 34 second of garbage time
|Rodney Stuckey, SG 31 MIN | 10-16 FG | 7-8 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 27 PTS | +15
With Lawrence Frank on the sideline as a Nets’ assistant, Stuckey showed his old coach what he could do when not spotting up in the corner. Stuckey ran pick-and-rolls, drove to the basket, posted up, shot from mid-range, kept the ball moving and then still worked hard on defense. This was the liveliest I’ve seen Stuckey in quite some time.
The Pistons had lost seven of nine. Their highest-paid player was just demoted to the bench for missing practice. And then they were trailing the woeful Brooklyn Nets, on the road no less, at halftime. Recent Pistons teams would have thrown in the towel facing far less. But not only did the Pistons stick with it in the second half, they came out of the locker room defending hard and running harder. NBA coaches have a lot of responsibilities, but an important one is establishing the right mindset. I liked the Pistons’ mindset very much to start the third quarter, and teams’ play in that part of the game is often tied to the coach.
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