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Pistons too deep for disinterested, Dwyane Wade-less Heat

Detroit Pistons 107 Final
Recap | Box Score
97 Miami Heat
Greg Monroe, PF 37 MIN | 8-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 16 PTS | +11

Whether working with or without the ball, Monroe consistently established shooting position deep in the paint. In fact, all 10 of his shots came in the paint. The undersized Heat did their best to swat at the ball when Monroe had it, but he showed off his improved core strength to keep them at bay. Monroe looked bad defensively, but he was often guarding perimeter players – obviously not his forte. Monroe’s defensive issues seemed mostly due to a gameplan that put him in position to fail (though maybe a gameplan that sacrificed Monroe on defense to avoid greater problems on that end).

Josh Smith, SF 39 MIN | 7-21 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +3

Shots. So many shots. Smith made just 1-of-10 attempts beyond seven feet, a mark that is dreadful for both the volume and quality of his jumpers. Smith defended well, but his performance on that end fell short of the of the high bar that convinces coaches to look past his poor shot selection.

Andre Drummond, C 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-6 FT | 18 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -2

Drummond had a few 50-50 calls go against him, and that led to him fouling out. Before that, he rebounded like crazy, especially offensively, and provided plus defense. Drummond has to be more careful about avoiding fouls. He’s too good to get trapped on the bench, even if he didn’t necessarily deserve it.

Brandon Jennings, PG 44 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 7 TO | 15 PTS | +3

Jennings often over-dribbled, which resulted in most of his season-high seven turnovers. Those were problematic, but they didn’t define Jennings’ performance. He got to the rim effectively and made 2-of-4 3-pointers. He also used his quick hands to make up for otherwise-pedestrian defense, most memorably late in the fourth quarter as Detroit prevented a Miami comeback. LeBron James drove on a fastbreak, but Jennings made a quick swipe as LeBron rose to finish. Then, Jennings got the ball upcourt in a hurry for a Monroe layup.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 20 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +13

Caldwell-Pope started very aggressively, making 3-of-4 shots in the first five minutes, by cutting harder off the ball than he usually does. Then, he faded into the background.

Josh Harrellson, PF 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +5

Harrellson didn’t really play like himself. He drove from beyond the arc right through the Miami defense, and he also attempted a mid-range jumper. On defense, he covered LeBron on the perimeter, and LeBron took a 3-pointer. All three shots missed, probably a decent tradeoff.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 10 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +4

Jerebko was very active and shot well. Offensive and defensively, I was quite pleased with him. He’s knocking on the door of getting another chance at a bigger role.

Kyle Singler, SF 27 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +9

A few days ago, Maurice Cheeks told Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

“As NBA players, you make shots,” Cheeks said. “I think we have enough guys with the capability to make shots. As I said before the game, we will make shots. It’s a matter of time.”

Cheeks added: “We’ll make them at some point.”

Singler rewarded Cheeks’ confidence by making 4-of-7 3-pointers, leading Detroit’s 7-for-16 night from beyond the arc. That brings the number of Pistons making 3s at better than the league-average clip to… one – Rodney Stuckey, a notoriously bad outside shooter who would be below average had he missed one more of his small sample of 3s. Only one current Piston has a career 3-point percentage above the current league-wide season average, and that’s Chauncey Billups, who’s both injured and past his prime. Long story short, Singler’s and Detroit’s outside shooting against Miami was impressive, but it wasn’t encouraging – and there’s a difference. That Singler, now up to 29 percent for the season, is one of the Pistons’ top 3-point shooters says more about them than him.

Rodney Stuckey, SG 33 MIN | 4-9 FG | 8-8 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 16 PTS | +4

Stuckey is not shy about attacking nearly every time he gets the ball. That led to plenty of free throws, shots near the basket and turnovers. In this game, and most games lately, those positive outcomes far outweigh the negative ones. Stuckey also got a few assists by faking a drive to create passing lanes.

Maurice Cheeks

I don’t think Cheeks was the catalyst for this win. The Heat had a ton of unforced turnovers and missed many open 3-pointers they’d typically make. But the Pistons did a good job of generating fastbreak opportunities (15 fastbreak points) and quality looks in semi-transition (60 points in the paint) even though Miami sacrifices offensive rebounds to get back on defense. Cheeks’ style is really beginning to take hold, and that particularly shows in games like this one, when no single player dominates.

77 Comments

  • Dec 4, 20136:41 am
    by Derek AKA Redeemed

    Reply

    Quality win!!  We showed some steps in the right direction with that fast start jumping out on the back to back champs.  In the past we’ve fallen behind to the better teams then made a comeback that falls short.  OR  We’ve gotten out to big leads then folded down the stretch.
     
    When the Heat made that run in the 4th I was like, “aw man here we go again”.  When we met them with a few defensive stands and a huge desperation three I was like, “ah yeah here we go”.  lol.  I smelled the home cooking on a few of those fouls called on Drummond.  For me the worse one was when Lebron dropped his shoulder like Adrian Peterson and ran Drummond over to foul him out.  Serious?  Plays like that from Stuckey result in offensive fouls, one of which was drawn by Lebron flopping around like a fish.
     
    We need to string together some wins and do so against the better teams.  I hope this is a momentum builder.  I give a lot of credit to Stuckey for continuing to stay agressive with his drives to the basket.  At some point I’d like to see him get the benefit of the calls with all the contact he’s drawing.

  • Dec 4, 20136:47 am
    by Lethal Leeroy

    Reply

    I can’t actually see these grades on my iPhone but wow, there are way too many negatives in this piece it’s tiring me out!! I agree with the sentiment that we still need to be better, but we just beat the champs on their home floor and not many teams can or will say that. I know Miami weren’t at their best, but you have to think that Joe put these pieces together to beat the best in the East. We did. Only once. But we did. This squad will take confidence in the way they jumped out, stayed ahead and then held their nerve (just) in the 4th. It might light the fuse on their season… it might not. But some credit where it’s due man!

    • Dec 4, 201311:43 am
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      Yes, the Pistons join the upper echelon of team that have wins over the Heat. The other members are Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Boston.

      Good win and all, but don’t make too much of it.

  • Dec 4, 20136:59 am
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    oh the Heat were disinterested… oh the Heat had tons of unforced turnovers ….oh the Heat missed open 3 pointers that they typically make. Dude the Pistons outplayed them and they won; Easy as that! Give them credit for god’s sake. 

    • Dec 4, 20137:33 am
      by TheBigS

      Reply

      YES! I know that this was not the best Heat team but they still showed up to play. The Pistons actually outplayed them. Drummond was a beast and got 18 REB in 23 minutes! No Piston had a spectacular game,  but all most of them played half decently, at least enough to beat the defending champs Heat

    • Dec 4, 20138:22 am
      by oats

      Reply

      I don’t know how to talk about that game without mentioning the fact that the Heat were off. They came out a little flat and were just a bit off pretty much the entire game. Sure, they had some runs in there, but more often than not they just weren’t playing up to their usual standards. They are a good enough team to often steal wins despite coming out a little flat, and Detroit does deserve some credit for not letting the Heat do that to them. It was still a good win for Detroit. The Pistons did outplay the Heat last night, but if Dan doesn’t bring up the fact that the Heat were off their game then he isn’t really explaining what happened in that game.

      • Dec 4, 201312:30 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Great post, but the Heat didn’t come out “a little flat” and they weren’t “just a bit off.” They came out flatter than any team I’ve ever seen in the last five years outside of the Pistons. They had no energy or passion, unforced turnovers (which we matched because we aren’t very good, not because of one sloppy game) and they missed a jaw-dropping number of open threes. Not because we defended the three point line at all, but just because they missed wide open looks. Over and over and over again. For most of the game the Heat looked like one of the worst basketball teams I’ve ever seen, and not because the Pistons were doing anything especially impressive to slow them down.

        • Dec 4, 20131:37 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          I’ll admit that I may have been underselling it, but I’ve definitely seen teams play worse ball. The Heat definitely didn’t look like one of the worst basketball teams I’ve ever seen. Have you paid attention to the Pistons the last few years when they had off games? It was downright hard to watch at times. I also happen to midway between DC and Charlotte, so there have been some real stinkers on TV that I couldn’t make myself sit through for long. James alone guaranteed the Heat wouldn’t hit that kind of low, but Ray Allen was solid and Michael Beasley had a bizarrely productive game. They at least vaguely resembled an NBA team.

          • Dec 4, 20132:51 pm
            by Otis

            Vaguely.

    • Dec 4, 201312:25 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      God damn, Brandon. It’s not “easy as that.” The Heat (minus their second best player) sleepwalked through the entire first half, then made a blisteringly effortless comeback to cut a 16 point deficit to 3 in a flash with enough time left to win, then just got about 1% too cocky to finish the job. If they played the last four minutes like this was a game they needed to win and had to work for, the Pistons lose. Easy as that.

  • Dec 4, 20138:14 am
    by Aaron

    Reply

    The team needs to come up with a second option in the 4th quarter.   The offence is extremely stagnant late in games, when it turns into the ‘hand it off to Stuckey and everyone stand around and watch’ portion of the game.   Most of the times, there weren’t even any kind of cutters, it was just everyone watching.   If the Pistons are going to be able to close out games (last night was great, but lucky), that aspect has to improve.

    • Dec 4, 20139:20 am
      by Patti #1

      Reply

      Agree with your comment.  To describe Jennings as over dribbling is accurate, but does not take into account his obvious frustration with the lack of movement from rest of team.  Pistons were forced into half court game and everyone stood around.  The entire team needs more work together in this area.  Nobody is to blame and everybody is to blame…just needs to be resolved for them to close out games better.  Otherwise, that was sure fun to watch them win that one.  Great effort from the “team”.

  • Dec 4, 20138:33 am
    by Dave

    Reply

    What a disappointing title to this story. We beat Miami in Miami by more points then all of their other losses this season combined and you do your very best to downplay it and make excuses for the Heat. This is a Pistons site right?

    • Dec 4, 201311:45 am
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      Being disinterested is an excuse?

      • Dec 4, 20132:24 pm
        by Dave

        Reply

        Yes, that’s exactly what it is and maybe more accuaretely it’s written to marginalize our win. Karl Malone was banged up in the 2004 finals and Kobe/Shaq were fighting, does that mean the best headline would have been,  ”Pistons defeat ailing, feuding Lakers”

        • Dec 4, 20132:41 pm
          by Tim Thielke

          Reply

          Right, because so many fans are okay with it when their teams lose because they are disinterested…

          Come on, dude, it does marginalize the win a little; but, if anything, it makes the loss for the Heat worse.

          Sure, the headline would have been fine if it read “Pistons defeat ailing, feuding Lakers: WIN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!” Are you disappointed that this one doesn’t include the clause “WIN NBA REGULAR SEASON GAME!!!!!”?

          Look, the Pistons played a good game, but not an incredible one. The title of the article describes the biggest reasons for the game’s outcome. When you write an article, you can choose what you feel like emphasizing. You could write “Josh Harrellson blocks a shot as Pistons down defending champs” or whatever.

    • Dec 4, 201312:32 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Dave, the word you’re looking for to describe this title is “accurate.” “What an accurate title.” Whoever wrote this headline should win a Pulitzer for not being duped into thinking this was an especially impressive win. The Pistons came out and did their jobs. The Heat did not.

  • Dec 4, 20138:43 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Beasley dropped 20 a season high not a typical game for him, without him the Pistons run the heat out of their own building….. the heat were off and missed open looks…but that sounds like most NBA teams including us…. 
     
     

  • Dec 4, 20138:52 am
    by mixmasta

    Reply

    The Heat were off and still got credit?
    If the Pistons were off, they don’t get some credit.
    Oh I forgot, this Pistons site don’t give credit to their own team!
    Talk about a fan site.

    • Dec 4, 201311:46 am
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      Who is giving the Heat any credit for their play in this game?

  • Dec 4, 20138:59 am
    by acr

    Reply

    It was pretty at times, ugly in the 4th quarter (and Cheeks and the players know it based on their post game quotes) – but a win is a win.  Now they need another one tonight in Milwaukee.
     

  • Dec 4, 20139:12 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I said it before I’m proud that we didn’t fold during the heats run, we do give up more three point looks than we should but that’s a price we will continue to pay when we have Drummond, smith, and Monroe in the game together

    • Dec 4, 201312:33 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Yes. A terrible, pointless price that makes no sense and isn’t worth it.

      • Dec 4, 201312:44 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        I agree… but alot that has to do with Greg rotations…..and too much zone to protect him…
         

        • Dec 4, 20132:53 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Can’t wait until the deadline passes and we commit to this thing for the long haul. The next four years will look exactly like the last four, only with four or five more wins a year.

  • Dec 4, 20139:25 am
    by jg22

    Reply

    It always amazes me to read these grades and have such a different perspective of the game than you. I thought Harrellson gave us some great minutes early on when Drummond got in foul trouble. Couldn’t have asked for more out of him.
     
    I also thought Smith was way better than you gave him credit for. I don’t get the constant Smith hate around town, its not just here but everywhere. You would think we are the Spurs or something, the way fans expect perfect offensive basketball from every player. That’s not what the Pistons are, and never has been. This franchise was built on winning ugly, with players whose impact on games defy the statsheets. So I simply don’t get why Pistons fans are so quick to nitpick his game, but I for one am enjoying watching him play, so I don’t really care.
     
    To comment on why he shoots so much though, its obviously because of the position he’s playing. If you play him at SF in a lineup with Jennings and KCP as the only shooters, and then tell Jennings not to shoot and only be a distributor, and tell Smith not to shoot either, what is he going to do only pass to KCP and have a rookie who’s a 35% shooter taking every jumpshot?
     
    Obviously in that starting lineup, unless you want Jennings shooting instead of passing, Smith NEEDS to take jumpshots if you are going to play him at SF. Its not difficult to understand. And instead of pretending he was so awful because of his misses, you need to realize that even the misses are beneficial. Someone on team has to take jumpshots in the starting lineup to keep the defense honest. Even if he  doesn’t make them, its still better than not taking any and being totally precictable going inside every time. 
     
     

    • Dec 4, 201310:12 am
      by mixmasta

      Reply

      I guess the only way that SMITH and JENNINGS get A+ is when they are on the bench.

    • Dec 4, 201310:21 am
      by T Casey

      Reply

      Who said Smith was awful? He got a C. If he didn’t take so may bad shots, or at least made more of them, his score would’ve been higher, but he didn’t so it detracts from his score.
      Also, many of his forced jumpers came early in the shot clock where there were still better options the team could’ve exercized.

    • Dec 4, 201310:29 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Drummond played 23 minutes and Smith played a lot less time at SF than yout defense of him recognizes.  Smith does need to shoot some outside, especially when he is at the SF, but he almost never takes it inside and he has plenty of opportunity on nights when Drummond is in foul trouble.  He shot like that at PF for ATL and he shoots like that at PF here even when players like KCP and Singler are having good shooting games and can handle spreading the floor.  In general when he is at SF he does need to do some shooting to make the starting line up work, but that accounts for half the game(and less when Drummond has fouls issues).  Monroe needs to get the ball more down low and yes a rookie shooting 35% or Singler or Stuckey need more touches moving the ball around because they need to hit shots for the team to win. The team definitely won’t win consistently with smith shooting 7/21 on a regular basis, but they have a chance to be consistent if others improve and get involved with the offense.
       
      theres a big difference between needing to take some jump shots and going 7/21 on the night, especially if that jump shooting is only opening up the middle enough for Monroe to take 10 shots.  His jump shooting isn’t creating balance and allowing for an inside game, it is dominating the offense.

    • Dec 4, 201311:56 am
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      Let’s put it this way:

      If Smith is wide open and there’s not a really obvious better shot around, he should take it (unless he is just inside the 3 point arc, in which case he should step back and then take it).

      But Smith should never be taking mid to long range jumpers when guarded (unless it’s a desperation heave or something). Much better to throw it into the paint and let somebody try to hit a predictable attempt against a mass of bodies from a couple feet away.

      The problem is that Smith doesn’t seem to much care whether he is wide open or not.

      This same principle should apply to Jennings and Stuckey except that I’m okay with Jennings taking shots when he’s not quite as open–still able to get off a clean look, but if someone is closing on him, that doesn’t necessarily mean he shouldn’t be taking the shot.

      • Dec 4, 201312:17 pm
        by jamesjones_det

        Reply

        Totally agree with your statement. 
         
        Smith’s outside shot selection so far this year has been like a turnover, very low percentage and often with a lot of time left on the shot clock.

    • Dec 4, 201312:39 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      I generally agree with this. I thought Smith sent a message early that Lebron was going to have to work to earn his paycheck, and it seemed to do the trick. I seem to remember a similar type of performance when he shut down ‘Melo and his grade was better than a C. If the win is the most important stat and Smith negated the best player in the world, I think a B- is more appropriate. It’ll look better when he goes and shows his parents.
       
      Generally, I think Smith needs to be reined in. Ans last night probably isn’t an exception. He’s fun to watch because he’s active and occasionally dazzling, but he could be all those things PLUS smart and efficient. It’s not too much to ask. I agree that his position dictates his style of play to a degree, and have always felt he’s better off, for that and many other reasons, at the four. Still have no idea how we can pay him so much to be a sub-par three.

      • Dec 4, 20131:50 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        LeBron put up a 23, 5 and 6. That’s reasonably close to his season average of 26, 6, and 6. How much credit should Smith get for holding LeBron to his average game?

        • Dec 4, 20132:58 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Note that I said he sent a message “early.” I didn’t think he gave LBJ much of a chance to get into a rhythm. But compared to the feast Lebron usually has against us, I’d say holding him to an average game is an accomplishment. James also had six turnovers, so he can’t have been especially comfortable. It’s not like I’m falling off my chair applauding the guy, but I thought he did a good job last night.

        • Dec 4, 20135:09 pm
          by Merwin

          Reply

          My god Oats!  Otis said something that wasn’t unbelievably, horribly negative and you criticized him for it.  Arg!

          • Dec 4, 20138:05 pm
            by frankie d

            lol!!!!
            my sentiments exactly!
            for once, i was nodding my head in agreement with otis.  think he is exactly right about smith.
            when they signed him, the one redeeming factor was that i’d seen smith play lebron tough over the years and was looking forward to seeing him do the same thing in a pistons’ uniform.
            for once, we had someone on our team who would go head up with The King.  even though i wish smith was gone yesterday, it was still nice to see that.

  • Dec 4, 20139:37 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    @jg very true…..if Greg isn’t going to shoot them, and teams are backing off Smith so he has to take them of pass up the shot he can force drives when the defense is playing off of him…. now he does take some bad shots that are quick but those are not the majority 

    • Dec 4, 201310:30 am
      by jamesjones_det

      Reply

      I would agree when he’s playing SF that he has to take some (some), however last night and several other nights he shoots outside jumpers at about the same rate whether he’s playing the 3 or 4.  The majority of his shoots in the 3rd were outside jumpers and Drummond was on the bench.
       
      I honestly don’t think it will mater which position he plays he’s going to jack up a lot of shots, just take a look at how he played the for in Atlanta.

      • Dec 4, 201310:31 am
        by jamesjones_det

        Reply

        should read: “how he played the four in Atlanta”

    • Dec 4, 20138:10 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      can’t you see that smith is open for a reason?
      teams tilt their defenses so that he will be open and then they just give token pressure.  good teams bait him into taking that shot because he shoots such an abysmal percentage.  
      if detroit simply lets him take that shot because the d is giving it to him they are letting the other team’s defense dictate their offense.  smith is a good enough ball handler – though not as good as he thinks he is – and a good enough passer to put the ball on the floor and make a play because defenses are usually distorted a bit because they are baiting him into taking the shot.  he needs to put the ball on the floor, make the defense commit to guarding the lane and then make a pass to a shooter on the perimeter who will probably be wide open.  
      a shooter not named josh smith.

  • Dec 4, 20139:38 am
    by Brigs

    Reply

    Hey Otis is it ok to be a lil optimistic now? 

    • Dec 4, 201310:25 am
      by jamesjones_det

      Reply

      First win against a +.500 team but they were down a man.  I would be mildly optimistic but really it’s hard to get too excited about this game.

      • Dec 4, 201311:46 am
        by Brigs

        Reply

        Yea buddy that’s y I said a LIL as in short for little

        • Dec 4, 201312:20 pm
          by jamesjones_det

          Reply

          I was agreeing, I mostly was posting out thoughts to temper my own optimism :)

          • Dec 4, 201312:44 pm
            by Brigs

            I don’t think there’s anything wrong for having some optimism, I mean this is the first time in five years where we weren’t already 10 games under .500. Plus we have exciting young players who all could get even better. Joe d is smart if this team is around .500 at the trade deadline I would definetly look to him to swing a trade or two, even a small one to get us a better fitting player would go a long way on this team.

    • Dec 4, 201312:41 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Not even a little. Are you being sarcastic? The Heat played like zombies for 45/48 minutes.

      • Dec 4, 201312:46 pm
        by Brigs

        Reply

        i was expecting u to say something like that but it’s ok a win is a win and more importantly I called it for u on the last post so my hopes for 3 game winning streak are still intact

        • Dec 4, 20133:01 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          I get that you just want wins and think wins mean something. That’s fine. It takes all kinds. But nobody watching that game last night would say that the Heat played hard or that the Pistons should be especially proud of that win. The Heat gift wrapped that game for them like a Hanukkah present.

          • Dec 4, 20133:32 pm
            by Brigs

            R u retarded? seriously do u have mental issues? I mean why else do they play other then to win, what because Miami didn’t play up to their standards we are supposed to play worse then them. You make absolutely no sense 

          • Dec 4, 201310:10 pm
            by Max

            The reason to be a lil’ optimistic is that Drummond is on a tear right now that could represent a breakthrough.   Forgetting about wins and losses, I get a little optimistic when my 20 year old center is starting to look like he could lead the league in rebounding in dominating fashion.  

  • Dec 4, 201310:23 am
    by jamesjones_det

    Reply

    I have a hard time liking Smith, I’ve always thought he shot too much but now that he’s on our team I just can’t stand him on offense.  I feel like anytime he takes a shot 18+ feet away he might as well just hand the ball to the defense and say have a nice day.
     
    Smith, please for the love of <insert god here> stop shooting outside of 18 when there is still plenty of time on the shot clock.

  • Dec 4, 201310:26 am
    by T Casey

    Reply

    Good game overall. The key to our team’s success will be guard play. The bigs will do their damage most nights, but, when the guards can consistently play well to compliment them, they’ll be a team very few want to face.

  • Dec 4, 201311:06 am
    by GabruGulabVarga

    Reply

    Can you post these grades on the same night after the game? Sucks having to wait until the next morning. 

    • Dec 4, 201312:44 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Second this. You’ll get a lot more traffic, more interested and detailed comments. I think everyone will have a lot more to say and be more interested in discussion same day. Seems like it’s only asking the minimum for a dedicated Pistons blog.

  • Dec 4, 201311:25 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    Good win! If it was just because they matched up well with Miami, and Miami missed shots, good win.
    If they won because they started guarding the 3 point line instead of cheating off, then GREAT win, sustainable win.
    Smennings almost lost it for us, but they came through with the key steals. Now if Smith can cut the stupid shots, and Jennings can keep putting the team first on offense… We’ve got something.

    • Dec 4, 201312:43 pm
      by zdwtr

      Reply

      I dont like the word smennings, makes jennings transformation as an assist driven pg unnoticeable

  • Dec 4, 201311:25 am
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    Good win by the Pistons.  I can see that Jennings is starting to take over.  You see the growing pains right now with the overdribbling but as he continues to get better as the leader, I think you will see him getting people in the right places on the floor and Cheeks will allow him to call the plays down the stretch.   Right now I believe that the key is Cheeks and somehow he has to get Josh to trust Jennings a bit more to direct him to better spots on the floor to jack up those shots.  Once they can establish that then we can perform some damage control on Josh Smith’s shot selection.  There is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained.  We need him to hoist those shots and on the nights he is making them its fine, but on the nights he’s off after about the 4th miss then Jennings needs to be able to direct him on the floor without taking away too much of Smith’s freedom. 

  • Dec 4, 201311:51 am
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    When Miami went on that run in the 4th, I almost turned it off, because I had see the team loose so many games in the same way the last couple of years.
    Every possession was the same, stand at the time line dribbling until the shot clock got down to 6 seconds, then either try to drive to the basket and take a bad shot or pass the ball and have someone else do the same thing.  While the lead was dissapearing very quickly, I thought Mo should have called at least one time out too.
    Hopefully the way they gutted it out this game shows us that this team is better than last years team and that they are on their way to learning how to win more games like this one.

  • Dec 4, 201312:12 pm
    by RalphHau

    Reply

    I thought we won last night?  Looking at the grades given out by Dan Feldman it would seem to indicate that we lost.  The team was graded as “mediocre,” at best.  I don’t believe you win against the Heat with a mediocre performance.  I call for a re-score!

    • Dec 4, 201312:43 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      A majority B’s with a couple of A’s, and 1 C and D apiece isn’t mediocre. That’s pretty damn good. Which is what the Pistons were last night. I will agree that a few of the critiques were a bit unrealistic imo, but the overall grades seemed to reflect the teams play pretty well imo.

    • Dec 4, 201312:46 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      @Ralph: “I don’t believe you win against the Heat with a mediocre performance.”
       
      You just demonstrated that you did not watch the game. The Heat looked like every one of their fathers just died.

    • Dec 4, 20131:21 pm
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      As T Casey pointed out, the grades were definitely above mediocre. If you took an average grade of the players (weighted by how many minutes they played), you get a “GPA” of just over 3. That puts them a full letter grade above mediocre.

  • Dec 4, 20131:18 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    I was almost going to say “first and foremost, the Pistons played well.” Truly. Part of me wants to say that and get it out of the way. But I think anyone who watched that game will tell you that the most important fact by a mile is that the Heat came out like they hated basketball and didn’t want to play. I don’t know if Arnie Kander brewed them some herbal tea as a gesture of friendship and crushed a thousand valiums into it, but that’s basically what it looked like. They came out so flat it was unbelievable. One of the flattest performances by an NBA team I can remember, and I’ve watched almost every Pistons game over the past five years. So to ignore that would be absurd. And when the Heat came back, BOY did they make it easy. Trimmed that lea down to a one possession game with plenty of time to win it, but they got too cocky, took it for granted, and in the end it felt like the Pistons (after leading most of the game by 10-16 pts) somehow stole it. So yeah, that was probably the worst game Miami plays all year.
     
    Now, with that out of the way: The Pistons played a good game. Haven’t been too many of them this season, so credit where it’s due. This wasn’t a game they were supposed to win, but they came out with good energy. As usual, they didn’t defend the three point line at all, but they didn’t pay for it. It’s funny how their three point defense statistically improved drastically in that first quarter, but nobody barely even got a hand up on those shooters. The shots just didn’t fall. Game looks a lot different if just one or two of those early open threes falls. And I know people say that about the Pistons, but the Pistons don’t have established shooters and a track record of making those shots, so you can’t bank on them falling. The Heat do.
     
    Speaking of which, this blather about Cheeks’ BS go-to line about how the shots fall or they don’t and tonight for Kyle they did. Give me a break. We’re fast approaching the 25% mark and Kyle drains four threes. Whoop-dee-doo. This team doesn’t have established, proven NBA shooters and will revert to the mean. You can’t bank on any of the guys we brought in this summer, so Kyle was our most trustworthy, proven shooter anyways. Which is as pathetic as it sounds.
     
    I’m not surprised to look at the grades and see that basically everyone had pretty exemplary numbers. They didn’t choke, they stepped up to the champs, did some good things and generally played solid basketball. But these grades make it look like they really got it going and hammered the champs. That was not the case. The Heat didn’t have a pulse outside of a three minute stretch where they absolutely imposed their will with such ease it was scary. They just didn’t finish it off. When the lead was down to 3, they settled for jumpers like the game was already theirs. If they played with a shred more urgency at any point during that shitfest, it’s a win. If Wade played five minutes instead of zero, it’s a win. I don’t remember the last time I watched a team trail by double digits for basically the entire game and felt like they let it slip away at the end.
     
    As for individuals, I do think Josh was graded too harshly. I liked the way he came out early and defended Lebron. I think Smith has the potential to shut down bigger threes like he did to ‘Melo, and that could be useful if this team ever downsizes and trades guys like Moose and Stuckey for long-term answers. Definitely would have given him some sort of B grade, since the team got the almighty win. Surprise surprise, I don’t know why Monroe gets a pass for his horrific perimeter defense. He’s going to have to wander out there all the time as a PF. You can’t pretend it’s not part of the job description, and his defense was just awful. Some kind of B for him too. The five assists (which I haven’t seen from him in a while) stands out more than anything. Looks a lot better than his usual two assists to go with the three requisite turnovers. I won’t nitpick any of the other grades, but reading this recap you’d think there never was a blistering comeback in the fourth for which somebody on the Pistons should be held accountable. Anybody who’s rooting for this team to win probably shit their pants and rightfully so. The Heat were their own worst enemy tonight. No doubt about that.
     
    Side note: If I were a team in the East with championship aspirations, I might actually come out against the Pistons just like this. Give Dumars some fuel for keeping this wretched mix of mismatched mishmash together past the deadline, dupe Gores into thinking it’s a good team because he doesn’t know anything about the game of basketball except that it’s going to lose him a lot of money, and make sure they never transform this team into something that will legitimately threaten in the East. Not saying that was the plan, but it might not be a bad plan. If this team got a good return for Monroe and Stuckey by February, they could be a FORCE. I don’t think anyone in the East wants that. They like the Pistons just the way they are.

    • Dec 4, 20132:42 pm
      by DetroitP

      Reply

      I feel ya, but he has to grade on how the Heat played too.  They played bad, we played pretty good for what they did.  Grades have to be high, we just beat the back to back champs by ten in their place with a bunch of young 20 year olds.  I’d say the grades were good.  If the Heat hit some more shots yeah the defense was bad, but they didn’t and he has to grade on what happened.  
       
      Just curiosity, what do you want Joey D to do.  Obviously you absolutely hate the 23 year old who has a great post game, excellent passer, getting better on defense, good free throw shooter (minus one game this season) team guy, so who do you want?  I still want this team to ride it out until the deadline and see what we can do.  

      • Dec 4, 20133:08 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        For Moose I’d like a two-way wing player and/or a pick. Most of all I’d like to avoid handing him a max contract so that he can play out of position and slide Smith out of position. If you love Moose and want to marry him, you should point the finger at Joe for bringing Smith in who will do nothing but create problems for everyone’s Drumroe fantasy. But Smith is here and we already paid the man. Time to roll with the punches or be mediocre forever.
         
        I also consider it to be absolutely essential to this team’s future to trade Stuckey, who is unrestricted. Even if he wanted to resign here, it’s mathematically impossible to keep Moose and Stuckey AND add talent through anything but cap exceptions. Their combined cap holds eat up all of our freedom, creating an awful catch 22. If you think these pieces we have are good enough to win championships, by all means stay the course. But nobody would think that. So you should cash in on Stuckey, get assets, and not worry about his cap hold limiting our offseason flexibility.

        • Dec 4, 20135:01 pm
          by Jon

          Reply

          i agree completely with that first paragraph. smith is, above all (to me at least), the reason that monroe needs to be traded for a wing player. it would be possible to play one player out of position but when two players are playing out of position, i think it kills the possibility of good defense. the lakers during their most recent championships played with two centers in gasol and bynum and were fine because the rest of the roster was normal

        • Dec 4, 201310:22 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Why is it absolutely essential to trade Stuckey if your main argument is that the Pistons must trade Monroe and that the team can’t afford to keep  Stuckey and Monroe while adding talent.   If they trade Monroe, then there is no big contract for Moose anyway so there would be the money to resign Stuckey and add talent since Monroe doesn’t make the kind of money he will next season.  
          Stuckey is playing great, is perfectly suited to being a sixth man combo guard and he’s settling into the role and he’s improving.   People say he can’t shoot but his shooting has been steadily progressing since he entered the league and this year his midrange and 3 point jumpers have been solid.   Years ago, Stuckey didn’t even seem comfortable taking the three and it looked more like a push than a shot.   About 2 seasons ago, his outside jumper looked like a comfortable shot for the first time but the numbers only improved slightly while the number of attempts went up.   Who knows whether Stuckey has really turned the corner now but there are plenty of players who can’t shoot early in their careers who leave the game as consistent outside threats.   There is no reason Stuckey can’t be one of the guys and there is no reason why he can’t be a great sixth man in Detroit for years to come.  

  • Dec 4, 20131:23 pm
    by LT

    Reply

    I like the three guard rotation because we know Jennings can play long minutes and because Stuckey is the ideal reserve guard for a three man rotation, sine he can play on and off the ball offensively. 
    Also, I agree Jerebko played well but i am not sure the team should be considering expanding his role. To me 10-12 mpg seems about right for him.
    In my opinion the Heat looked both disinterested and like they were missing their 2nd best player, and the Pistons still needed to play THE BEST GAME THIS TEAM HAS PLAYED SO FAR in order to beat the Heat.

  • Dec 4, 20131:28 pm
    by danny

    Reply

    It looked like it was starting to come together as a team last night.  Yes, the heat were off. That doesn’t mean they didn’t put up a fight and the storm was weathered.  As erratic as Smith was last night his effort and defense was great.  He made a lot of simple mistakes and it will decrease as the season goes on.  People still forget that this is a new group with a lot of new pieces.  
    On the flip side, Jennings needs to tighten his handles.  At certain times he stopped his dribble at half court which made it difficult to get into set plays.  Also some unforced turnovers but again I’m sure that will decrease as the season continues.  With some work on the right and finishing with both hands I think he fits the squad.  
    Stuck and Jennings can play well off each other, both dominating the ball.  Stuck is the gun off the bench and went right to work.  Think he can be close to sixth man of the year.  All in all good win and we saw a glimpse of how this defense will lead to offense. 

  • Dec 4, 20132:02 pm
    by Nick N

    Reply

    From reading most of the comments on here I would’ve thought this was the Heat website. Yeah they were down a man and I don’t feel sorry for they ass. I watched the Sunday game when they should’ve lost to the bobcats with wade. So I knew we atleast had a chance.  I believe a lot of people on here would complain if we won game 7 of the Nba finals by one point smh.

  • Dec 4, 20132:07 pm
    by haydzzz

    Reply

    I’m sorry but the game plan was not against Monroe defensively. Yes he’s a beast in the post but defensively in that game his effort wasn’t there. Nearly every time on the pick and roll he was either to slow to get to the shooter or he over committed and was too slow to get back in position. Defensively he is really bad at the power forward spot and he needs to improve.

  • Dec 4, 20132:34 pm
    by DetroitP

    Reply

    Swamped at work couldn’t wait to get on the site!  Good article Tim, well done.  Overall, I thought this was a solid game.  As some people want to say, “they slept walk, thats the only reason we won.”  Well they didn’t really play good but hey a Win is a Win.  These guys are young and if they build upon this win, we can start pulling wins together.  I have nothing but love for Joey D.  I think he is right to see the next steps, I do not want us to trade Monroe for something other than excellent return.  I think if Jennings keeps getting better the team can only go up.  Good win overall, especially in such a tough Eastern conference… kidding Wiz kids are third.  If KCP can some how figure out the NBA game we could vastly improve.  Good article Tim, I tend to disagree with a lot, but I thought this was a good one.  
     
    And anyone who says this game is meaningless is completely wrong.  Tell that to a bunch of young 20 year olds whose biggest obstacle is the mental aspect of the game thus far in their short careers.  If they believe they can win, the main four all have all star callibar talent, they will pull some wins together.  

    • Dec 4, 20132:43 pm
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      Much as I participate in the comments more than the other writers, the credit for this article belongs to Feldman.

      • Dec 4, 20132:46 pm
        by DetroitP

        Reply

        Im a dumbass, just saw you in the comments.  Didn’t realize it was Dan, all the more surprising! Good work Dan

  • Dec 4, 20134:02 pm
    by Mike

    Reply

    ^zero sense

  • Dec 4, 20134:11 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I feel like Pope is ready to have a nice breakout game

  • Dec 4, 20134:21 pm
    by anacaniwelk

    Reply

    If Miami really cared about winning the game they would have starting fouling Drummond when it was close in the 4th.  No idea why they didn’t. Not sure why they’d wanna give a game away when best record in the EC between them and Indiana will probably come down to the last few games.

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