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Pistons turn up defense after Maurice Cheeks focuses on it, rout Cavaliers

Detroit Pistons 115 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Cleveland Cavaliers
Greg Monroe, PF 31 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | +3

Monroe is at his best running hard down court and posting up a single defender. When not every defender has found his man, it’s harder to help on Monroe. But when operating in a more crowded post, a negative effect of the Pistons’ jumbo lineup, he’s more prone to struggles. Monroe provided more defensive resistance than usual tonight. He also made a mid-range jumper, but that’s not a big deal until he does so more consistently.

Josh Smith, SF 31 MIN | 10-18 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 25 PTS | +19

Smith got hot, making 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions late in the first half. That bolstered his strong interior scoring, though, of course, Smith bricked a few long jumpers for good measure. As a playmaker, Smith too often tried to thread the needle with his pass or dribble. Although that led to a few impressive plays, the overall risk outweighed the reward. The Cavaliers tried to challenge Smith’s liabilities as a perimeter, but that played right into Detroit’s advantage. Alonzo Gee (1-of-4 on 3-pointers) and Earl Clark (2-of-8 on 3-pointers) aren’t the player to punish Smith. In other situations, Smith defended well.

Andre Drummond, C 34 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +19

Drummond is fast for his size, and that got him a few open-court dunks. In the halfcourt, his size and hands make him such an easy target inside, and he finishes well, too. Add quality rebounding, and the total package begins coming together. Defense? Drummond provided that, too. Andrew Bynum (0-for-11, two turnovers) is no longer a good offensive player, but Drummond absolutely dominated him.

Brandon Jennings, PG 32 MIN | 6-11 FG | 7-8 FT | 4 REB | 13 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 21 PTS | +26

Jennings was aggressive looking for his own shot in the pick-and-roll, which should help the Pistons’ bigs going forward. It didn’t hurt that Jennings was converting his looks tonight, either. The point guard showed excellent court vision as the Pistons broke open the game in the fourth quarter. Defensively, Jennings skillfully doubled in the post to give Cleveland’s bigs trouble. Kyrie Irving (21 points on 14 shots) tore him up, but Irving will do that nearly everyone.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 17 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -2

Caldwell-Pope is a fine defender. He especially stands out on the Pistons, whose defense – especially by their guards – has been unimpressive. But when the rest of the team is defending better, as was the case tonight, he hardly makes an impression on that end. All that’s left is a bad shooter.

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

Harrellson was effectively pulled from the rotation in favor of Luigi Datome. Harrellson played only late in each half, after Drummond picked up a foul in the first and after the game was effectively decided in the second. Put in position to help on Kyrie Irving a couple times, Harrellson fouled him once and allowed a mid-range jumper. Not a fair matchup, but about all we have to grade Harrellson on tonight. That and a quick catch and pass to Smith for one of Smith’s 3-pointers, so although none of it was significant, it wasn’t all bad.

Luigi Datome, SF 17 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +4

Datome made one 3-pointer in five tries, but wow, was it beautiful. His was form perfect, and his release was quick. The arc he put on the shot was incredible. Then, it just splashed through the net. I see why people fall for his shooting, regardless of the results. He actually did a better job inside the arc, going toward the basket. His steal and fastbreak dunk in the final seconds was a nice moment for someone who delivered after not playing this much in more than a month.

Kyle Singler, SF 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +23

It seems like Singler is rebounding really well this season, but his rebounding numbers are down a little from last year. Is Singler secretly a good rebounder? He also hit both his 3-pointers, so definitely a good night.

Chauncey Billups, SG 16 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -3

All Billups’ shots were 3-pointers, and on his lone make, he looked like vintage Billups, sticking a shot in a defender’s eye. Otherwise, Billups just slowed the offense.

Rodney Stuckey, SG 31 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +25

Stuckey finished poorly, making just 3-of-11 shots in the paint, but that doesn’t tell the whole story of his offensive contributions. The Pistons’ movement, player and ball, was better with him on the court, and it started with him moving and passing well. That gave his teammates better lanes to make cuts and passes themselves. Defensively, Stuckey was seemingly everywhere, collecting five steals.

Maurice Cheeks

As I’ve said before, it seems Cheeks does his most significant coaching between games rather than during them. Fox Sports Detroit reported during tonight’s telecast the Pistons focused on defense before this one. Because the game was played at such a fast pace, the final score underrates how well the Pistons defended tonight. Their defensive rating was 88.0, which would rank first in the NBA – by a wide margin – over the full season. The Cavaliers’ season-long offensive rating is just 97.4, 27th in the league, so this wasn’t the toughest opponent. But considering the Pistons’ season-long defensive rating is 104.1, 20th in the NBA, this performance was definitely stronger than usual. And aside from Stuckey, I can’t identify a single player whose individual defense greatly bested his usual level. The Pistons played excellent team defense, and given the timing, Cheeks deserves credit.

56 Comments

  • Dec 24, 20134:26 am
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    Thanks for all your hard work this year, Dan & the other PP writers. Merry Christmas all!

  • Dec 24, 20134:32 am
    by Otis

    Reply

    The thing I take issue with here is this notion that the Pistons played especially good defense in this game, rather than that the Cavs had terrible shot selection all night, plus when they did have nice clean looks (and they had many of them) they just couldn’t hit them to save their lives. I thought the Cavs were insanely undisciplined, and I don’t think the Pistons really did ALL that much to bother them. They just had a hundred lazy possessions and couldn’t knock down the good looks they had. Not that this was a good team they beat, but the defensive effort didn’t have much to do with the win.

  • Dec 24, 20134:38 am
    by Otis

    Reply

    PS every time the Pistons look reasonably good, it seems that Drummond, Smith and Jennings are contributing and playing well and filling up stat sheets and Monroe looks like the odd man out. He must be averaging 10 shots, nearly all in isolation or transition. Seems to be contributing basically 10 and 10 on the average night, if you exclude the one-in-five performances where he actually does enough on the offensive end to offset his abysmal defense and spacing problems. 80% of the time he’s frighteningly close to giving us what we could expect from Amir Johnson back when he was making 3.5 mil and we gave him away for nothing. I’m getting nauseous just looking at him these days.

    • Dec 24, 20135:45 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      I would take Harrison Barnes for Monroe if the opportunity presented itself. I mean GS should’ve taken moose anyway so I say we just make the universe happy/complete and make it happen… can I get amen Otis??

      • Dec 24, 20138:50 am
        by hirobeats

        Reply

        I’ll give you an amen. That would be awesome. It’s just that the PP guys think it isn’t adequate value for Monroe. Not sure that I agree, but even if I did this would be a situation where I’d be okay with sacrificing a little value for fit. We’d be getting a young, athletic, capable perimeter defender and perimeter (3-point) scoring threat, that is starting quality and has a tone of upside. (Ignore that if you’re one of those folks who don’t care about upside… I care.. anyway) Most importantly, it allows JSmoove to place his natural 4.

        • Dec 24, 201310:37 am
          by Georgio

          Reply

          You don’t seem to understand that Smith would not be so dominate at the 4. In the Portland game he dominated Batum at the 3, at the 4 he would have been guarded by Aldridge, don’t think he would have had as much success. Against IND he was abusing George in the post at the 3, as a 4 he would have been guarded by West, don’t think he would abuse West in the post as much. The list goes on and on, at the 3 Smith can be dominate, not so much at the 4. This trade Monroe so Smith can move to the 4 sentiment is misguided. I like Harrison Barnes and his versitility but do you think he would actually have dominated Batum and George like Smith did, I don’t think so. Smith at the 3 is a game changer if he plays in the post. On the very first play in the Houston game they triple teamed Smith on his first touch which led to an Andre dunk. That shows you they were concerned about his posting, all he has to do is stay in the paint and the big front line will work just fine. Monroe still gets between 9 – 13 shots a game and enough post touches to be effective. Leave the big lineup alone. 

          • Dec 25, 201312:35 pm
            by Otis

            I don’t think the argument is that Smith is going to be “dominant” at the 4. It’s that he’ll be less of a liability. He did a nice job posting up Batum, and as long as he’s at the 3, he needs to take advantage of his size. But he has advantages at the 4 as well, like the ability to draw his defenders out towards the three point line and blow by them for high percentage shots or find teammates for high percentage shots. What’s been very troubling so far is that more often than not we’re losing the matchup at the 4 and the 5. You can’t pay two guys $13-15 mil a year apiece to lose most of their matchups and have half your cap money tied up in a system that has the team hovering just below 500.
             
            This team could be hovering a few games over 500 as opposed to a few games below it, and you still can’t sensibly argue that this big lineup is a good idea. We’ve seen enough. Moose is a bit player in this system, and our fourth most valuable AT BEST, depending on how you rank Stuckey. This is not a good use of our resources. You can’t possibly advocate giving him whatever max-level contract he’s going to get and move forward with this awful experiment. We’ll never even sniff anything above mediocrity.

          • Dec 25, 201312:36 pm
            by Otis

            Edit: Obviously I meant to say we’re losing the matchup “at the 3 and 4″ more often than not.

      • Dec 24, 20139:34 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        Why would the Warriors need Monroe? Bogut rebounds and defends..and his defense is way beyond Gregs…David Lee does not look to be slowing down…so for the Warrior they only do this if they fear losing Bogus after this season or they want to get younger upfront

        • Dec 24, 20136:09 pm
          by gmehl

          Reply

          Yes your right that the warriors don’t need Monroe but I guess this is where a 3 team trade could take place. I guess a team that wants Monroe and what the warriors need the most has to be taken into account with Barnes coming to us.

          • Dec 24, 20139:17 pm
            by Tim Thielke

            So many people bring up the unspecific “third team” to solve any problems with their trade suggestions. If a third team makes it all work, specify which team and what they’re giving and getting. Otherwise, it’s no better than the suggestions that the Pistons trade Monroe for a borderline all-star caliber, but not superstar wing. It sounds nice, but who is that?

          • Dec 25, 20132:10 am
            by gmehl

            Boston gets Monroe & 1st rounder (from GS)
            Detroit gets Barnes & Lee
            Golden State gets Rondo & Wallace
             
            I haven’t checked trade machine and the $$$ but there is something there for all teams.

          • Dec 25, 201312:41 pm
            by Otis

            Tim, I don’t understand your desire to see such specificity in imaginary trades that will never happen. It’s not like people are hypothesizing that we can trade Charlie V for some unspecified upgrade and you need to question the loon who’s suggesting it and explain to him that nobody is giving us a useful player for that sack of shit. It’s not worth debating that Monroe HAS value and WOULD be easily moved for quality pieces. Whether or not someone can orchestrate something feasible in the trade machine (or whatever) shouldn’t mean much, because the trade isn’t going to happen anyways, and you’re not disputing the premise that the guy we’re sending away is highly tradeable and has value.

      • Dec 24, 201311:45 am
        by Chris

        Reply

        You know I do like the idea of keeping Smith at the 3, esp if certain matchups can be abused. Strategically moving him to the 4 to abuse other matchups there as well. I wonder if Ryan Anderson from NO would be a good fit here. The range would let Smoove stay in the post vs 3s, hell, I’m pretty sure Anderson could even post most 3s if the team decided to switch. It’d allow for more pick and pops, with backside cuts for smoove and drummond as well. Just more spacing and keeping smith at the 3.
        Anderson makes twice as much as Monroe right now, and he is a few years older, so finding ways to get salaries to match could be difficult (maybe draft picks of some sort for both teams?) but you have to think Moose would take a trade to send him to NO and be happy about it. Are decent stretch 4s that difficult to find?

        • Dec 24, 20133:34 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          One of the nicest things about trading Moose NOW is that we have unlimited flexibility in terms of working around the cap. If he makes twice as much as Moose we throw in Jerebko or Bynum. There is no player in the entire league for whom we can’t painlessly make a trade that works under the cap. Some combination of Charlie, Stuckey, Bynum, Jerebko and Gigi gets it done, and with the exception of Stuckey (who should be traded before he expires anyways) the rotation won’t miss any of them.

          • Dec 24, 20139:45 pm
            by Chris

            Actually Jerebko is who I used in ESPN’s trade machine to get the salaries to balance. I think Monroe is good enough that we should get more than Anderson in that trade, but that’s just the way salaries work.

      • Dec 24, 20133:31 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Barnes would be great, but I don’t think GSW and Moose are a fit. They have Lee and just locked up Bogut. I don’t see it happening. To be honest, I’d take less than Barnes. I could not possibly have less interest in Greg Monroe anymore. If we give him that rookie max contract we will regret it.

    • Dec 24, 20139:03 am
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Now you are repeating after me Otis…once again Josh was sacrificing his game for Monroe…he was trying to fit in, rather than pushing Monroe out…
      Last 6 games Smith has been good offensively around 24ppg…. Two 30 point games, two 20 or more point games, shooting around 49%…
      Clearly making an attempt to play on the inside more…in the last 6 games around 65% of his shot selection has been within 15 feet…
      Although we are only 3-3…we can argue that we probably should be 5-1
      Greg has taken a back seat offensively as far as touches, but he is still effective with his rebounding and shot selection….however soon you are going to have to ask the question is he worth it…

      • Dec 24, 20133:37 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        I’ll never have to ask that question. I’ve asked it for at least the last full calendar  and the answer is a resounding NO every time. Moose is barely worth $10M to us. To a team in need of a slow footed center with some predictable post moves, maybe he’s worth that. But we have no use for him whatsoever. He doesn’t give you a single thing that you can’t get from Drummond and Smith. Moose needs to go very VERY badly.

    • Dec 24, 20139:27 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      someone is almost always left out statswise in games and it isn’t Monroe as often as you make it seem.  The difference between Monroe and Smith/Jennings having an off game is about 5+ more ill advised shot attempts for Smith/Jennings.  The reason people harp on getting equal value for Monroe is that adding a nice defender or something at SF isn’t going to be enough to make up for the nights of brick laying that we experience with Jennings and Smith.  As much as people like to complain, Monroe is a good player that has the ability to put up pts (on fewer shots that the teams other leaders).  Whoever comes back in a trade for him needs to be a good player in both ends of the floor not just some piece that sounds more appropriate next to the others in the starting line up.  If you are counting on Smith and Jennings to turn a corner by moving Monroe for a SF you are fooling yourself.  Smith has played his natural position before and still been inefficient and Jennings has less offensive burden than ever on his shoulders.

      • Dec 24, 20139:55 am
        by Vic

        Reply

        Right, Monroe had a double double and was 5 for 10. The chuckers had their 1st night in the whole season Shooting over 50%. I hope it continues but that doesn’t discount the fact that Monroe should be fed 15 shots a game as well.

        • Dec 24, 201310:23 am
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          “”Smith has played his natural position before and still been inefficient and Jennings has less offensive burden than ever on his shoulders.”"
          When has smith been Inefficient? People harp on his jumpers way too much…when last year probably more 60% of his offense was within 15feet of the basket..and he shot in that range around 55-60%…. He rebounds, blks, and gets stils…. He averaged 6 shots from 16 feet to 3 point range…. basically three 3 pointers…and three jump shots….
          Do we want him shooting that jumper? NO…But in the grand scheme of things its not a big deal….
          And the Jennings we currently have is much better than the Jennings that was with the bucks, even his attitude so far and its still early…but that was my concern his attitude about the game….
           

          • Dec 24, 201311:18 am
            by Huddy

            His “probable” 60% play inside has been hindered by poor shooting outside.  Despite being great in the paint Smiths FG% has hovered around 46% during his career at PF which is inefficient for a big man especially one that has proven that he can be more efficient, but chooses not to play his best game.  46% shooting is ok for a guy that cant get to the rim like Smith can.  His outside shooting has always brought his game down.  If you watch Smith play and don’t think he makes poor decisions shooting the ball then I don’t know how to explain to you that every team in the league loves his jump shooting when they are defending it.  If you think it is ok for him to make those bad choices because when he does go inside he is good and he gets blk/stls/etc then you should reevaluate because championship teams are not lead by guys who cant understand where they should and shouldn’t shoot the ball.  To win on the next level the team needs to be made up of players that aren’t playing well in-spite of themselves.  I like Smiths play in the past few games, but there is a reason ATL let him go and no one was jumping to battle us to have him and 5 games doesn’t prove he is past those reasons.

          • Dec 24, 20131:33 pm
            by frankie d

            agree with buddy 100%. 
            and i would add, once again, that smith’s ultimate dimwittedness is proven because he did stop shooting 3 pointers one year and that one year was both his team’s and his best year during his atlanta career.
            so what did he do in response?
            of course, he helped run his coach out of town and he went back to shooting 3′s that next year and his team never enjoyed that level of success again.
            what some pistons’ fans don’t seem to realize is that teams leave smith open intentionally, they tilt their defense so that he is constantly open on the perimeter because they want him to shoot those shots.  that is part of their game plan.  they will gladly live with him defying his career long numbers and knocking down a couple of those shots because they know that the odds greatly support the probability that he will soon start clanking them off the rim, the backboard and lots of weird places near the rim. and smith is just stupid enough to not understand what is going on and gladly falls right into the other team’s defensive game plan.
            there is dumb and then there is dumber…

      • Dec 24, 20133:38 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        I’d say Moose has been the odd man out almost literally every single time the team has played cohesively and relatively well.

        • Dec 24, 20138:49 pm
          by Huddy

          Reply

          He’s about 50/50 in wins scoring 15+ and 8+ boards 

          • Dec 25, 201312:46 pm
            by Otis

            1) Your sentence does not make sense. Please rephrase it.
             
            2) I didn’t say “in wins.” I said “when the team has played cohesively and relatively well.”
             
            3) If what you’re saying is that we win 1/2 the games when he goes for 15 and 8, that’s not relevant to what I’m saying. I’m talking about when the offense looks smooth and they’re not just taking turns in isolation plays, which is Monroe’s moldy bread and butter.

  • Dec 24, 20137:20 am
    by menten

    Reply

    monroe a B+ is ridiculous, he was more like a D+. we won despite of him not because of him

    • Dec 24, 20133:40 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      This is probably closer to true than false. I kind of tuned out a little when the game got out of reach, but early on Moose was BRUTAL. He was so bad in the early going that looking at his final line I don’t think there’s any way he did enough to earn any kind of B.

  • Dec 24, 20137:45 am
    by adas

    Reply

    Why not trading Monroe for Evan Turner and the 1st round pick (from New Orleans, acquided by 76ers in Holiday trade)?
    Turner will give Pistons some scoring and versality, and Sixers receive another player to build around (Michael Carter Williams is looking as a franchise cornerstone right now).
    Sign Turner for a reasonable contract (4 years-40 mln), move Smith to PF.

    • Dec 24, 20139:32 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Turner is a poor outside shooter and that draft pick you want them to give up is  essentially another young player for the 76ers to build around for  a fraction of what they would have to pay Monroe.  The 76ers have no championship aspirations and could easily just hold off to attempt to sign Monroe for nothibg added or at least sign and trade after the season If they want him despite having a good all around big man is Hawes and Noel waiting to join the team.

  • Dec 24, 20138:29 am
    by anacaniwelk

    Reply

    More like Jennings “tore” Irving up. Jennings deserves to go to the allstar game more than Irving does….or any other Piston for that matter.  Pistons are scoring so much more this year and Jennings is the main reason why.

    • Dec 24, 201310:04 am
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Jennings get little love even here among Pistons fans…
      He is playing better as a Pistons than a Buck…he is the Best PG we’ve had running this team since Billups…
      He has more double digit assist games than any PG(tied with Curry)…not named Chris Paul…
      In November with Jennings Starting the Pistons went 5-9 Jennings shot 38& from the field…32% for 3′s…. averaged 15.6ppg… 3.6 ft atempts 8.1 ast…
      This Month…The Pistons are 8-6 (should be 10-4)….Jennings is shooting 41% from the field ..39% for 3′s …averaging 19.5ppg …5.1 FT attempts…and 8.1 ast
      You can argue he is the best PG in the eastern conference….

      • Dec 24, 201310:17 am
        by ZekeKhaseli

        Reply

        I love love love swag jennings

    • Dec 24, 20131:53 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      Jennings has been playing better lately, but, overall, his overshooting has hurt us in as many games as it’s helped us. Plus, statistically he’s not having a very good season when you take efficiency into account. I hope Jennings can find more consistency playing at a high level and, if he does, then he’ll deserve to be an all star. But, right now, there are still better pgs playing at a high level more consistently than him. John Wall, Kyrie Irving, and even Jeff Teague have all been better overall this year and two of them have their teams ahead of ours in the rankings too.

  • Dec 24, 20138:42 am
    by hirobeats

    Reply

    On KCP “All that’s left is a bad shooter”. LOL, so bitter.

    • Dec 24, 201310:22 am
      by anacaniwelk

      Reply

      Don’t be hating on KCP or you are gonna get burned.  Eventually the shots will fall and the ability to create easy buckets for himself will come.  His athleticism and defense are already there. Pope is gonna be a star. Patience.

      • Dec 24, 201311:41 am
        by apa8ren9

        Reply

        Yeah Im not getting the KCP hate.  Is there something about him we dont know?  Id much rather KCP get all of the backup minutes than see Bynum and Chauncey stink up the joint like they did on Friday and Saturday

        • Dec 24, 201312:13 pm
          by hirobeats

          Reply

          fellas you misunderstand! I was making fun, I was commenting on how better Dan is when it comes to KCP (he’ll never admit it tho, LOL) I’m a huge KCP fan!

  • Dec 24, 20133:47 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    Merry Christmas everyone.
     
    BTW, anyone at Piston Powered, but particularly Dan (who wrote this recap): I’d genuinely like to see a rebuttal to my argument that the Cavs made their own luck in terms of their shot selection and brickfest, and that the Pistons’ defense had very little to do with the results. I was sort of hoping at least someone would say: “Oh Otis you’re so negative. They played great defense,” and maybe point out something I missed. But I really didn’t see it. I don’t have any clue how somebody could watch that game and conclude that the Pistons’ defensive effort was a factor.

    • Dec 24, 20134:04 pm
      by sebastian

      Reply

      This Pistons fan is happy with any win that OUR guys achieve, but I do wonder how the game would had turned out if Waiters would have played.

    • Dec 24, 20134:57 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      I thought Monroe showed more defensive intensity than normal. Guys gambled less on plays and, when they did, managed to get a few loose balls. I personally noticed an improvement on D. Whether or not that really made an impact on the game vs. Cleveland just sucking is a different question. I think it did, but I’m not going to go on a tirade here defending that either. 

      • Dec 25, 201312:07 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        I really wasn’t looking to exchange tirades or anything. I’m just curious what other people see when they watch this team. Dan doesn’t like me, but he and I generally agree more than we disagree. I was just curious if anyone else saw some stellar defensive effort that I missed.

    • Dec 24, 20136:03 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      I think the biggest factor in the cavs getting blown out was more Bynum going 0-11. Irving had to pretty much try to put the team on his back which obviously didn’t work. Would Waiters of made a difference? maybe, but I’d say if Bynum could’ve hit half of his shots then they wouldn’t of found themselves in a 25 point hole. I mean even with Bynum going 0-11 they still got this game back to 10 points which is pretty much what happened in the Charlotte game except they had Jefferson get hot and we all know how that frigging game turned out.

      • Dec 25, 201312:06 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        I definitely think Bynum’s ineffectiveness was a major factor, and it didn’t look like we really bothered him as much as he just didn’t want to work AT ALL for shots. Just take a dribble and shoot fadeaway jumpers, because we all know that’s his game. Right. There were a bunch of Cavs settling for quick, easy shots. We didn’t have an answer for Irving, and when they settled down and actually executed they actually made their one run early in the third.

  • Dec 24, 20136:04 pm
    by Ryank

    Reply

    I know it’s important to you to prove Burke was the right choice given your harsh stance on the draft.  Please be a bit more objective to keep some sort of credibility in evaluations of The Pope.  As it stands now, the readers just take your grade on him as a laughable, emotional driven, rating.  

    • Dec 24, 201310:28 pm
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      It may not be fair, but I’ll bet you Warriors fans were comparing Epke Udoh to Greg Monroe in his early years. The fact of the matter is that when a fantastic prospect drops in your lap and you instead take a serious reach, that player will usually be seen through a harsher lens.

      But in this case, let’s ignore all of that. KCP played mediocre defense at best on a really easy assignment (most of his time in the game, he was covering Dellavedova) while most of his teammates shut down much tougher covers. And KCP provided nothing on offense. And then he ended the game with the second worst +/- for a Piston, getting a -2 in a 23 point win. I could see making a case for a D+ maybe. But how is his D- so unfair?

      • Dec 24, 201311:02 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        Mr. Tim never spoke truer words.  
        I kind of like KCP, but he was a serious reach and his defense has been spotty, often.
        So we are left with evaluating a guy who was supposedly a shooter – who is not knocking down lots of open shots – and he has been ann up and down defender. 
        I hope he starts knocking down shots and playing consistent defense, but so far he just aint doin it.
        We will see as the year goes on but he deserves to be judged as  a lottery pick…a number 8 pick chosen above lots of other guys.

      • Dec 25, 201312:09 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        On that note, it isn’t very hard to point out how much of a better pick Kemba Walker would have been than Brandon Knight. But our genius GM sees “two extra inches and a year younger” and that’s all the analysis he needs.

        • Dec 25, 20139:55 am
          by Tim Thielke

          Reply

          Kemba Walker was not a better prospect than Knight by any sort of consensus. They were debated against one another, but I’d say Knight came out on top about 75% of the time. If one of them “fell” to the Pistons, it was definitely Knight.

          At this point, Walker does look better than Knight, but I’d still argue that it’s not by all that much. I will be surprised if Walker ever ends up as an average starting PG. Those “two extra inches and a year younger” really matter. Sure, Walker had the higher floor. But Knight had the higher ceiling. At that point in time, Dumars definitely should have been drafting for ceiling.

          I get that you enjoy finding any excuse for negativity and that this looks like a slam dunk for you in that regard. But try not laying on the revisionist history so thick.

          • Dec 25, 20131:01 pm
            by Otis

            I’m not trying to do revisionist history here. Your man Otis doesn’t spend too much time paying attention to NCAA (mostly just Michigan teams) but I did know that they were considered to be similar caliber prospects. I had no strong opinions one way or another, except that I wished we’d tanked that useless season to get a better pick. That said, if I was a GM I’d take my job very seriously in evaluating talent, and GMs should be held accountable for their picks.
             
            I bring up the years and inches, because if you literally didn’t know ANYTHING about these guys and had no clue what you were doing, going in completely blind, you’d pick the younger, taller kid. That’s the push-button decision. So when that’s the decision Joe made, it’s easy to guess he doesn’t know any more about anything than anyone else does. He’s probably just a blind idiot who can only nail picks when they’re among the easiest in draft history. Was KCP worth a top 8 pick?? Tony Snell looks much better and he went in the 20s. Utah wanted Burke so bad they gave up two first rounders, and in our final lottery pick for hopefully the foreseeable future we got a project SG who’s hopefully going to be a useful player someday. I don’t think Joe gets the benefit of the doubt that he has any damn idea what he’s doing on draft night.
             
            Like I said, I don’t think I ever watched Kemba play in college, but someone who had a skill for scouting and evaluating talent should have noticed the difference between him and Knight. The first time I watched Kemba play in the NBA I thought Joe blew the pick. His confidence and swagger were palpable. Brandon Knight has looked like a little lost fawn for almost his entire career and we gave up on him. So yeah, I’m not really saying that I knew this was the case before the draft, but that a good GM should have known.

          • Dec 26, 201310:15 am
            by Tim Thielke

            Wait, so your argument here is that a good GM’s prospect evaluation process should be error-free? Because it pretty much has to be if you’re saying that it was a problem for Dumars to take Knight over Walker.

            Knight was, by and large, the more highly regarded prospect.
            Knight had the higher ceiling and the Pistons were in a position to chase ceiling more than floor.
            Walker hasn’t even been that much better than Knight so far, certainly not enough better to be positive he’ll have the better career of the two.

            There are draft whiffs worth getting upset over. I could even see someone being upset about taking Knight over Leonard. But if you’re going to pick on Knight over Walker, the margin of error you’re okay with might as well be zero. And then you are never, ever, ever going to find anything close to a satisfactory GM.

  • Dec 25, 20131:07 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    A Lot of people had Knight over walker not just joe
     

    • Dec 25, 20131:48 am
      by frankie d

      Reply

      i actually think knight may turn out to be the better player…5 years from now.  up till this point, he has been horribly miscast.  he is not a point guard.  he is a jason terry style 6th man who can be a very good defensive player on opposing point guards.  in other words, a very unique player.  once a team puts him in that position and lets him play, they will have a very good player.
      but he is not a point guard.  plain and simple.  he is not a point guard.

  • Dec 25, 20132:33 am
    by pistons moribund

    Reply

    Good win against bad team, only proves that the pistons are better then last year so not much of a stretch.  I do find it a bit encouraging that the Bullwinkle trade banter has picked up. 
    merry xmas to all you good for nothings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dec 25, 20131:16 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      If you check out the mailbag, you might be a little less encouraged. I think they’re going to stubbornly keep the guy and regret it. I don’t think Joe has the vision to rebuild this team in any way, shape or form. They just have like four regurgitated excuses for keeping Monroe, none of which hold any water.

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