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Josh Smith hitting higher gear as Pistons compete with NBA elite, beating Pacers after overtime loss to Portland

Detroit Pistons 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Indiana Pacers
Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 39 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-5 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +8

Monroe was huge on the glass for the Pistons, who outrebounded Indiana, 55-40. And his post game was solid. But Monroe got frustrated in the fourth quarter, not getting a foul call when his shot was blocked then committing an offensive foul on the next possession. I don’t know whether Monroe let that linger, but Luis Scola was abusing him around that time. Maybe it was just Monroe’s typical lackluster defense. The nadir was Monroe letting Scola easily offensively rebound a free throw and get a putback.

Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 37 MIN | 13-29 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 30 PTS | -2

Picking up where he left off against the Trail Blazers last night, Smith really looked for his own shot. His 29 attempts were the most by a Piston since Richard Hamilton in 2009. Unfortunately, as tonight’s game progressed, the quality of Smith’s attempts dropped considerably from Sunday against the Trail Blazers. Though early third quarter, Smith was 11-of-19, including 5-of-7 within eight feet. After that, he shot 2-for-10 overall. At least Smith took a lot more good shot inside, by volume, than usual. Inside shots from Smith are preferable to most other attempts Detroit generates in its halfcourt offense. So, comparing Smith’s good shots to his bad shot is meaningful, but so is comparing Smith’s good shots to all the Pistons’ shots. And it wasn’t always easy for Smith to get looks near the basket. When guarding Smith outside the paint, Indiana’s power forwards backed off. Early, Smith didn’t accommodate with a lot of jumpers in those situations, but the strategy made it harder for him to drive to the rim. Still, Smith had at least some success penetrating anyway. That speaks to his skill scoring nearing the basket. Smith did a good job on Paul George (4-for-14), but the Pistons’ team defense was the biggest key to slowing the Pacers star. At one point, it appeared Smith would contribute more. He was into this game – getting inside, picking up a technical foul, talking to fans. The way he finished was certainly underwhelming given the expectations he set, but overall, Smith was very good.

Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 21 MIN | 4-5 FG | 1-6 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | 0

Drummond was a monster on the offensive glass, getting a few putbacks that only he could make look easy. He mostly played well defensively, but he got lost a couple times. Due to foul trouble, Drummond just didn’t play much tonight, but he still found time to confirm his status as a dreadful free-throw shooter.

Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 4-13 FG | 8-9 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +2

With fewer than four minutes remaining, Jennings dribbled down the shot clock while then made a pull-up 3-pointer. It was a dumb play, but it worked. The rest of Jennings’ late play was equally dumb, but it didn’t work. Unlike many fans, I don’t see a need to replace him with Chauncey Billups in the fourth quarter. When both are just playing their games, Jennings is much better than Billups now. But if Jennings remains intent on breaking his typical habits to play hero ball, he’s going to make what should be a useless plan necessary. At least he made his free throws down the stretch to preserve the win. Earlier in the game, Jennings gave a quality performance, setting up his teammates while protecting the ball, though seems to get impatient when the offense goes away from him for too long.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +6

Whether it was covering Lance Stephenson or fighting through the screens of Indiana’s bigs, tonight showed why Caldwell-Pope must become stronger. That shouldn’t be a big surprise for the rookie, who probably just needs time to fill out. Still, Caldwell-Pope used his energy to defend well, anyway. In particular, drifting off his man who had the ball to steal a pass stood out as a positive play. Caldwell-Pope continues to try, and struggle with, his mid-range game.

Josh Harrellson, PF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +4

Due to foul trouble, Harrellson was pressed into season-high playing time, and he rose to the occasion. At times, Harrellson can disappear offensively, but he shot with confidence tonight, including making 1-of-2 3-pointers. He also attacked the glass on both ends. Defensively, Harrellson’s success depended on the matchup. David West isolated Harrellson inside and scored a high percentage on him, and Luis Scola found success by pulling Harrellson outside. Harrellson was more effective against the more-powerful, but less-crafty, Roy Hibbert, and Harrellson blocked Hibbert as a help defender. An ability to handle only certain matchups is probably what limits Harrellson’s minutes, but he’d be capable of playing a few more most nights.

Jonas Jerebko, PF Shot Chart 1 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +7

Jerebko knocked down a wide open corner 3-pointer at first-half buzzer, and to do so, he did something he sometimes struggles with: Making sure his feet are behind the arc. Jennings drove in the final seconds of the second quarter and missed. Under most circumstances, Jerebko should either crash for the offensive rebound or rotate to the center of the court to prevent an Indiana fastbreak. But with mere seconds remaining, he didn’t have time to accomplish either of those. So, he wisely stayed home, and Jennings rebounded his own miss then rewarded Jerebko with a kick-out pass.

Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 26 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +3

Singler is proving surprising adept as an interior defender, whether he’s camped out in the paint to defend the rim or coming down from the perimeter to help on a post player. Singler was active on the glass, which isn’t exactly his game and partially explained his foul rate, but he was key in the Pistons winning the rebound battle so convincingly.

Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 11 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +3

Bynum, playing for the first time since Nov. 27 and just third time since Nov. 15, showed his rust but looked healthy. He got to the rim with relative ease, but was a little sloppy once he penetrated.

Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 16 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -6

Stuckey made a wide-open short jumper but missed everything else. He made a couple lazy passes, and aside from minimally helping on George, Stuckey didn’t do much else.

Maurice Cheeks

Cheeks had a successful plan for neutralizing Paul George, throwing a number of defenders at him and switching on many screens. Smith, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Singler and Stuckey all had turns on George as the Pistons have a bevy of long players capable of covering George. Cheeks has expressed his preference for teaching between games rather than during games, and I think there’s merit to that. But Jennings clearly didn’t learn anything about not playing hero ball after Sunday’s loss to Portland. Within this game, Cheeks erred in his handling of Drummond. Drummond played just 3:43 in the first half while picking up three fouls. He finished with four fouls. Though the Pistons played well in the first half without Drummond, it seems likely they would have played even better with him. The NBA’s foul limit does enough to punish the Pistons if Drummond fouls out. There’s no need for Cheeks to preemptively punish the team. Also, the Pistons still seemed confused defensively, especially before they set. Teams attack defenses before they set for a reason, but Detroit seems particularly scrambled when identifying whom to guard.

118 Comments

  • Dec 16, 201310:36 pm
    by Javell

    Reply

    Pistons will be A 3 seed if we stay healthy.. Including Chauncey…. Lets start streaking!

  • Dec 16, 201310:42 pm
    by Kamal

    Reply

    Monroe was not guarding Scola when he went off. 

    • Dec 17, 20135:54 am
      by Mike 810

      Reply

      Lol….. rite what game was he watching & alot of smith’s bad shots happen because bj over dribbling until late in the shot clock. I’m Definitely not saying he doesn’t take bad shots because he does but bj is to blame for a couple of them.

  • Dec 16, 201310:53 pm
    by D_S_V

    Reply

    From DBB:

    Who Stood Out:
    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. I’m sure Josh Smith will get most of the headlines. He scored 30+ points for the second straight game, and also focused almost exclusively on working in the paint. That’s important. But tonight what was even more important was the absolutely fabulous defense KCP displayed against Paul George.
    Caldwell-Pope was able to use his athleticism to stick to George like gum on the bottom of a shoe. George could never outrun him or outmuscle him. KCP was always in his face and on his hip. George finished the game 4-of-14 and 1-of-5 from 3. George finished with 17 points but they were hard-earned from the charity stripe because he got nothing easy on the floor.”
     
    Dan, DBB… fight to the death!

    • Dec 16, 201311:00 pm
      by Scott

      Reply

      Ha That’s funny!
      i actually walked away from the game thinking KCP had a good game as well.

      • Dec 17, 201312:12 pm
        by Raphael

        Reply

        me to!  I thought had played well defensively and play within the flow of the offense. 

    • Dec 16, 201311:07 pm
      by David

      Reply

      Yea I completely agree with the DBB take (sorry Dan), KCP’s defense on Paul George was a key factor in the win, there’s no way he deserves less than a B. Because Drummond spent so much time on the bench, KCP spent a lot of time as either the 3 with Stuckey at the 2 or at the 2, but switched onto George, while Singler was in at the 3.
      I also don’t know how you give Cheeks a B after he coached the Pistons to a such a huge win.
       
       
       
       

    • Dec 17, 20133:55 am
      by grizz3741

      Reply

      DBB .. absolutely … KCP deserves at least a C for his defense alone …

  • Dec 16, 201311:10 pm
    by anacaniwelk

    Reply

    Andre Drummond: Gets himself in foul trouble, zero steals, zero blocks, and his pathetic free throw shooting almost cost us the game two days in a row.  B+???????  Give me a break.  D+.  F for the Feldman grade. Loved Smith again.  Thank god we signed Jennings.  He makes things happen for his teammates unlike Brandon Knight.

    • Dec 16, 201311:22 pm
      by Kamal

      Reply

      And he gives Monroe a B- for Scola going off when I don’t think he was even Monroe’s assignment.

    • Dec 16, 201311:43 pm
      by Lorenzo

      Reply

      It’s subjective but yeahh…the grade for Drummond was too generous here.

    • Dec 17, 20131:04 pm
      by Haan

      Reply

      Putting the letter grades on a 4 point scale leads to a total of 29.3 for ten players.  That comes to a B/B- average.  B stands for “good” so that, on average, it was very nearly a good performance.  Ridiculously tough grading for a game over the team that had the best record in the NBA, on the road, a day after an exhausting overtime loss.
      Suggestion: submit a team grade as well.  If you took the time to total the grades, you’d see that something was out of whack.
      Weighing the grades according to minutes played with be a further refinement in arriving at an overall grade.  Doubt it would correct the skewing much for this game though, what with JJ’s A+ for 1 minute and KCP’s 36.
      If we include Cheeks’ grade in the total, we come yet closer to a B.  I’d had some fear of bias against the coach, so I’m glad to see he’s graded higher than the team on a night when they achieved one of their biggest wins in years.  
       
       

      • Dec 17, 20131:06 pm
        by Haan

        Reply

        Meant to insert KCP’s D+ for 36 minutes.

  • Dec 16, 201311:10 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    One thing I been saying all season…and cheeks did it tonight…more man to man defense and allow the players to switch
    The only person that really killed us was Scola…but if cheeks had decides to sub jonas or harrellson, I don’t think Scola gets off

  • Dec 16, 201311:14 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    Personally I feel considering who we played and won Josh should get a A++ for being the fist Piston to score back to back 30 point games and we could have won both if the team would have went to him more in the post near the end of the game. Also KCP played a great game on George and made crucial 3 pointers during the game. I’d give him a C+

    • Dec 17, 20133:56 am
      by grizz3741

      Reply

       I agree Mel …. and the end of the game block by Smith gets him at least to an A …

      • Dec 17, 20136:00 am
        by Mike 810

        Reply

        Exactly that block on west was crucial Dan didn’t even mention that come on now Dan!!!! 

  • Dec 16, 201311:21 pm
    by Prelove

    Reply

    Jorts deserved an A.

  • Dec 16, 201311:34 pm
    by T Casey

    Reply

    Great game by the Pistons, especially Josh Smith these past two games. I def don’t expect Smith to play like this every night, but if he can play more efficiently from night to night, we can make some noise this year. Although that may not be saying much in the east this year, I’ll take what success we can get.

  • Dec 16, 201311:43 pm
    by jinzzy

    Reply

    Pope got a D!!!!!!!!! yikes , the guy played solid D on PG 

  • Dec 16, 201311:47 pm
    by Moonchild

    Reply

    these ratings are kinda a joke, great game by them pistons tongiht though….would be nice to get a little winning streak going 

  • Dec 16, 201311:53 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Who cares about the ratings…..this was a huge win

  • Dec 17, 201312:38 am
    by OOtis

    Reply

    I like the A+ for JJ’s one minute…. great stuff!
    Great win – They had the second best team on the ropes, and put away the best team on the road – great stuff!  It’s not a finished product by far, but as a Piston fan, I’m enjoying it as much as I have since C-Webb wore 84!

    • Dec 17, 20133:47 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      when do you think we should give moose his max money??

  • Dec 17, 201312:49 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    smith is fool’s gold. 
    anyone who watched him in atlanta can vouch for this type of sequence.
    is smith one of the league’s most talented players who can lead a team to unlikely victories simply by virtue of his own talent?
    yes.
    can he sustain that level of play and actually help a team win, and go deep into the playoffs?
    the record suggests he cannot.
    we shall see…

    • Dec 17, 201312:58 am
      by Max

      Reply

      Question though: what team was Josh Smith supposed to lead deep into the playoffs?  

    • Dec 17, 20131:51 am
      by anacaniwelk

      Reply

      Josh Smith has never with elite talent, and he still isn’t here in Detroit. Drummond is an empty suit at crunch cuz he has no offensive skills to take a game over. He’s just Ben Wallace.  None of Monroe, Jennings, Pope, Stuckey, etc. are capable of putting a team on their team and winning in the postseason.  People have unrealistic expectations for Smith.  They do for Jennings as well. People expect Jennings to be a star for some reasons.  Stars don’t get 3 year deals for 8 million per.  That’s what very average starters get.  I give Jennings credit, he is outperforming his contract so far. 

      • Dec 17, 20133:51 am
        by Some Dude

        Reply

        Jennings and Smith weren’t signed as stars, they were signed to BECOME stars in Detroit. Everybody knows they had their issues in years past, but it’s all mean to change with the Pistons. They are both capable of elevating their game and become All Stars.

      • Dec 17, 20138:03 am
        by oats

        Reply

        @ anacaniwelk. Man, I really disagree with your talent evaluations. Ben Wallace was a star player. He made a major impact in most of his games, and was probably the most likely player to take over a game on a championship team. If that doesn’t qualify as a star using your definition, then your definition stinks.
         
        Andre Drummond is not Ben Wallace for a lot of reasons. Wallace was not nearly the finisher that Drummond is, and Wallace did not have the hands that Drummond possesses. That’s why Drummond is scoring 13 points a game and Wallace never averaged 10 a game. He’s also not nearly the defensive presence that Wallace was. That makes them very different players. He has already shown that he can dunk and rebound his way into taking over games though. I don’t see how it’s possible to claim that he can’t take over games when he’s done it multiple times this year. Drummond is very clearly the best player on this Pistons team, and he deserves to make the All Star game this year.
         
        Jennings is not outplaying his contract. He’s still an inefficient scorer that thinks it’s a good idea to lead the team in shot attempts. The assists are nice, but his turnovers have risen to the point of being a little troubling. He is turning it over on 16.5% of his possessions. For reference sake, Brandon Knight was at 17.1% and 17.3% while in Detroit, and his highest turnover percentage in Milwaukee was 13% as a rookie. 16.5% isn’t quite enough to be terrible, but it’s still pretty bad. He’s also a bad defender. That’s not outperforming his contract. He’s been a pretty average starter so far this year.

        • Dec 17, 201310:51 am
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          “”Jennings is not outplaying his contract. He’s still an inefficient scorer that thinks it’s a good idea to lead the team in shot attempts. The assists are nice, but his turnovers have risen to the point of being a little troubling. He is turning it over on 16.5% of his possessions. For reference sake, Brandon Knight was at 17.1% and 17.3% while in Detroit, and his highest turnover percentage in Milwaukee was 13% as a rookie. 16.5% isn’t quite enough to be terrible, but it’s still pretty bad. He’s also a bad defender. That’s not outperforming his contract. He’s been a pretty average starter so far this year.”
          So sound like you dont watch the games… He has been running this team better than any PG could in this league not named Chris Paul…. Alot of you were creaming over jeff Teague last year and he has been horrible….
          so it depends on who you are comparing him to when you say, he has or has not outplayed his contract…. and im laughing at that turnover 16.5% possession being bad… Especially compared to the other top 10 PG’s ..only 3 have been clearly better than jennings …
           
           

          • Dec 17, 201311:56 am
            by Bean Sprouts

            “Especially compared to the other top 10 PG’s ..only 3 have been clearly better than jennings …”
            Dude – get me some of that crack you’ve been smoking.
            Paul, Parker, Lillard, Rubio, Jordan f’ing Crawford, Conley, MCW, Vasquez, Bledsoe, Dragic, Calderon
            These guys know how to run their teams. These guys understand that some possessions are more important than in others in the flow of “winning a basketball game” and at those times its the PG’s job to make sure its a “good shot.” These guys don’t take shots without letting the mismatch touch the rock before jacking up a contested stepback.
            Jennings is not even in the top 10 of PGs – he is barely even a PG at all. He is a weak 2 guard with no court vision who is scared of taking it all the way to the hole but does love to dribble in circles. And the best part is: he is oblivious to it all!
            His game is so shaky that teams set out to pick on him on the 4th. They know he is going to f’ it up! Did you see in the Portland game how in the 4th the Blazers were basically giving it to whoever Jennings was guarding (even when Cheeks tried to hide him on the 2) and running their offense through that dude?
            And his offense is even more aggravating. That last second play in the first half where Jerebko hit the buzer beater is a great example. Jennings gets by the first line of D and finds himself all of a sudden in the paint. You can see his brain struggling with what to do. He is thinking about launching a floater but is freaked out by the help D so midair he attempts to change his floater into a lame pass attempt to Drummond which hits the rim anyway. Yes he kicks the right-place right-time rebound to Jerebko who nails the three, but just b/c these lucky ass plays work every once in a while don’t mean they’re good basketball. Has anyone else noticed that one third of his assists are because his teammates bail him out by catching a jump passes or other bad passes and then converting? What’s wrong with swinging the ball? Why is he not exploiting the mismatches? B/t Smith Monroe and Stuckey we have one evey night! Why does it take him 18 seconds to make his first pass?
             
            He has no leadership ability and he has no sense of urgency and his defense is a joke.
             
            Jennings is Brandon Knight version 1.1.

          • Dec 17, 201312:40 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            Stats don’t back what you are saying at all….and once again, he is running this team just as good as any PG not names Chris Paul could

          • Dec 17, 20134:50 pm
            by oats

            @ Frank. First of all, stop this you don’t watch the game BS. Just because I happen to disagree with you and I use stats to contextualize my argument doesn’t mean I don’t watch the games. I do watch most of the games. Admittedly not every single game, but I catch more than not. I view the game through a more stat based lens than you do. I feel the numbers help me to understand what it is that I am seeing. Sometimes they back up what I see, and sometimes they say something else than challenges me to re-examine my position. Every time someone uses stats to back up an argument you always go back to this same tired tactic of accusing them of not watching games. You’ve done it to me multiple times and I’ve always told you that I do watch games. Stop it. I don’t know if it’s stupidity or just a lazy argument, but either one is pretty awful.
             
            This notion that he is leading the team better than anyone else is completely nonsensical and based on nothing more than your insanely biased opinion. I very strongly disagree with that idea. I’d take Curry over Jennings any day, and he’s the first on my list of guys not named Chris Paul for Detroit. I’d add Wall, Holiday, Lawson, Conley, Parker, Dragic, Bledsoe, Rubio, Lillard, Westbrook, MCW, and of course LeBron as guys I’d rather have play PG in Detroit for various reasons. It’s a bit tighter since he has a shooting advantage but passing disadvantage, but I think I’d take Irving over Jennings too. Oh, he’s not there yet, but Trey Burke is starting to show signs of being someone I’d prefer as well. Burke might surpass Jennings by seasons end though. Admittedly LeBron is cheating, but the point stands that I have a long list of guys that I’d take over Jennings. That’s just guys that fit better than Jennings on this roster in my opinion. On a more neutral team I’d add Monta Ellis, but I think his efficiency would fall off a cliff in Detroit.
             
            By the way, Teague is not awful. He is having an awful 3 point shooting season, and his turnovers are pretty high. He gets to the line quite a bit, and he’s actually managed to put together a better true shooting percentage than Jennings despite shooting worse from the field. He is even with Jennings in assists and lower in turnovers per game, but he is also playing fewer minutes than Jennings. He’s getting .7 more assists per 36 minutes and .2 more turnovers per 36, which makes them reasonably similar despite his slightly higher turnover percentage at 17.1%. He’s also putting up .9 more points per 36 with a better shooting percentage. Oh, and his defense is better than Brandon’s even if Jennings has a minor advantage in steals. That is not an awful player. I will concede the shooting is enough to make him a worse fit in Detroit with the 3 bigs, but on a roster that makes sense I’d say the two are pretty darn close to even. If it turns out this is just a shooting slump and his 3 point shooting ever climbs back up to around his average then Teague would be the better player of the two in my opinion.
             
            As for Jennings, 16.5% turnover percentage is not all that bad in and of itself. He has enough assists that a team can get away with that high of a percentage. If that was my only argument then you would be totally right. It’s not though. Jennings is an inefficient shooter that shoots a lot and a bad defender. In the past his ability to take care of the ball went a long ways to covering up his other deficiencies. He’s not doing that anymore, so he is now much less efficient than he was the last couple years. The point was he’s gone from having that as his strength to being much more typical at taking care of the ball. His new strength is he is a pretty high assist player, but that isn’t enough to make him into an above average starter with all those other flaws in his game.

          • Dec 17, 20135:02 pm
            by Tim Thielke

            oats,
            I agree with you nearly across the board on this one.

          • Dec 17, 20135:59 pm
            by Bean Sprouts

            Jennings isn’t “running” sh*t except around in circles.

          • Dec 18, 201311:13 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            “”"He’s still an inefficient scorer that thinks it’s a good idea to lead the team in shot attempts.”"”
            THAT COMMENT makes me say you dont watch the games…who else is the perimeter threat on the team for Christ Sake? So Now we have Drummond no perimeter game , Monroe No perimeter game, You dont want Josh Smith to take ANY shot from the perimeter…Pope is shooting 31% for 3′s…, and Now you are saying the one player in the starting line up that can create his own offense is shooting too much? who else is going to shoot? 
             
            “” He is turning it over on 16.5% of his possessions. For reference sake, Brandon Knight was at 17.1% and 17.3% while in Detroit, and his highest turnover percentage in Milwaukee was 13% as a rookie. 16.5% isn’t quite enough to be terrible, but it’s still pretty bad.”"
            Never said any other those other players were not better than Jennings, but based off the turnover possession percentage that you brought up…Lets see Curry is 17.3% , Holiday is 18.0, Teague is 17.1% , Rubio is 23%, Wall is 16.3 %, Carter-williams 17.0 …. i said Jennings is running this team better than anyone NOT named Chris Paul, based on the turnover percentage you brought up…
             
            “”By the way, Teague is not awful. He is having an awful 3 point shooting season, and his turnovers are pretty high. He gets to the line quite a bit, and he’s actually managed to put together a better true shooting percentage than Jennings despite shooting worse from the field. He is even with Jennings in assists and lower in turnovers per game, but he is also playing fewer minutes than Jennings. He’s getting .7 more assists per 36 minutes and .2 more turnovers per 36, which makes them reasonably similar despite his slightly higher turnover percentage at 17.1%. He’s also putting up .9 more points per 36 with a better shooting percentage. Oh, and his defense is better than Brandon’s even if Jennings has a minor advantage in steals. That is not an awful player. “”
            I love the way you justify Teague Struggles….its cute….
            so basically 40% shooting from the field 27% for 3′s …3.2 turnover is OKAY!…as long as his name is not Brandon Jennings?…Okay I got it
            and Teague last year was one of worst PG defenders, who cares if he might be a slightly better defender at PG than Jennings in your opinion? 
            http://www.82games.com/1314/13DET1.HTM - Jennings
            http://www.82games.com/1314/13ATL1.HTM - Teague
            BUT Jennings also clearly have a better PASSING RATE…HANDS RATE…and FORCES more turnover than Teague….
            SMH… if Jennings has been Garbage SO HAS TEAGUE!…hence me saying Jenning is running this team, better than another other PG could not Named Chris Paul!
             
             
             
             
             
             

      • Dec 17, 201310:06 am
        by Tim Thielke

        Reply

        “He’s just Ben Wallace.”

        He’s only as good as the best and most important player on a team that won it all? Drat.

    • Dec 17, 20132:12 am
      by jg22

      Reply

      Your agenda against Smith is concerning….

  • Dec 17, 20131:43 am
    by anacaniwelk

    Reply

    I really don’t think the Pistons Powered folks should be handing out grades with all the bias they have for and against the players. A fan vote would be much more accurate.

    • Dec 17, 20132:15 am
      by jg22

      Reply

      yeah, that’s a pretty good idea. Or just change it to more broader grades for the team as a whole. Like just grading the offense, defense, coaching, frontcourt, backcourt etc. 
       
      If they are a team, it seems kind of wrong to single out individual players like this.

    • Dec 17, 201310:23 am
      by Patti #1

      Reply

      Because posts and comments on this blog are NEVER biased for or against certain players?
       
      I like the grades and justification for them.  It’s obvious some are tongue in cheek and discussing why KCP should get higher grade is what gets this chatter going.

  • Dec 17, 20134:32 am
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    The D for KCP is crazy. The guy was all over PG like a rash or a cheap suit (you choose) … and there were a couple of big 3s. B-

  • Dec 17, 20134:50 am
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    Love the addition of the shot chart links though, very handy!!

  • Dec 17, 20135:00 am
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    The thing about the grades is that it stimulates discussion here in the comments which is what makes this site so good.

  • Dec 17, 20135:47 am
    by Mike 810

    Reply

    Dude sometimes Idk what game u be watching kcp was a boss on defense. Matter fact george maybe hit one shot on kcp it wasn’t until singler started to guard him that he started to score a little bit. But I will agree with u on your Jennings assessment he needs to learn how to be a smarter pg esp in the 4th.

  • Dec 17, 20136:15 am
    by Mike 810

    Reply

    From DBB but this is exactly what I see.
     Brandon Jennings play mostly well tonight, but again he had trouble closing things out in the fourth quarter. Tight defense was bothering him and he dribbled away the shot clock trying to negotiate around his defender. This led to expiring shot clocks and poor Smith perimeter shots.
     
     
     

  • Dec 17, 20137:27 am
    by Ryank

    Reply

    Jennings “hero ball” is being taken out of context.  He was trying to make a pass inside to Smith, but couldn’t complete it because of defensive pressure.  The shot clock was ticking low, so he jacked up a clear shot instead of waiting any longer and having to take a much worse shot.  Not the shot you want, but it was a better option that forcing a pass to Smith that caused a turnover or letting the shot clock expire.

  • Dec 17, 20138:09 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    MY TAKE ON JOSH SMITH LAST TWO GAMES
    I’ve said it from the start Josh smith was sacrificing his game, his stats for Greg….We brought him here to Detroit to be our Star player…he’s a guy that probably shoulda,woulda,coulda been a Perennial All-Star if not for some perceptions about him not be coachable…which may have been true..
    He is clearly the most talented players on our team…and then you talk all around talent he probably top 10….
    In the last two game is just a sample of what he can do for the this team…is he going to enough averaging 27-30ppg? no… but Paul George is one of the best defenders in the league and he got dominated, he needed help so they doubled Josh…
    Another great sign of respect is when coaches start to throw different people at you, to slow you down….
    Understand that most night Josh Smith will win that match up PERIOD…when he plays physical going to the rim…He reminds me of Rasheed, who could have easily been one of the most dominate PF in the league offensively, but he started to fade further and further away from the basket….I dont care that Josh takes open 3′s…I dont care that he take 20 foot jumpers…. Honestly Josh should take those shots, he just should not settle for those shots…
    The Offense should run through Smith, then Greg, then Jenning…. its clear that Drummond can get 10-15ppg and not even have a play run for him…
    Last Note: Josh Smith in more of a scoring role, keeps hopeful that we can keep both him and Greg on this team as far as floor balance goes….because Greg is a very good at passing into the post, and cuttting to the basket…as team look to put more physical players on somewhere on the floor theres going to be a mismatch physically….I personally think Greg will benefit from that

    • Dec 17, 20138:36 am
      by oats

      Reply

      How was Smith sacrificing himself for Monroe exactly? He’s second on the team in shot attempts while Monroe is 4th because Smith is taking 3 more shots a game than him. I guess he is taking .9 fewer a game than he did last year, but that’s not really sacrificing himself all that much. Monroe is taking 1.4 fewer shots a game by the way, so it looks to me like Monroe is sacrificing more for Smith than the other way around.
       
      Smith is also not the most talented player on the team. Drummond is. Drummond is both the most talented player and the player playing the best. How is this even debatable right now?
       
      Why should Josh Smith take 20 foot jumpers exactly? The list of guys that should take those is incredibly small, and a guy shooting 27% on shots outside of the paint is not on the list.

      • Dec 17, 201310:00 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        “”How was Smith sacrificing himself for Monroe exactly? He’s second on the team in shot attempts while Monroe is 4th because Smith is taking 3 more shots a game than him. I guess he is taking .9 fewer a game than he did last year, but that’s not really sacrificing himself all that much. Monroe is taking 1.4 fewer shots a game by the way, so it looks to me like Monroe is sacrificing more for Smith than the other way around.”"
        1. Josh Smith last year took averaged 2.6 3 point attempts, at one point this year he was taking nearly 5 3 point attempts, I said sarificed his game…his game is physical posting up, and getting to the rim. He could do that more effective in previous years because he played with al Horford who actual can play away from the basket and still be an effective offensive play. Greg has yet to show the confidence in his 15-17 footer to play away from the basket, a major reason Greg attempts are down is because he passed up or hesitates shooting that same open shot which often will freeze the offense. he basically is becoming a blackhole…so for Greg to be effective offensively..Josh has to play further away from the rim…

        • Dec 17, 201310:59 am
          by Huddy

          Reply

          Smiths game SHOULD be physical and posting up, but all but one year of his career it hasn’t been.  His added 3 pt attempts are skewed because he has gotten better an taking 3s instead of long twos, which he did a lot at Atlanta.  I know you are a fan of basketball so there is no way you have somehow missed the narrative on josh Smith his entire career regardless of position.  He takes bad shots and doesn’t play to his own strength…it’s not a secret.  The fact that he has shown that he can go inside and be effective even at SF and with Greg/andre on the floor is further evidence that he makes bad choices…he isn’t forced into shooting bad shots.  Playing SF doesn’t force him to shoot outside it just forces him to line up out there.  

          • Dec 17, 201311:22 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            Hubby….your right it’s not just playing with Greg it’s plating with Drummond, it’s playing with who has been a pleasant surprise defensively but offensively he has not been the long range shooter we need, it’s playing with a team with no perimeter weapons….
            And my point that continues to be missed, is we knew what we were getting with josh smith…bad shots and all. but with Atlanta even when he took a long 2 or quick 3… he could redeem himself on the next possession or possessions by going to the basket…this space for him was create largely do to the fact that Harford could step away from the basket…
            In the last 2 games we have seen josh post up more than in the first 24 games…he is an inside outside guy…buy he knows his bread and butter is getting to the rim
             
             
             

          • Dec 17, 201311:37 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            Hubby….your right it’s not just playing with Greg it’s playing with Drummond, it’s playing POPEwith who has been a pleasant surprise defensively but offensively he has not been the long range shooter we need, it’s playing with a team with no perimeter weapons….And my point that continues to be missed, is we knew what we were getting with josh smith…bad shots and all. but with Atlanta even when he took a long 2 or quick 3… he could redeem himself on the next possession or possessions by going to the basket…this space for him was create largely do to the fact that Harford could step away from the basket…In the last 2 games we have seen josh post up more than in the first 24 games…he is an inside outside guy…buy he knows his bread and butter is getting to the rim
            In the Future teams are just going to double early….which is going to force the ball back into Gregs hand and he will not be able to drive the ball.

          • Dec 17, 20131:45 pm
            by Huddy

            Smith doesn’t know what his bread and butter is….that’s the whole point.  and if he does then he is just a bad decision maker and he is either incapable of making good decisions or deliberately making bad ones…either way it’s bad.  He can redeem himself now by going inside and he has proved it in the last two games.  Everything else is an excuse.  You say team will start doubling him and forcing others to do more….fine they havemt so far in the season so that doesn’t explain why we are all of the sudden seeing him “overcome” the line up issues and if they start THEN complain about what everyone else needs to do if they don’t adjust.  Smith doesn’t get a pass  because of what you think will hjnder him going forward.  It doesn’t make sense to defend him not taking advantage of his current opportunities because you think other teams will eventually adjust. of course they will, and when they do if Smith is doubled other will be more open as opposed to the stagnant BS we have been watching Smith put up early in the season.

          • Dec 17, 20135:20 pm
            by oats

            I was going to answer this, but Huddy covered it. Smith has always been far too in love with his jump shot, and this year teams are ignoring him even more than in the past. This wasn’t Smith sacrificing himself by shooting more outside shots, he wants to shoot outside shots because he thinks he’s an inside/outside scorer. He’s wrong.

          • Dec 18, 201311:41 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            Last year 44% of his shots came in the inside..
            This year…so far 35% of his shots are coming from the inside…
            How can you say playing SF has not been a the cause? ….He played 33-35% of his Minutes at SF in Atlanta…he’s playing even more than that in Detroit
            Greg 79% percent shots are in the paint…83% of Drummond offense is in the paint(basically dunks and tips)
            If we want Smith to spend more time going inside then Greg will have to move away from the Basket or Smith need to be on the Floor with Harrellson….
            You can Hate Smith Jumpers, and i hear you…but what are the other option especially when teams are going to zone? 
             

          • Dec 18, 201312:39 pm
            by oats

            I didn’t say playing SF isn’t the cause, I’m saying it’s not him sacrificing his game. At PF the play is often drawn up with him receiving the ball in the post. At SF he is more likely to catch it on the perimeter. Yet it doesn’t count as him sacrificing his game. He thinks he is a capable perimeter and wants to catch the ball on the perimeter more. He’s not sacrificing something, he’s being indulged. The team has been letting him do things that he wants to do but good coaches try to limit him doing. For most of this season the Pistons have not done enough to curb his harmful tendencies.
             
            As for other options, well, can we pretend the Pistons have a better coach for a second? The Pistons could get back to moving around without the ball. Monroe, Smith, and Jennings are all good passers. Have the bigs setting screens and moving around to generate a bit of space, and trust the fact that the team has multiple passers to hit those guys. Lot’s of player movement and lots of ball movement to try to bend the defense a bit. I don’t know why the motion seemed to leave the offense as soon as Jennings got healthy, but they definitely seem to be standing around more to my eye. Throw in a bit more isos in the post for Smith/Monroe and a handful of extra pick and rolls. This does take the ball out of the hands of Jennings more to go for a more varied attack, but it uses the full set of skills of the 3 big lineup. I don’t know how well it would work since Smith and Monroe are pretty turnover prone, but it would be worth a shot. If not then they could just stick to extra isos and pick and rolls. No matter how you slice it, Josh Smith jump shots are proven to be a bad strategy.

      • Dec 17, 201310:17 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        “Smith is also not the most talented player on the team. Drummond is. Drummond is both the most talented player and the player playing the best. How is this even debatable right now”
         
        2. Drummond has played the best and he is the most promising big in the league, but he is NOT the most talented on this team.Especially compared to Josh Smith. First Smith is better defensively, the fact that he can defend either the post or the perimeter effectively right there sets them apart, 2nd Drummond has yet to prove that he has a consistent go to offensive move outside of offensive rebounds Josh Smith has an effective hook shot… NEXT!….and Josh isnt even GREAT or Really GOOD FT shooter..but up 2 points. who would you rather close the game out on the FT line? You’re right is it debatable?

        • Dec 17, 201312:21 pm
          by Tim Thielke

          Reply

          Have you watched Smith and Drummond defending the perimeter? Drummond does a better job in every conceivable way. He’s quicker, has longer reach, is better at staying low and spread out, and is less prone to ball watching.

          • Dec 17, 201312:44 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            Drummond in flashes…brief moments…that’s not possession after possession…I love Drummond…go back and look up the draft night here and his first year people here called him along term project…I was one of the few that knew Drummond would be an impact player
            But he us not more talented than Josh Smith,

          • Dec 17, 20132:39 pm
            by Tim Thielke

            “But he us [sic] not more talented than Josh Smith, [sic]“

            Do you have anything to back that up other than your say so? Yes, Drummond is at his best in flashes. But Josh Smith is hardly the picture of a consistent possession-after-possession guy. I have no hesitation in saying that Drummond is closer to that, in fact, that Smith is.

          • Dec 17, 20139:02 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            So you would put Drummond on Paul George? Or Melo… and think he’d successful more so than Smith!

          • Dec 17, 201311:08 pm
            by Tim Thielke

            I’d expect Drummond to be more successful than Smith on either of those guys. I’d expect him to be much more successful on nominal SGs who often play SF like DeRozan, Thompson, Martin, Harden, or Butler.

          • Dec 18, 20136:27 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            Wow…. is all I have to say… Drummond often struggle against shifty PFS.. but you think he can defend explosive G/Fs…..maybe he can do it on a switch every now and then… or even if he us the help to trap
            But no he can not possession for possession defend the perimeter players in this league better than Josh Smith

          • Dec 18, 201311:53 am
            by Tim Thielke

            So that link pretty well jibes with my impression of how Smith’s skill set should make him a very good interior and perimeter defender. And I don’t doubt that he was last season, which is all that says. However, I have watched him far more this year and he has been abysmal at guarding the perimeter. Smith has guarded the post well and has done decently on guys whose primary weapon is the drive. But he loses shooters all the friggin time.

            We obviously don’t have data on how Drummond plays when the guy he is matched up on by design is a perimeter player. So I’m not sure how you can aver Drummond’s inferiority to Smith in that regard. I recognize our lack of information and therefore phrase my statements as expectations based on the limited data we have.

            But so far this season, when Drummond has switched onto explosive perimeter players, he has done a bang-up job. And when he has switched onto outside shooters, he has been waaaaaaaaaaay better defensively than Smith has on the same genre of opponent.

          • Dec 18, 20132:55 pm
            by Otis

            Tim, just a bit of friendly advice. Take it for what it’s worth: Lay off the [sic] parade. So far I think 100% of the time you’re just pointing out obvious typos in a passive aggressive way to undermine the person you’re arguing with. Best to keep the [sic] usage to where you’re actually clarifying something. We know you’re cut-and-pasting, and nobody is going to blame you for the improper spelling/punctuation in quoted text, especially when the original text is right there for reference. Plus there’s no edit function. Just a useful tip from your favourite frenemy Otis.

        • Dec 17, 20135:15 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          Josh Smith can’t score outside of the paint either. Smith’s advantages as a player is just his passing, free throw shooting, and his help defense when playing the 4. Drummond is better at guarding centers and perimeter players, and roughly even in man to man on PFs. Drummond adds to that a huge advantage as a rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. I consider basketball intelligence a talent too, and Drummond is smart enough to play inside of himself. That’s the part that gives Drummond a big lead. Even if you want to dismiss IQ and deal with physical talents, I still give an edge to Drummond because his rebounding is just that dominant and Smith has no comparable area of dominance.

      • Dec 17, 201310:24 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        “Why should Josh Smith take 20 foot jumpers exactly? The list of guys that should take those is incredibly small, and a guy shooting 27% on shots outside of the paint is not on the list.”
        3. Keyword “Settle” …. I dont care if he takes a 20 footer, if the guy is playing off of him, the 17-20 basically turns into a set shot that you make in practice 9 out of 10 times, because even if you that shot 5 times in a game and make 2… that 40% …. but if he settles for that shot and goes 3-10 thats a huge difference… so yes, if its a pick and pop play, and he is open for a 17-20 footer he should take it, but he should NOT settle for it if its a ISO situation .

        • Dec 17, 20135:06 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          Even while being open, he doesn’t make them at a rate that it makes sense to ever attempt them. There is not another way to answer that. He is always better off trying to get a better shot or just passing the ball. He should average roughly 0 a game because there is never a conceivable situation where Smith should take a long 2 other than to avoid a clock violation. That’s it. Since he should know that, he should rarely be in a position to have to attempt a long two to beat the clock. His 26.4% shooting on 3s suggest he should barely ever take those either. I’ll concede playing SF does force him into a situation where he should sometimes take 3s despite the likelihood that he will miss, but it should not be as common as it currently is.
           
          All this 2-5 and 3-10 talk is ridiculous by the way. Josh Smith shoots 20% on that 17′ shot. It’s 1-5 or 2-10. That’s awful, and he should stop it. I said it earlier and I’ll repeat it. Smith should always put the ball on the court or pass if he has the ball 17′ from the basket.

          • Dec 18, 20136:44 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            We are saying the same thing..you point out why he shouldnt…when I clearly said he should not Settle…we all know he is more effective inside, but you can not space the floor with 3…. Two post player that only want to play towards the rim, and a big (Drummond) whom offense only comes from moving around the rim…
            If that’s case team will just play 2-3 defense…pack the paint..because they know josh smith and Greg are not going to take open jumpers….with. no legit perimeter player we average around 80 points a game..
            If there’s a better scoring opportunity Smith should take it, but once again if he is open he should also take the shot as well…
             

          • Dec 18, 201311:16 am
            by oats

            That last sentence is the difference. I don’t care that he is open. He should not take the shot. He misses the wide open shot far too often, so even being wide open is settling for a bad shot for Smith.

  • Dec 17, 20138:19 am
    by Steve K

    Reply

    Was pretty shocked to see Stuckey only get 16min. It seemed a bit bizarre.
     
    Still, the Pistons looked strong this game… likely their best game of the year. Strong, strong defense by KCP and Smoove, plus solid rebounding by the team cemented it. Love the effort. If they bring it like this every night, they should push past .500 soon.
     
    I’m not a huge Jennings fan, but I will say that he’s a massive upgrade over BKnight. While we love to rail on Joe D, he deserves praise for noticeably upgrading the PG spot, without crippling the team’s payroll.

    • Dec 17, 20138:38 am
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Stuckey was playing Hurt….Cheeks pulled him…
      The only thing Pope needs to do right now is take a his time shooting the ball… none of his shots look bad… and I think someone told him not to hesitate, and I actually like the confidence he is showing ..but he is pressing just a bit… Pope and Singler are the only active shooters in the rotation although stuckey is having his best 3 point shooting year.. But maybe he is Pressing, but his defense right now is worth the lack of shooting… but we are going to need it soon….
      I just think based on his college career..he just needs one break out game…
      Also, I really liked Knight everything about him..work ethic, potential, scoring mindset…and honestly some night we miss his shooting, but Jennings ability to create off the dribble is huge…
      Jennings dribbling causes the defense to overact…which helps the guys like drummond and Monroe to get easy buckets or put backs…

  • Dec 17, 20138:46 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Stuckey was wearing kineso tape on his shoulder so you’d have to say that he is carrying an injury. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sit out the next game or 2.

  • Dec 17, 20139:26 am
    by pistonspoland

    Reply

    My favourite highlight from this season so far!!
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4HOlBE2TtE

    • Dec 17, 20133:35 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      KCP’s fundamentals and tenacity on defense are something else for a rookie. I hope he can figure out the offensive side of things as well. I feel like his ceiling as a 2 way player is anywhere from an Aaron Afflalo to a Paul George.

  • Dec 17, 20139:29 am
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    Great win by the Pistons.  On the road, back to back after a stinging defeat.  That was a good bounce back.  Cheeks is utilizing the talent better and adjusting in game just a bit better.  We’ve got to tighten up Jennings’ decision making in the 4th quarter, but I see that he can improve as we go along and he gets used to being in that situation and understanding that he HAS to trust his teammates, winning will get you to buy in.

  • Dec 17, 20139:46 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Anyone else notice all our games left in December should be pretty winnable. I’d say 6 out of the 7 games barring the Houston games are ours for the taking: Boston(A), Charlotte(H), Houston(h), Cleveland(A), Orlando(A), Washington(A), Washington(H). I feel if we are going to push for that #3 seed then this is the stretch we have to get a streak going.

  • Dec 17, 20139:57 am
    by Huddy

    Reply

    Otis, don’t make us beg for your analysis of why beating the best team in basketball and giving them their first home loss is unimpressive and unimportant.  The anticipation is killing me.
     
     
    if I were to guess I think you would find this win to be bad because it gives hope where you firmly believe there is none…but I’m hoping for more creativity than that.

    • Dec 17, 201310:11 am
      by @GPMasters

      Reply

      Well, obviously the Pacers were looking ahead to their game against Miami later this week. They weren’t interested in extending themselves against our lowly Pistons. Obviously. ;-)

    • Dec 17, 201311:04 am
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      This game doesn’t count as an impressive win because Indiana had too long of a home winning streak and it was going to end anyway.  It just so happened to be the Pistons that were playing them when it happened to end.
      And this game is even more motivation to get rid of Monroe.
      Otis.

    • Dec 17, 20131:26 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      I’m not interested in being baited for a response any time this team wins a game. But given the fact that I’ve been obnoxiously called out and baited after our last two wins, I’ll say this:
       
      The thing I hate about this win is that, as I’m sure I’ve said before, the team can rattle off a ten game losing streak with ten different bogus excuses, but when they get a win THAT is the REAL Pistons. Despite a sub-.500 record, the true Pistons have finally revealed themselves with one win. Then they can rattle off nine more losses that are chalked up to flukes and bad luck and the fact that Jerebko was unavailable or some stupid shit.
       
      You people have no idea how much better off this team would be if it lost every game until February so that it could get the shakeup it badly needs. Get Monroe and Stuckey out of town for perimeter help, get Dumars out of town because his magic wore off a decade ago, and this team can be worth getting excited about.
       
      As for this win, here’s your troll food: It was clearly the biggest win of the season, much more impressive and far less fluky than the Miami win. Indiana certainly wasn’t at their best, and I don’t think this means we’d have much of a chance against them in a playoff series, but at least they showed up. Beating an out-of-sync team is an accomplishment; beating a team that looks half asleep from wire to wire is not. Smith played great, but I’ve always been a Smith supporter. Moose was basically a slug as usual and I’m f*cking sick of him. Stuckey was a complete non-factor. In fact, most every game we’ve played where we looked good and really played like a team, the main contributors have been Jennings, Smith and Dre. So it shouldn’t take a genius to just move the tradeable pieces like Stuckey and Moose for players who will make those guys better. I don’t think we can expect Smith to go off for 30 for the rest of his Pistons career, and the Smith iso show isn’t going to cut it in the long run.
       
      It was a quality win, but at what cost? Every win like this is worth 20 losses as far as the people who want to keep this shit show running are concerned, and that is very bad for this team. 25 games in, several games under .500 and we have one (1) quality win that’s going to convince Gores that this mediocre formula is working. Is that worth it? Not to me. Not by a long shot.

      • Dec 17, 20132:15 pm
        by Georgio

        Reply

        I would have expected nothing less for a TROLL, my suspicions are confirmed. 

        • Dec 18, 20133:21 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          You forgot to add: “A-hyuk.”

      • Dec 17, 20132:17 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        Id hate to hear what you had to say if you were interested in being baited into a response.
         
        I love how reasonable and fair you find yourself on here and how “obnoxious” you find everyone in your path.  Maybe people find it fun to bait you into repeating your daily rant because even when you are obviously baited into it you oblige with a long winded predictable rant.  It’s like a comedy.  The pistons beat the best team in the league and anyone who follows his site can say to themselves “I wonder how Otis will make this sound bad?”….and then, rather than just admitting it was a good win….you qualify every statement to protect yourself from being seen as positive And end it with pretty much exactly what I predicted….no win is a good win because it only serves to reinforce what you disagree with.

        • Dec 18, 20133:22 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          I take all of this as a compliment, you silly goose you.

      • Dec 17, 20132:25 pm
        by apa8ren9

        Reply

        @ Otis, Who are these magical basketball players that and GM’s that will get us excited?  I have no idea, please enlighten me.  As for me Im already excited about the team they have now and Id like to enjoy their successes and failures.   I get it you are sick of Moose.  It doesnt take a genius to see that they need other pieces at the SG and SF.   You cant just snap your fingers and make it all better.  Now certainly isnt the time.   You asked last year for Dumars to get All Star level talent and now they have it in JSmith. Now all of sudden you just go all HAM and want a championship team in just 3 months? That doesnt make any sense?

        • Dec 18, 20133:20 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          They’re called “wing” players. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. We haven’t had any notable ones in Detroit in quite some time, so I understand if this is a foreign concept to you. They defend the perimeter and sometimes make shots, often from behind that line we’re always getting burned from. I think they call that a “three-point-er” on account of how those shots are worth three points. But you’d only know that if you watched our opponents’ scoreboard, because those teams have “wing” players. You might actually like them if you ever saw one. They spread the floor out so that you don’t have to play three power players who can’t score from outside of five feet. Maybe you’ll experience this with your own eyes if we don’t spend all our money this summer on Greg Monroe.
           
          It’s not about snapping fingers to make things better. It’s about analyzing players and the team, looking ahead to what your options are and making the necessary adjustments. It’s not about a championship in three months, it’s about putting pieces in place that have some chance in the future of winning a championship. We DO NOT have that now, and February is the last time we’ll have TONS of flexibility to continue building. We’re literally two shrewd trades away from me shutting up and enjoying the show. But if those trades don’t happen, I don’t see how we’re going to improve on this weak formula after renouncing our best guard, overpaying our third best player so that he’s our highest paid, and NOT getting a first round pick in this loaded draft. Literally no matter what we accomplish this season, we’ll be lucky come back next season without having taken a step backwards.

          • Dec 18, 20133:56 pm
            by apa8ren9

            Wing players yeah ive heard of them they are also called SG and SF as I noted in my prior post. Well at least we are having a dialogue.  Who are these wing players specifically? Which two trades do you propose will shut you up? You’ve anointed yourself as a better GM than Dumars.  Id really like to know to see if you are making any sense or just blowing smoke.  Do you really believe that February is the only/best time to make changes to personnel. News flash, its not. You want a championship team in not 3 months but 5 in February. The league has a draft/offseason and trade deadline every year or did you forget that? 
            You admitted you like Smith.  Thats one piece and you said we need two more, who are they? Thats worth a debate, not you repeatedly saying that you want “wing players” this isnt 2k14.   By the way we have TONS of flexibility because our GM made the first moves last OFF SEASON to improve our talent and gain that flexibility a year in advance or did you forget that too?    The Pistons dont have to pay the Max, they have the leverage.  He can be traded or resigned or given a qualifying offer.  They get to choose or did you forget that too.  Read up on this thing called the CBA. Thats a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
             

      • Dec 17, 20132:51 pm
        by Tim Thielke

        Reply

        When was this ten game losing streak of which you speak? When will be the nine game losing streak you so confidently predict? You’re the one who was discrediting every win in a recent four game streak before the Pistons lost and you came out and claimed that loss was “the real Pistons”.

        And then you went on and on and on and on and on about how they didn’t have any legitimate wins against a top team playing hard, smart basketball (in spite of the fact that you could probably have said that about at least 20-25 NBA teams at the time). Well now they do, so of course commenters want to know how exactly you’ll seek out a way to shit all over the Pistons some more.

        As long as you remain as averse to impartiality as Derrick Rose is to returning from injuries, you can expect to be regularly baited.

        The losses and the wins equally reflect who the Pistons “really are”. They’re a slightly sub .500 team that is better than most in the East.And they have more room for internal growth than most teams because they have oddly mismatched pieces that take some time and creativity to work out how to best mesh. In other words, they’re more like a poor man’s version of the 2010-11 Heat than a poor man’s version of the 2007-08 Celtics.

        • Dec 17, 20135:57 pm
          by @GPMasters

          Reply

          Great points well made Tim, thanks.

        • Dec 18, 20133:11 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Timbo! My man. As for that four game win streak, it’s like this bro. You don’t need to discredit wins against Philly and Milly (Milwaukee) because they are what’s known as “bad teams.” Those wins were very much the REAL Pistons, because God knows when you go out and spend all your free agent money you need to beat them types of bottom dwellers. Then you’ve got the Rose-less, but more importantly (since Rose is kaput for the season), Deng-less Bulls. You know Deng, the All-Star who torched us in the previous meeting? Wears #9. From the Sudan. You can’t miss him. Yeah, if you don’t think his absence is worth an asterisk, then I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sure Deng will have something to say about it the next time the teams play. Ditto times ten for the Miami game where only one team was aware they were supposed to be playing basketball that night.
           
          I didn’t attach those kinds of caveats to this Pacers game. We played better than they did, and we won. The better team doesn’t always prevail in basketball. If you just want to endorse what the Pistons are doing, even though they’re being helmed by a man whose 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th priorities are all KEEPING HIS JOB rather than actually righting the ship and putting this team in position for sustainable success, be my guest. If you think this win means that the Pistons are contenders now, despite their sub-.500 record and the fact that this was their FIRST asterisk-free win against a good team, be my guest. All you’re doing is cosigning the plan to be .500, make the playoffs as a 5 or 6 seed and exist there forever because of how severely limited our options for growth when we come back with no draft pick, paying Moose $11M more on average than he’s making now, and renouncing our best guard. If you think I don’t care about this team and just want to be relentlessly negative, you’re free to do that as well. But you couldn’t possibly be more wrong. This was a “good” win that might have single-handedly given Joe an excuse to continue along this doomed path.

          • Dec 18, 20133:46 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            “God knows when you go out and spend all your free agent money you need to beat them types of bottom dwellers.”

            Where do you think the Pistons rank in payroll this season?

  • Dec 17, 201310:05 am
    by Nick N

    Reply

  • Dec 17, 201311:17 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Here’s the breakdown of what Smith did against each player guarding him:

    • Smith: 1-4 from the field, 0-1 on 3-pointers, 5-for-5 from the line, three turnovers
    • Caldwell-Pope: 1-4 from the field, 1-2 on 3-pointers, 2-for-2 from the line, one turnover
    • Singler: 2-3 from the field, 0-0 on 3-pointers, 0-for-0 from the line, zero turnovers
    • Stuckey: 0-2 from the field, 0-2 on 3-pointers, 0-for-0 from the line, zero turnovers

    For those who want a more descriptive assessment of Smith’s shots against Caldwell-Pope:

    • C.J. Watson effectively screens Caldwell-Pope to give George an open 3-pointer.
    • George spins by Caldwell-Pope in the post, but Monroe challenges the layup attempt, forcing a miss.
    • George gets the ball just inside the three-point arc with five seconds on the shot clock and Caldwell-Pope draped all over him.
    • Greg Monroe switches onto George on a pick-and-roll, and though I think that was the plan anyway, Caldwell-Pope stumbles trying to get through the screen, so Monroe has no choice. Monroe effectively sticks with George and challenges a short jumper.
    • The Pacers are inbounding inside halfcourt with 13.4 seconds left down five points, and Caldwell-Pope does a nice job of getting around a screen before the inbound pass. George catches the inbound in the corner and immediately shoots. He had enough room to get a clean shot off, but nothing more.

     

  • Dec 17, 201311:26 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    This was a good character win… the one that I was expecting against Portland… but Smennings was limited to only  half a quarter of dumb shots instead of the entire 4th quarter to meltdown.
    2 long distance jumpers before going inside literally swung the game 4 and 3 points each in the last 2 minutes. I thought they were going to undo the game again. 
    Then they gave it to Monroe, and Smith went back into the post, and Jennings drove and got fouled instead of shooting the lazy 3.
    The win was saved, and I hoped they learned a lesson. Play the game inside out for 48 minutes! Run through Monroe and Smith for 48 minutes.

  • Dec 17, 201311:38 am
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    Looking at this game on the schedule, you would have automatically put this one down as a scheduled loss.  Back-to-back games, traveling down to Indiana, against possibily the best team in the NBA at their home, where they hadn’t lost yet this year.
    Hopefully after the way they played the last two games, they are starting to  turn the corner to being a good team.
    A lot of their biggest problems, later in the game, are when teams start to clamp down on defense is their shot selection.  Jennings spends way too long dribbling before starting to set up a play.  He usually runs out of time and jacks up a shot or pushes the ball off to someone else, who doesn’t have time to get up a good one.  With Jennigs speed and ability to get open, they should use him more as a shooting guard, like they did with Rip, when they get in these situations.

    • Dec 17, 201312:22 pm
      by apa8ren9

      Reply

      @MikeyDE248 I agree, but thats a coaching adjustment they should use later in the season.  They need to really clamp down on Jennings decision making with the ball.  If he cuts out the dribbling they can be effective with him running the point AND have the option of him coming off the ball to throw teams off.  He needs to get the “less dribbling” skill set down in crunch time first. IMO

      • Dec 17, 20131:23 pm
        by MIKEYDE248

        Reply

        That’s kinda what I was trying to imply.  The players don’t seem to be running any plays.  Everyone just seems to be standing around waiting for something to happen.  Mo seems to have a hard time calling time outs or running plays.  It seems like he uses games the same way most coaches use practice.  Each game is just a lesson where each player is supposed to get something out of it, but it doesn’t seem like he is really trying to win each game.  Just have each player learn something each game that they can bring into the next game.

      • Dec 17, 20131:44 pm
        by Patti #1

        Reply

        Running time off the clock is done by all PG’s on all teams.  That seems more a deliberate strategy than anything else.  If Cheeks told him to shoot within 10 seconds…he would shoot!
        (everyone laughs)
        Another thing that several have brought up is the pace of games vs 4th quarter.  It’s one thing to say the “fast breaks” and fast pace of games should continue through the 4th qtr.  However, the reality is that the 4th quarter is always a series of time outs, fouls/free throws, substitutions and half court sets.  The tempo always changes in the 4th and no PG can change that by himself.
         

  • Dec 17, 20131:19 pm
    by hoophabit

    Reply

    It might be time to re-evaluate the “expectations” that keep leading to KCP getting “Ds.”  Okay, when drafted we were told he can really score and also can defend some.  So far it turns out he’s the Piston’s best defending guard, and maybe their best perimeter defender.  I understand he’s struggled with his offensive game in his transition to the NBA, but his defensive game has been a revelation.  It might be fair to give some consideration to his being a rookie.

  • Dec 17, 20132:07 pm
    by DoctorDaveT

    Reply

    I hope the staff reads down this far. Because your grading is far too harsh.
    Here’s what I did; I gave every letter grade a number. A+ 12; A 11; A- 10; B+ 9; etc. down to F 0. Then I added all of the scores together. Then I doubled the starting five numbers, and doubled the coach numbers. Then I divided by the number of entries (remember: the starters and coaches got double numbers, so they got double entries.) Would you like to know the conglomerate score for the Pistons team based on the individual grades?
    ***
    ***
    ***
    B-. Yep – you read that right. The Detroit Pistons beat the best team in the East with their “B-” game.
    C’mon guys. We appreciate the attention to detail. But this should be an overall A/A- score; and should be nowhere close to a B-. You’re grading way to harshly.

    • Dec 17, 20133:14 pm
      by Murph

      Reply

      Exactly.  The over-all grades should have averaged out to something like an A or A-, especially for the starters.
       
      And to give Cheeks a B for the game is far too low.  At worst, Cheeks derserves an A-. for beating the best team in the NBA, on the road.
       
      This is serious grade deflation.
       
       

    • Dec 17, 20136:00 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      The problem is you are assuming the team is the sum of it’s parts. That’s very rarely the case in basketball.

      • Dec 17, 20136:39 pm
        by DoctorDaveT

        Reply

        I anticipated this kind of a comment. OK.
        Two guys got any kind of an A. 2. Just two. And one of them only played for one minute. So out of 240 team minutes (48 * 5 = 240); 38 minutes worthy of the team were “A worthy”.
        C’mon. To beat the Pacers? Dumb grading.

        • Dec 18, 201311:27 am
          by oats

          Reply

          Who else was A worthy though? I don’t care how many guys it is, tell me who is too low. Who’s rating is all that far off exactly? Should thy just ignore the fact that Drummond put up only a 9 and 9, well below his season average? Or should they ignore the fact that Brandon Jennings made less than 1/3 of his shots? Or should they ignore Monroe’s really terrible defense to give him the A? I guess you could argue that Cheeks could get an A, but this win had nothing to do with some clever bit of coaching his part. The closest to that is sending a lot of different looks at Paul George. That’s not exactly innovative since everyone does that. Why does it matter what the sum of the individual grades is? 1 player really deserved an A, and that is Smith. They also threw an extra A to the guy that led the team in +/-, even if it was only one minute played. I don’t another individual performance worthy of an A. The team definitely deserves one, but no other individual does.

        • Dec 18, 20133:27 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Doc, it’s worth noting that not only are teams not equal to the sum of their parts (least of all the Pistons), but it’s not like the Pacers came out and played well. They played a below average game. Scola stood out, and that’s literally about it. So if everyone on the Pacers got grades in the C range, a B- average should do the trick, no?

  • Dec 17, 20133:43 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    The Pistons are the only team other than Miami and Indiana in the Eastern Conference without a losing record on the road.
    That’s pretty good that they can play well on the road. That’s good for the long term.

    • Dec 18, 20131:59 am
      by jg22

      Reply

      Great stat. I always look at road record more than overall record when judging teams playoff chances.
       
      Its generally the teams who can win on the road consistently that have the most success in the playoffs. 
       
      I think our road record has kind of gotten overshadowed by our meager overall record, but should not be overlooked. Its another great sign (along PIP) that this team is built for the playoffs.

    • Dec 18, 20132:01 am
      by jg22

      Reply

      I saw another stat earlier today that we are the only team in the league to beat both Miami and Indiana, home or away, but even more impressively we got both wins in their buildings. Not only beating them, but pretty much controlling both games from start to finish. 

  • Dec 17, 20134:37 pm
    by Geoff

    Reply

    Harrelson was far better than a B+ and Drummond was far worse.
    Sometimes players just play well on you because they play confident. Those Indiana players could have scored on any pistons except maybe Drummond (who would have surely fouled multiple more times) if they attacked with the same assertiveness. They made some good shots on him as well. They saw him as a bench player and their mindset was good, so there shots went in. But His D was flat out good, he turned away several as well. Not mentioned was his team defense.
    Harrelson is the best team/help defender on the pistons roster, he’s that good. Better than Drummond, Monroe, Smith or Singler. He anticipates and bothers the release so well.  He moves his feet so well on D. He had a couple nice blocks as well and was a terror on the glass. How he does not get an A+ and Drummond gets a B+, for what, committing senseless fouls and having an off night? He had a D game.

  • Dec 17, 20134:39 pm
    by Geoff

    Reply

    Drummond is a terrible defender off the ball because he has no idea how to defend without fouling. He could learn so much from Harrelson. If drummond had 50% of Harrelsons understanding of Defense Drummond would be one of the best defenders of all time. Harrelson is really underrated in that regard. I think he’s almost got a B. Wallace feel for defense, just not the quickness and athleticism.. obviously.

    • Dec 18, 20132:06 am
      by jg22

      Reply

      Yes Harrellson is a very sound defender, and sound player period. I noticed it in him first time I saw him on Kentucky and have always been intrigued by him and was very happy to see him sign here.
       
      To be fair to Drummond though, Harrellson is almost 25 and much more experienced. Dre’s only 20 yrs old and still learning all those nuances. Give him time to learn the game, and in a few years I think we’ll see the greatness you speak of defensively.
       
      Remember Ben Wallace was 25-26 too when he got here and started displaying his defensive ability. Can’t expect Drummond to be there just yet.

  • Dec 18, 20132:27 am
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    Drummond is one of the best bigs anticipating (I have never seen a big stealing so many balls) but has to improve two things that will determine his progression in D: man to man D (he has to be much more careful with stupid fouls on the perimeter) and has to realize that a good defense is not a block or a quick foul: most of the times is a stop!

  • Dec 18, 20136:23 am
    by Murph

    Reply

    Here’s what your grades should have looked like for the Indy game:
    Smith:  A+
    Monroe:  A
    Drummond: A-
    Jennings:  A-
    KCP:  C
    Harrellson:  A
    Jerebko:  A
    Singler:  B
    Bynum:  A-
    Stuckey:  D
     
    Cheeks:  A-
     

    • Dec 18, 20133:29 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      LOL
       
      For the record, I laughed the hardest at the A for Monroe. But you probably already knew that.

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