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Pistons start short road trip in Miami

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (7-10) at Miami Heat (14-3)
  • Date: December 3, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Detroit Pistons will start a fairly small but difficult three-game road trip tonight that has them making stops in three separate states. They will take on the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls in their respective venues.

The matchup against the Bucks probably does not inspire much fear, but Miami and Chicago have been Eastern Conference powerhouses since 2010-11 and as a result, Mo Cheeks’ players will have to bring their best effort.

It all starts tonight in a contest against the defending champions. Miami is flying under the radar this season because of the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers, but they are one of the most balanced teams in the entire league.

They are the proud owners of a top-10 offense and defense, a feat that is reserved for only a handful of teams (the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs are the other units accomplishing this).

Offensively, they are one of the most fun teams to watch in the league. It’s easy to stop at LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but it’s also a mistake. The Heat have superstars to carry them through games but it’s not always a necessity.

Miami is quite comfortable with sharing the ball and playing as a unit until the contributions of the superstars are truly needed. They own the best offensive efficiency in the league because they give up good shots to obtain great ones.

They own the best field goal percentage in the NBA and are amongst the top-five passing teams in the Association. The Heat hunt down 3-point shots and seemingly always create an open look from long range thanks to a combination of execution and misdirection.

Indeed, they will use the same play over and over again and add a few wrinkles every now and then to continuously keep defenses off balance. For instance, they will have Ray Allen set a screen and then receive a back screen of his own to run free for an open jumper.

After using that, they might remove the back screen from the play and just have him drift out towards the perimeter with his man hugging me, which creates a perfect driving lane for the ball-handler.

Miami just always keeps the floor spread out manages to create open looks. Even when the offense takes them all the way to their fifth option on a given play, it’s usually a decent mid-range jumper.

When all the avenues have been exhausted on particular set, Erik Spoelstra simply puts the ball in the hands of LeBron and asks him to bail the team out. James is shooting 59.8 percent from the field this year and in addition, he is making 48.1 percent of his treys.

These factors make Miami a juggernaut with the ball in their hands. Keep in mind, they are just as scary on the other end of the floor.

The Heat play at two different gears defensively and it’s quite misleading. They have a relaxed and controlled level of defense where they wall off the paint and contest shots. That’s good enough to beat most teams in the NBA. That’s their cruise control gear.

When they are playing at their peak, they trap, switch and jump into passing lanes. They force turnovers and stymie opponents trying to get into their sets. Also, Miami has some big wings that can cover point guards and make their lives quite difficult.

Thus, there is a chance that Brandon Jennings will see either Wade or James at some point depending on lineups tonight. The Pistons have a tough battle ahead of them tonight, but they have some of the necessary weapons needed to counter their hosts.

Detroit lacks shooters, however they can make up for that weakness with solid passing. The Heat defenders like to get a jump on their rotations, which makes them prone to ball fakes.

The tandem of Josh Smith and Greg Monroe can definitely help on this front as pressure release points. It will be interesting to see if they can outsmart a team that perfectly blends athleticism, execution and team play on both sides of the ball.

Read about the Heat

Heat Index.

34 Comments

  • Dec 3, 20136:46 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    GO PISTONS! GuaranSheed victory! Stay the course!

    • Dec 3, 20136:57 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Ok who hijacked Otis’ pistonpowered account?? 

    • Dec 3, 20136:59 pm
      by Merwin

      Reply

      :)
      You really are ridiculous.
      :)

    • Dec 3, 20137:42 pm
      by TheBigS

      Reply

      You are hilarious bro

      • Dec 4, 20132:47 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        Thanks guys. Wow it actually worked! haha

        • Dec 4, 20138:04 am
          by Huddy

          Reply

          Maybe your positivity (even sarcastic) is the true key to a pistons win…we’ve unlocked the code

  • Dec 3, 20137:16 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Btw: Lawerance frank fired as an ast.coach….

    • Dec 3, 201310:02 pm
      by Reaction

      Reply

      Probably because he didn’t agree with Kidd’s spill coke move. If you watch the clip of it you can see Frank’s clear disgust.

  • Dec 3, 20139:04 pm
    by haydzzz

    Reply

    Kyle singler playing great and finally knocking down threes, but Greg is just not up to it against Bosh. Every time they do a pick and roll against him Bosh is wide open. Greg needs to start hitting the legs at the gym lol

  • Dec 3, 20139:27 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    KABOOOOM! this is unexpected!! we are leading by 17pts!
    go for the upset!

  • Dec 3, 20139:37 pm
    by haydzzz

    Reply

    Monroes defense is disgusting

  • Dec 3, 20139:38 pm
    by curriergroh

    Reply

    Pistons doing their best Lions impression.
    6:16 4th

  • Dec 3, 20139:42 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Choke time

  • Dec 3, 20139:44 pm
    by curriergroh

    Reply

    Is that 3 shot clock violations in the 4th?
    This is horrible.  They play they keep running is called -
    Stuckey Bowling.

  • Dec 3, 20139:45 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    Mo Smennings is losing the game for us. 
    What kind of 4th quarter offense refuses to feed a dominant post player. Why is Jennings pounding the ball around and throwing it away to Josh Smith and Rodney Stuckey everytime.

  • Dec 3, 20139:51 pm
    by jinzzy

    Reply

    monroe is the only person not playing defence

  • Dec 3, 20139:51 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    Smennings redeemed themselves with those steals! Hopefully they can keep this win and learn how to play smarter for all 4 quarters the rest of this year!

  • Dec 3, 20139:52 pm
    by curriergroh

    Reply

    The talent just showed up.  Would love to see that used more often.

  • Dec 3, 20139:54 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    now they’re looking for Monroe… that’s smart
     

  • Dec 3, 201310:02 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Very proud of the Pistons they played poised a lot of teams would have folded against The Heat on the road when they made their rub but the Pistons just kept responding….. I’m sure Tim will find something negative to say about Jennings but he really managed the game well

  • Dec 3, 201310:02 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    Good win for Drumroe… Smennings redeemed themselves after almost giving it away. Good team win, good timeout and regroup and strategy shift by Mo Cheeks. 
    Maybe there is hope for this team?

    • Dec 3, 201311:11 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      at the team has talent, as mismatched as it is.
      smennings almost blew it, but they held it together enough to pull it out.
      one other factor: josh smith is one of the few guys in the league who is not intimidated by lebron.  so when lebron starts puffing up and doing his big bad wolf thing, smith just keeps playing.  and while lebron had a good game and a decent second half, he never got into that beast mode where it looks like he is just doing what he wants to do – of course with the help of the refs.
      but smith and every one else never allowed him to gear up to that level and the win was, imho, largely because of that.  pistons’ fans have seen too many games where lebron just starts taking over the game and basically playing like he is out there by himself.  that did not happen tonight and i think one – even a confirmed josh smith critic like me – has to give credit where credit is due.
       

      • Dec 4, 20137:36 am
        by oats

        Reply

        I like that narrative and really hope it is right. I’m also unconvinced. No one can go off every night. LeBron didn’t exactly go into beast mode against Brooklyn in that loss, and I don’t think that was Paul Pierce stopping him. His worst game of the season was against the Hawks who defended him with Demarre Carrol and Mike Scott. I guess the Heat didn’t need a good LeBron game against the Hawks, but it should be noted that his bad game is unrelated to who is guarding him. Detroit ran into a rather typical LeBron performance. I don’t know if Smith deserves any credit for LeBron not going into beast mode when that mode is extremely rare even for guys like LeBron to hit. It could just be as simple as LeBron not feeling it enough to get to that point.

        • Dec 4, 201312:46 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          I dunno…seen too many det/lebron games where he starts puffing his chest out and guys get out of his way.  Didnt happen last night.  Dont ghink it was a  coincidence.

        • Dec 4, 20134:42 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          Btw…lebron is a transparent bully.  When he sees that he can punk a player/team, he plays with a tangible hostility.  But when a player and team stand up to him physically he plays in a very different way.  Pierce has always played him extremely tough for that reason.  Carrol is very underrated.  He is fearless and is very willing to stick his nose anywhere.
           

  • Dec 3, 201310:06 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Dre with 18 boards with major foul trouble. The kid had 6 boards in the first 3 minutes of the game but also racked up 2 fouls so he had to sit. If he can keep his fouls down this season I can see him getting a 30+ rebound game. Good win and good contributions from everyone.

    • Dec 3, 201311:00 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      but he was aggressive with the foul they were not ticky tac weak reach in fouls…he was attempting to block shots which we need

  • Dec 3, 201310:56 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    jennings had many turnovers today.. smith shot selection is really bad… alot of outside shots!
     
    but we won… because we played good 1-3 quarters! way to go! im happy for this win! i’ll take it!

  • Dec 3, 201310:58 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    its amazing what we can do with some outside shooting

  • Dec 3, 201311:26 pm
    by Big moose 4 life

    Reply

    Anyone think we can land granger from Indy …seems like they don’t need him 

    • Dec 4, 201312:00 am
      by Matt

      Reply

      Frank Vogel says hes still a long way from returning. I doubt he’ll play well if he even plays this year. My suspicion is he’ll play for real until around the all star break. He may play before then but I bet these injuries will continue plus his conditioning isn’t where it should be. If Charlie V is all it took we would listen but man those injuries. Joe D doesn’t like in season trades to start with and it would take Charlie V and more to match that salary. He makes $14,021,788 and I don’t think we have the players to match that. That would be both Stuckey and Charlie V. I think those 2 would best be used on others like Aaron Afflalo or Gordon Heyword.

      • Dec 4, 20138:06 am
        by oats

        Reply

        Since when does Dumars not like in season trades? The trade that got the team over the top, the Sheed trade, was an in season move. The trade that started the team’s descent, the Iverson trade, was also an in season move. The Calderon trade was an in season deal done just last year. For years the team would have only 14 guys on the roster to start the season, and the justification for it was to have an open roster spot in case an in season trade came around that required the team to take on more guys than it sent out. I see very little evidence that Dumars is any more adverse to the in season deal than the average GM. Well, I guess there is the years of inactivity that would suggest that Dumars just doesn’t like trades at all, but everything done outside of that long trade drought suggests that isn’t accurate.
         
         
        As for the salaries, don’t worry about trying to make it match all that closely. There are a lot of trades that don’t involve Stuckey that make it work. I would think long and hard about a CV and JJ for Granger trade. CV is dead weight on an expiring deal, and Granger is also on an expiring deal. JJ is a decent player, but he’s basically an energy guy and I wouldn’t mind giving that role to Mitchell instead. JJ is also on the books for another year after this, so it actually means the team would have more cap space next year. If Granger is at all productive this year then that trade would be good for Detroit, and if he isn’t then they didn’t really sacrifice much and still improved their cap space for next season. I don’t know if Indiana would be willing to take on salary as part of moving Granger, even if it is just the $4 million that JJ is owed next year. Still, that’s the one Granger trade I would definitely do. The other one I would consider is CV and Harrelson. That involves Detroit taking on nearly $4 million in salary this year, but it sends out very little talent to take a flyer on Granger. I believe that will work as of the 15th of December.

  • Dec 4, 20132:38 pm
    by Matt

    Reply

    Last years Calderone trade seemed more of a salary dump than anything but smart move so I’ll give it to him. His last one before then 2009 the Afflalo trade and just before was the Amir trade both offseason salary dumps. I was more judging on his more recent history. Your right though it could go either way 06 and before he always traded for decent role players. As for Sheed I just don’t see still giving him credit for a trade that happened 10 years ago when his last meaningful trade was November 2008 and that was terrible. I also don’t see one of the best teams in the NBA Indiana trading Granger, a good player with a huge expiring deal, for a few awful players with expiring deals. They’re great now and have no need to dump Grangers contract. Its OK to disagree its just how I feel. I honesty think its 50/50 this year. I think Dumars will ask too much for Monroe and the deadline will sneak past him.

    • Dec 4, 20132:39 pm
      by Matt

      Reply

      Sorry that was for Oats I thought I hit reply.

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