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Orlando Magic pack the paint, frustrating Josh Smith-Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond trio in deflating loss

Detroit Pistons 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
109 Orlando Magic
Greg Monroe, PF 21 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -17

The Magic’s pack-the-paint strategy clearly bothered Monroe. He was so frustrated inside, he even showed more willingness to shoot his mid-range jumper, but that didn’t go so well. On defense, Monroe just looked tired.

Josh Smith, SF 22 MIN | 2-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -11

The Magic gave Smith no advantage near the basket, using the strong Tobias Harris and pressure from other bigs who didn’t fear leaving their man. Smith shot just 1-for-9 in the paint. He was tenacious on some defensive possessions, lethargic on others.

Andre Drummond, C 23 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-4 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -20

Drummond got some decent looks inside, but he was just off target. He’s so big, I don’t think Orlando’s heavy presence in the lane affected him as much as it did Smith and Monroe, but it didn’t help. Drummond is such a talented offensive rebounder, though, it’s hard to shut him down. Unfortunately, Drummond’s defense was poor.

Brandon Jennings, PG 31 MIN | 7-16 FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -17

Jennings was very aggressive, which was needed tonight, because his teammates were stuck in the mud. He continues to produce on offense. As for defense, he had a nice steal that he turned into a fastbreak. Otherwise, Jennings took a pass on playing defense tonight.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 24 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -8

Arron Afflalo (23 points on 9-of-11 shooting) carved up Caldwell-Pope, even though Caldwell-Pope had a nice steal, block and deflection in the matchup. Caldwell-Pope was invisible on the other end of the floor, which beats detrimental. It’s the small victories.

Josh Harrellson, PF 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +5

Sweet pick-and-pop for a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, and that kick-started a solid individual offensive outing. Harrellson’s size allows him to clog the lane on defense, a valuable skill. But quicker bigs, or nearly any big determined to race him down the court, create problems.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 13 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +4

Jerebko hadn’t played more than five minutes in any game the last two-and-a-half weeks, and he responded exactly how you’d hope he would when given a chance. He played with good energy on both ends, bringing life to a dreary team.

Luigi Datome, SF 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -2

Datome took all his shoots in the fourth quarter, and I understand the game situation didn’t lend itself to inspired play, but it was like Datome was trying to his best impersonation of an inefficient gunner. Nick Young would be proud, but nobody else. Datome spent about three quarters of his playing time with only one of Detroit’s bigs, making him either a stretch four or combo forward most of his minutes. He worked hard to hold his own in one-on-one defensive assignments, but the Pistons got killed on the glass with Datome in the game.

Kyle Singler, SF 26 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -10

Singler got beat like a drum defensively. At least he moved well around the court, both in transition and the halfcourt, to make a few shots.

Will Bynum, PG 20 MIN | 8-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | -4

This is where Bynum comes in handy. With the Pistons down 19 points entering the fourth quarter, Bynum took over, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the final period. Turning Bynum loose lowers expected value but increases variances – an excellent tradeoff for a team already down so much. If Bynum leads a comeback, great. If he doesn’t, so what? The game was a likely loss, anyway. Tonight, Bynum did his job, but the deficit was just too great.

Rodney Stuckey, SG 14 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -5

Stuckey didn’t play in the second half after appearing to injure his shoulder. He stayed in for another couple possessions, including a turnover after looking uncomfortable dribbling. He quickly stole the ball back, a nice display of effort from a hurt player. Before that, Stuckey made a couple post-up turnaround jumpers and a layup and missed a few pull-up jumpers.

Maurice Cheeks

This was bound to happen to Cheeks. The Magic packed the paint to an extreme degree, a tactic I actually I thought more Detroit opponents would use. And it worked perfectly for them. When Smith, Monroe and Drummond played together, the Pistons’ offensive rating was an astonishingly bad 78.0. Those three couldn’t get any space to operate inside, and when they drifted to the mid-range or beyond, they predictably missed jumpers. Cheeks, adjusting his rotation to minimize the amount of time the trio shared the court, resorted to strange and ineffective lineups. Beyond tonight’s dismal result, it will matter how Cheeks adjusts to such extreme paint packing going forward, because I suspect this won’t be the last time the Pistons see it.


  • Dec 28, 20132:59 am


    I saw this coming…we all saw this coming…magic had a few days to plan for the Pistons…but overall to frustrate the pistons you pack the paint…

  • Dec 28, 20134:59 am
    by MrBlockedShot


    Another wasted opportunity to get closer to .500. We can’t afford to lose this kind of games.

  • Dec 28, 20137:59 am
    by Huddy


    We all know the team is going to see this strategy and as they are currently assembled they need more than one made free throw between the 3 big men (not to mention more attempts) if they are going to compete.  They need other big men in foul trouble and to get contact on those frsutrating shots in traffic in order to diminish the effectiveness of packing the paint.  
    I didnt get get to watch most of the game so Im wondering if and why packing the paint was the big factor tonight if Harrelson and Singler, who have range, were in for as many minutes as the big 3.  Maybe it was how cheeks used those minutes, but was Orlando staying inside even against mixed line ups?  if they were it would seems getting the ball to  Singler, KCP, Harrelson should’ve been a priority as well as them hitting shots.  without seeing for myself it seems like 10 min of Drummond/Moose/Smith togwther having a hard time with spacing isn’t enough to lose to the magic likE that.

    • Dec 28, 20138:48 am
      by gmehl


      Early in the game Orlando was fueled by Afflalo smoking KCP and Big Baby hitting mid-range jumpers over   Monroe. After that or defence just plain sucked as the spacing was terrible and the intensity on the boards went to shit as Drummond was in foul trouble most of the game. Orlando just wanted this win more than we did which was made easier due to the fact they have guys that could hit shots.

  • Dec 28, 20138:00 am
    by jay


    Hey pistons people I just read an article that the bulls are asking for young player and a draft pick for Deng.  Now I know we can’t do the draft pick but how about Monroe n will bynum for Deng n Marques teague.  Or just Monroe for Deng straight up. Also heard that Thaddeus young wants out of Philly.  Who would you guys prefer the pistons to go after out of these two if any? In the here n now I would pick Thaddeus young for various reasons.. he’s younger n will be cheaper I think.  I am a fan of Deng thou n wouldn’t be mad if we got him… if we were closer to championship contention I would prefer Deng… sound off piston people 

  • Dec 28, 20138:56 am
    by menten


    cant wait till monroe is gone

    • Dec 28, 20139:20 am
      by Zdwtr


      I used to defend him, not anymore

  • Dec 28, 20139:15 am
    by MitchEPooh


    This game was brutal. The uncontested drives to the hoop by Orlando were embarassing. Drummond seemed to forget how to play B-ball. Double-teamed in the low post, he decides to dribble? Why not just hand the ball to Olipido? Monroe’s shot selection was a joke. And then have the nerve to whine to the refs? The worst player on the floor was KCP. How’s that ROY campaign coming along, Dude? I sure have to question throwing away Affalo for nothing. I loved drafting him, he never played and now he is toasting us.
    Just when it looks like we might have something going here, we play a game that would not have been competitive in the D League. Cheeks was schooled by a lottery team coach.

  • Dec 28, 20139:48 am
    by Corey


    They need to include KCP in the offense. When the opponents are packing the paint that hard, it’s crazy not to give him some shots. It’s even easier to pack the paint if they only have to defend 4 players.

  • Dec 28, 201310:02 am
    by jeff m


    Would of never guessed pope would of come out of the gate this bad offensively. It just goes to show you that It’s a crap shoot on what player is going to be effective in the game. I thought Afflalo, started his career great, and didn’t understand why Joe D traded him. If I remember correctly Joe had some insane need to to get a magical big in free agency, and needed some cap space or something. I’m done with Dumars he doesn’t have any idea what qualities constitutes a good player. When a player is playing good in limited minutes you don’t toss them out for nothing, first you find out more to see if they can be something special given a better opportunity for playing time. Look at Khris Middleton, he is putting up some respectable high % numbers ac-crossed the board on his stat sheet for the bucks, but It’s debatable whether or not the trade to get Jennings was better, for the pistons. The biggest problem Is that Joe Dumars is a moron, and can’t draft high in the draft worth a shit, if he is not restricted, by having the players that were considered higher talented prospects drop to him in the draft.

  • Dec 28, 201310:26 am
    by Parsons


    OK Pope either needs to be included in the offence or benched until he wants to contribute because 2 shots in 24 minutes is a shameful performance. We haven’t gotten anything from our starting SGs this year. Their not really even missing shots they just plain wont take them. Pope takes 2 or 3 shots a game and Chauncey only took 5. I realise you should focus on shot selection but 2 shots in 24 minutes with an opponent who isn’t even paying attention to the shooters, it just seems to me like more opportunities would present themselves.

    On a side note I really like Afflalo. After today I’d be OK with a Monroe for Afflalo trade. I’d push like hell for Harris too and hope he starts shooting 3s better. Take Monroe and any 2 or 3 bench players you want for Afflalo and Harris.

  • Dec 28, 201310:41 am


    Kcp can’t be the starting SG and only take 2 attempts…. we have too many offensively limitations

  • Dec 28, 201311:14 am
    by jacob


    Trey Burke is #1 in ESPN top rookies.

    • Dec 28, 20139:21 pm
      by T Casey


      Imagine that. lol

  • Dec 28, 201311:27 am
    by frankie d


    The problem is twofold. 
    First, jennings does a truly horrible job of running an offense and doing one of the most important PG jobs: finding the right player to take the shot against certain defensive looks. There were plays where orlando was overplaying the post man, basically doubleteaming the post even before the entry pass and he would still try to jam a pass into that player.  Simple math should tell him to rotate the ball to the weakside because someone is absolutely going to be open when a team cheats like that.  Unfortunately “ball movement” and “rotating the ball” and “swing pass” and “skip pass” seem to be foreign concepts on this team.
    Then, it seems to be contrary to team policy to kick the ball back out to the open man, as there were plenty of times where orlando left players – like kcp – wide open on the perimeter but smith and monroe would insist on banging into the packed lane.  
    There is a black hole element to the offense that is fostered by having a ballhogging gunner as your PG.  Monroe sure looks like a guy who is afraid he is not going to see the ball again if he tosses it back out.  A good unselfish offense lets the big guy toss it out, reset and get another, hopefully better angle for a better entry pass.  Last night it looked like monroe took some forced shots, as tbough he was afraid – rightfully, according to the numbers – that he would not get the ball back if he gave it up on a particular possession.
    While i am not his biggest fan, a shooting guard like kcp cannot be faulted if his teammates do not pass him the ball.  That is one of the negatives of a player with his style and limitations: they are totally dependant on teammates to set them up for shots. If he is only shooting 2 shots, look at jennings and smith and monroe and cheeks.  It certainly isnt the fault of the rookie shootng guard who is suppposed to spot up and shoot jumpers.

    • Dec 28, 201312:03 pm
      by Vic


      Hit the nail on the head. Its really a coaching issue. 
      1. Cheeks doesn’t value ball movement, but only matchup exploitation. Heres news: if there’s no one defending the perimeter, that can be a matchup exploitation!
      2. Smarter coaches always outthink Cheeks, and his response is always too late, or after the game.

      • Dec 28, 201312:21 pm
        by Vic


        Don’t get me wrong Cheeks has been an upgrade overall and I like his willingness to play different players. But the ball movement and in game flexibility has been lacking… And those are the main things that smart coaches can always exploit even with lesser talent.

    • Dec 28, 20132:14 pm
      by Zdwtr


      Frankie D you are reading too much into monroe’s thinking. He’s not passing back because he wants to take his man whos been abusing him on the defensive end in this case big baby but he failed. He failed because he has not been his ussual self. Why? Because theres a change of plan in the offense of pistons since smith became the primary scorer on the post. You can’t blame the PG who shoots better fg % and taking lesser shots and putting up numbers is assist. the data proves otherwise. Dont overcomplicate things. 

      • Dec 28, 20133:18 pm
        by frankie d


        monroe’s shot attempts are at their lowest level since his rookie year.
        that is simply a fact.
        this is a@@-backwards.  when a team has an offensive weapon like monroe, the trend should be for him to be getting more shots, for the team to be treating him as it’s primary offensive option.
        instead, the team’s two worst shooters are the team’s first and second options.
        that is just bad basketball and it makes no sense whatsoever.
        smith is a guy who is being treated like a first option offensively and he is simply not that kind of player.  he is a guy who should do all of the things he is so good at – defense, rebounding, running the floor, hitting the glass, dunking – and when he has a mismatch, the team should use him judiciously, in post ups when they want to exploit that matchup.  
        his biggest problem is his well-known bad decision making, and i simply do not trust him with the ball in his hands in crucial situations.  i would much rather that monroe be that person with the ball in his hands, even in situations where either guy would be featured in the post.
        to treat him as though he is an all-star caliber scorer, a guy who should be leading the team in attempts and scoring is simply not in line with his skill set.  
        it is up to the coach and the PG to make certain that things work out the way they should on the court.  so far, that has not been happening.
        and i’m not sure what you are referring to when you talk about a PG who is shooting a better %, etc.  if you are referring to brandon knight, then sure, that may be true, but knight was one of the league’s worst offensive PGs and never really a point guard.  so it wouldn’t take much to upgrade, offensively, at least, from knight.  and just because knight sucked, it doesn’t matter much that jennings sucks a bit less, but in very different ways.

  • Dec 28, 201311:33 am
    by butterscotch


    Wow! What a lack luster game for my Pistons.I asked myself after the  game if Pistons need to put Stuckey in the starting lineup at the SG position because the rookie,  KCP is struggling mightily and should be replaced.  Pistons need a starting SG and a SF, and move Monroe to the bench. This was evident tonight as the Magic packed the paint.   I like T. Young on the 76ers and Ariza on the Wizards. Monroe for T. Young would help my Pistons.  I have always  been a fan of Monroe until the rising of Harrelson.  His game is so much more suited to Drummond and Smith.  My boy, Harrelson can stretch that floor and open it wide  for Drumm and Smith.  He plays better D than Greg and I love his body size.  He kindda reminds me of Big Pekovic in Minnesota, but much more athletic. It hurts to say, but Monroe and KCP are hurting us right now.   I think KCP’s offense will eventually come around, but right now we need some scoring along with better defense from the SG position. Overall, I was more disappointed in the effort against the Magic.  Jennings and Harrelson seem to be the only two ready to play. Too much holiday turkey for the rest of the team, I guess.  I will be watching against the Wizards  for more energy.  Pistons have way too much talent to play as poorly as they did last night. It is just a matter of putting the right pieces together with this team,  and some  hustle, even if there aren’t any trades made.  So today,  I am calling the Pistons out.  “WHERE THE HUSTLER AT ????”

  • Dec 28, 201311:55 am
    by Keith


    I feel the need to remind everyone here that KCP is currently shooting 36% from the field and 31% from three. To say he needs MORE shots is silly. Until he proves he can actually hit shots, low totals are ideal. He is NEVER going to be a guy that takes a lot of shots a game on this team, so we should probably throw out any ideas we have of him finding his rhythm with more shots. The fact is, KCP is a terrible shooter, who is currently struggling to make uncontested looks. There is a good reason his teammates aren’t passing him the ball. In games where his defense isn’t the best we can offer from the SG position (like yesterday), he should be glued to the bench. To put things in perspective, KCP is currently a worse shooter than Ricky Rubio – who is on pace to be the worst shooter in modern NBA history. The only reason KCP isn’t getting that title is because of his minimal attempts.

    Now, regardless of KCP here, this is exactly what we expected, and is the main reason I don’t expect us to win any playoff series as currently constructed. In the regular season teams just defend to their system, because learning the system has greater utility and teams don’t always have time to implement changes for every team they face. In the playoffs, teams are absolutely going to pack the paint for 48 minutes and dare us to shoot. Unfortunately, this tactic is going to work spectacularly and we would lose to just about anyone.

    I hope Joe is working the phones to move Monroe or Smith. As much as it would be in our best interest to tank and keep our pick, I don’t see Joe doing that. Smith and Monroe are our only tradeable assets (tradeable defined as both having value and being available for trade). If we don’t turn one of them into a quality wing, this team has no future besides sub .500 playoff spots in the LEast.

    • Dec 28, 201312:23 pm
      by Vic


      KCP has been shooting better all December.

      • Dec 28, 20132:10 pm
        by Keith


        Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in December:
        39.1% FG
        36.6% 3-pt
        48.5% TS

        The only starter he is more efficient than is Josh Smith. This is despite the fact that KCP does not create ANY of his own offense.

        We can talk all day about how Smith and Jennings were bad signings, having ALWAYS been bad scorers. But to say an equally bad scorer like KCP should be getting more shots when we can’t even take them away from guys like Smith and Jennings is silly. KCP, Jennings, and Smith all should be low volume shooters who focus on passing and defense. Unfortunately our team was build by a mentally challenged kindergartner, so we really don’t have a choice but to let the bricks fall.

        • Dec 28, 20133:04 pm
          by frankie d


          in the current line up, kcp is the guy i’d like to see with increased shots.  if only by default.
          instead of jennings dumping it to smith on the perimeter, i’d rather see him look for kcp after he does his dribble mania thing and needs to get someone to chuck up a shot.
          instead of jennings forcing the ball down low even when the defense is cheating, i’d rather see him find kcp behind the 3 point line for an open jumper.  that shot is almost always there for the pistons, but jennings does not look for kcp, or anyone for that matter.
          instead of jennings always looking for his own transition 3, i’d like to see him specifically target kcp with passes.
          a few games back, a funny incident happened.  both billups and jennings were open at the 3 point line in transition, and you could see that chauncey was expecting jennings to swing the ball over to him on the wing.  jennings was open, but chauncey was even more open.  you could see jennings glance over at chauncey and then just toss up his own 3 pointer.  after the play, a timeout was called and you could see chauncey walk over to the bench, as far away from jennings as possible, with his head down, shaking it.
          same kind of thing happens a lot with kcp and jennings, though kcp isn’t expecting jennings to throw him the ball.
          kcp is open a lot.  teams don’t respect his shot yet so they don’t guard him tightly and he’s pretty good about finding open space.  while you are absolutely correct about his performance so far, the team has to find out if he is a shooter or if he is going to be a bricklayer.  the only way to do that is to let him shoot, even if he goes through a stretch – i’d give him 10 games or so – of 8-10 shots a game where he underperforms.
          if he finds his shot, the team has benefitted, obviously.
          if he continues to brick his shot, then the team at least knows what they have in him and they can act accordingly…that is, they can start trying to find another SG who CAN hit that shot.
          but they have to find out about him and its better to know sooner rather than later.

  • Dec 28, 201312:50 pm
    by frankie d


    this game illustrated so many of the team’s fundamental problems, problems that should have been addressed this past off-season.
    instead, joe d spent cap space and assets and is right back where he was last season.
    it is a sad joke on pistons’ fans.
    the team still needs to find a consistent wing scorer.  
    imho, the team was well-poised to find that player on its roster from last year.   while neither is going to be a franchise-level talent, either singled and middleton could have filled the role on this team with this talent and it would have been lots of fun and very productive to have those two players duke it out – no pun intended – for PT at the 3. on a team with drummond and monroe and a good/elite PG, that wing scorer can afford to be the 4th or 5th best player on the team.  that is exactly what singled and middleton were/are poised to become and it was a huge plus to have had two cheap, second round picks poised to take over that spot.
    the team still needs a shooter at the SG spot.  
    maybe kcp is that player and with a consistent number of shots though out a stretch of games he will settle down and show the shooting touch he had in college. color me skeptical.  sometimes guys are good/great college shooters and when they get to the pros that little bit of extra defensive pressure just about any player receives is enough to throw their shot off.  instead of getting ultra-wide open shots, in the nba the get contested shots or shots where there is almost always at least token pressure.  maybe that is enough to throw some guys off their shot.  a guy like xavier henry, now with the lakers comes to mind.  he was a very good college 3 point shooter, but he’s been a below average to bad nba long range shooter.  why?  i don’t know, but it looks like kcp might be the same type of player.  and, sorry, but spending a #8 pick on a guy who seems to be a good defensive player with limited offensive utility just is not a good bargain.  especially when there were so many other options on the board.
    the team still needs a PG who can run the team and manage it on the floor.  
    that was obvious last night.  whenever a team overplays and sells out the way orlando did, there are huge holes, defensively, that a good, smart PG can exploit.  jennings is not a good, smart PG.  he is a talented scorer who has a very good – albeit, one-handed – handle.  he doesn’t think like a PG and most times he doesn’t play like one.  and even more rarely is the game where you can look at his play and say that he has played smart.  so, when teams like orlando leave themselves wide open if only a smart PG could exploit them….well the pistons, with jennings, are not that team.  and with guys like monroe and drummond and smith, it is crucial that the team have a smart decision maker on the floor as both of those players need  someone to set them up or at least deliver the ball close to the rim.
    so, after 80 million dollars and tossing away two talented players – and yes, milwaukee would have taken a bag of soiled socks for jennings as they obviously wanted to part ways with him – the team is right back where it was at the end of last season, with the same problems, but without two of its young assets and soon to be without a first round  draft choice next draft.
    like i said, it is a sad joke on pistons’  fans who had held out hope for more.  
    at times like this, the image of charlie brown and a football and lucy comes to mind.

    • Dec 28, 20131:01 pm
      by frankie d


      “that wing scorer can afford to be the 4th or 5th best player on the team….”
      i should have said the 4th or 5th best player on the starting unit.  often, the 6th man will be a better player than the 4th or 5th guy on the starting unit, because he fits better off the bench.    that could easily happen with this team with stuckey, for instance, certainly being a better player than singler or middleton, but coming off the bench because of fit.
      btw, when i use my partner’s iMac, i forget about its aggressive auto correct function and how it butchers certain surnames like singler, constantly changing it to “singled”, without my awareness.
      apologies for past typos and future ones, i am sure.

    • Dec 28, 20131:16 pm
      by Kamal


      I agree 100%.  Jennings is not a good point guard.  He’s a good scorer.  He’s like Francis and Marbury.  As long as he has the ball, he’ll generate some nice assist numbers.  But rarely is he making the smart decision on the court.  Most people blame Monroe for the team’s struggles but it’s not.  It’s bad coaching and the lack of a good floor general.

      • Dec 28, 20132:07 pm
        by Zdwtr


        I disagree. This one is not on Jennings. He was playing agressive to adjust to the tone of the game. Our big men did not delivered. Monroe is in the slump. The longer you denied it the longer you will see the reality. There’s a reason why we were bad last year And this year on D. Our frontcourt is not good on D. And I see that hole in Monroe. You have to judge the game by energy. stuck was efficient when he plays with energy. So far this year dre and jennings are the two players that bring the energy almost to every game. We are not well enough as a team to play relaxed basketball. I watched all pistons games since last season. This team needs the energy guy and trust me its becoming clear due to the situation that Moose will be gone by the end of this year. Better to think of someone to trade for him. A defensive SF will be good

        • Dec 28, 20132:27 pm
          by Kamal


          This last game was not on Jennings.  Orlando couldn’t miss.  Those games happen.  But, the Monroe is not the hole.  People see what they want to see.  Glen Davis had 8 points in the first quarter.  6 of those came while Monroe was on the bench.  He didn’t score at all in the second quarter.  In the third, he scored a lay up.  In the fourth, Davis scored his first bucket after his team had a 21 point lead.  But Gmechi saw something else.  He saw Davis hitting mid range jumpers on Monroe even though he only made two on Monroe.  Drummond was the one in the first quarter getting shot over but people see Monroe.  
          People have their favorites and their biases.  For some people it’s always going to be Monroe.  Smith gets lit up by a small forward, it’s Monroe’s fault for forcing Smith to play out of position.  Jennings gets lit up by a point guard, it’s Monroe’s fault for not protecting the paint.  Monroe has played solid D this year, especially man to man.  He’s never going to be Kevin Garnett on defense.  But stop acting like as soon as you give it to his man, it’s an easy two.  Except for Al Jefferson, it’s not.  His man usually scores when Monroe slides over to help and he can’t get back in time when it’s kicked back.  

  • Dec 28, 20132:19 pm
    by Zdwtr


    If the problem is with the point guard and we’re hoping to get a chris paul type of pg well good luck cos we’re not going to get that. you can’t undo the trades and signing and hope to surround moose with better fitted players. Moose has been given a chance. I’ve been a moose fan since the day he arrived but right now the make up of this team required a necessary trade to surround our future read drummond with better players

    • Dec 28, 20132:35 pm
      by Kamal


      How has he been given a chance?  He’s currently fourth on the team in attempts but second in field goal percentage.  A smarter coach would find ways to give him more attempts.  He’s the best we have in the post.  Work him.  Jennings isn’t sacrificing attempts.  Smith isn’t.  Stuckey isn’t. I wonder why.  They all play on the perimeter and get the ball more frequently.  The post player that needs his teammates to feed him is the one who hasn’t gotten the same number of attempts he’s been accustomed to.
      And people blame him for not demanding the ball.  Go figure.

  • Dec 28, 20133:25 pm
    by frankie d


    the monroe-bashing that is happening was entirely predictable. 
    of all the players who were to be impacted by the jennings/smith signings, monroe was easily the player most likely to have his game f–ked up because of smith and jennings arrival.  as someone who operates almost exclusively in the post, he is utterly dependent on guys throwing him the ball once he sets up down low.  if guys do not focus on doing that – and they have not this year, though it is interesting that they have obviously concentrated on featuring smith in the post recently –  then monroe’s game will not be afforded an opportunity to really show itself.
    that reality is so simple, but it seems to be lost on fans.

    • Dec 28, 20133:54 pm
      by Max


      I don’t think I’m down with the Monroe bashing but it did seem to me that Monroe was getting the ball a lot more early in the season, Smith was taking a million threes and the Pistons sucked.   Sometime in the last month though, the team made a concerted effort to get Smith the ball in the post more and the team has looked better from time but generally the team has still sucked.   I would think Monroe’s shots will go up again as the Pistons continue to try and find a winning formula but I think it’s going to be hard to find without a trade.  
      BTW: Like many others, I was right about Trey Burke.   Just a huge mistake by Dumars.   

    • Dec 28, 20136:08 pm
      by Otis


      One major problem with your argument: Moose hardly ever does jack shit to fight for good position down low. Most of the time he just gently leans his shoulder against his man and waves half-heartedly, knowing full well that he doesn’t really want the ball that badly and probably isn’t going to get it. He’s supposed to have the size advantage in almost every matchup, and he exploits it basically never. If he was half the player most people around here think he is, he’d be setting up in the low post as our #1 option, posting up, scoring and passing. He’s just not that guy. Not a leader, not a winner, not worth building around.

  • Dec 28, 20135:25 pm
    by frankie d


    sure.  they have done, with smith, what they should be doing with monroe: posting  him until his man shows he can guard him.  last couple of years monroe routinely beat his man when posted one on one.  there were very few big men who could guard monroe 8-10 feet from the basket, because monroe simply had too many ways to attack, including putting the ball on the floor. his combination of passing, his handle and his ability to finish with either hand made him an impossible man for most bigs to guard.
    now he’s essentially returned to the role he had as a rookie, garbage man.  he gets probably 50% of his shots off of garbage…offensive rebounds, loose balls, errant passes that end up in his hands.
    he simply doesn’t get the opportunity to handle get the ball in an advantageous position, as smith has done the last few weeks, on the blocks.  it is impossible to imagine how his shot attempts will go up, absent moving smith out of the starting lineup or moving smith in a trade.
    which is why it’s been my belief that monroe was being set up to be the fall guy and the guy eventually moved out of town as it has become obvious that the jumbo line up is never going to produce more than a .500 club, at best. 

    • Dec 28, 20136:14 pm
      by Otis


      I replied to your post above, but I’ll say it again here: Greg Monroe has had every opportunity under the sun to step up and elevate this team. Everyone has a thousand bullshit excuses for him, no matter how passive or just plain ineffective he is, so I’m sure you’ll continue to see what you want to see. But if he wanted to be The Man on this team, he’d bust his ass fighting for good position and demanding the ball, and he wouldn’t stop. It’s not on the point guard to dump him the ball possession after possession when he clearly doesn’t want it. Very obviously the main problem with Monroe is that he just isn’t that good. The second problem is that he’s just another center and refuses to expand his game because he’s obviously satisfied with the limited player he is. He doesn’t want to be great. Time to stop making excuses for him and just move on already.

      • Dec 28, 20137:06 pm
        by frankie d


        the problem with your constant anti-monroe arguments is that they just don’t fit the facts. 
        point to another 3-4th  year big man who has put up the kind of numbers he has.
        who is this mythical creature you are describing?
        the only guy who is in the same ball park as monroe is cousins.  there is a real argument to be made that cousins might be a better player, but a pro-monroe argument is also very strong.  so neither side, imho, wins the argument as to which player might be better.  
        the point, however, is that the small universe of players who compare to monroe is essentially, one other guy.  in a business where a player’s value is constantly determined by comparisons, it is extremely hard to take your attempts to diminish monroe as a player seriously.
        he may not be akeem or moses malone or even tim duncan right now. 
        but in today’s nba, he’s a damn good big man and a very, very rare commodity that teams would line up to acquire.
        i will ask for the umpteenth time: name me another team that has traded a guy like monroe in the last 20 years? 
        al jefferson is about the closest and he was not quite a perfect comparison.  and even then, when jefferson was traded, he was traded for an mvp caliber player who immediately led his team to an nba title.
        and when jefferson was traded again, he was traded for 2 number one picks – including a high lottery pick – and a second year, former number one pick.  in other words, a shyteload of talent.
        i’ve never said that monroe, or anyone was untouchable.  but if you are going to trade a guy like monroe, you better get a damn good deal or else you will have sacrificed one of the league’s rarest commodities – a talented seven footer – for peanuts.  
        joe d has been making that kind of trade far too often over the last few years…as we were reminded when afflalo torched our a@@es last night.

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