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Pistons host Phoenix Suns

Essentials

  • Teams: Phoenix Suns (21-14) at Detroit Pistons (15-22)
  • Date: January 11, 2014
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Detroit Pistons’ losing streak has ended. With talks surfacing that Josh Smith might be a better fit coming off the bench, the lefty had a game for the ages last night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

As great as Smith’s performance was, it is already a thing of the past. Detroit cannot rest on its laurels because they have a dangerous and exciting Phoenix Suns team coming to town.

Phoenix will be without Eric Bledsoe who is currently sidelined with a knee injury for an indefinite period of time. Nonetheless, the Suns have earned the respect of teams in the league by winning games in the tough Western Conference.

Heading into tonight, Phoenix is the seventh seed in the West and also possesses a scoring differential superior to every Eastern Conference team not named the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat.

The Suns have been beating teams thanks to a solid offense that emphasizes ball movement. They are somewhat reminiscent of the San Antonio Spurs with the way they share the ball. Granted, they do not have the Spurs’ talent, but they possess part of their discipline.

Jeff Hornacek’s group relies on drive and kicks, pick-and-rolls and a few occasional post-ups to take advantage of defenses. Through it all, the ball rarely remains static. The end result is a team where every player on the floor is a threat.

What’s more, Hornacek uses lineups that complement each other quite well. For instance, Miles Plumlee is always surrounded by a multitude of shooters on the hardwood, which allows him to dive to the basket for catch and scores as well as a few back-to-the basket plays.

More specifically, NBA.com reveals that Plumlee spends roughly 60 percent of his court time alongside Channing Frye. Frye is a stretch big man that strategically drifts out to the perimeter to open the floor for driving lanes and plays on the interior for Plumlee.

According to Synergy Sports, 30.1 percent of Plumlee’s shot attempts stem directly from post-ups. He still has work to do in this setting because he is not great on this front, but he will surprise defenders every now and then with his footwork.

The tandem of Frye and Plumlee allows Goran Dragic to get creative with the ball in his hands. Dragic is a good ball-handler that loves to attack defenders off the bounce. He uses his dribble to create opportunities directly at the rim or set up teammates.

Keep in mind, because Phoenix players rarely remain static, Dragic is surrounded by players that consistently look for the open spot on the floor. Thus, the Suns do a lot of cutting and screening while the ball is in play.

Because so many teams in the league operate with heavy doses of isolations, some teams become accustomed to facing squads with very few offensive wrinkles. The Suns tend to stay away from typical one-on-one situations, and favor instead the involvement of every player.

The Pistons will be forced to defend the entire floor tonight by virtue of Hornacek’s offense. Phoenix will look to spread out the Detroit players and force them to make multiple rotations and close out on shooters. Provided that Brandon Jennings and company can manage this, they will have a chance at stifling the Suns’ offense.

Otherwise, they might be in a shootout if Phoenix is converting long-distance shots.

Read about the Suns

Valley of the Suns.

49 Comments

  • Jan 11, 20147:06 pm
    by CityofKlompton

    Reply

    Ball movement and lineups of players that compliment each other. What a novel idea.

    • Jan 11, 20147:17 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      GMing 101 they call it

  • Jan 11, 20147:15 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Unfortuately I think we’ll get this win and it will be exactly like all our wins where we’ve owned the offensive glass. We’ll miss a sh*t load of shots with either Drummond, Smith or Monroe getting the rebound for put backs. In case your wondering ‘yes’ I am on the tank wagon for the rest of this season so we can keep our draft pick. Deep down I’d love us to make the playoffs but I’m looking ahead to next season when teams like Philly, Boston, Orlando, Phoenix and Charlotte all claim there 2014 rookies and we have the same shitty team. Playoffs would be nice but not at the expense of our future.

  • Jan 11, 20147:46 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Looking great early

    • Jan 11, 20147:53 pm
      by CityofKlompton

      Reply

      Nothing new.

  • Jan 11, 20147:53 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Greg should have been on the bencch

  • Jan 11, 20147:58 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    The answer is only 2 bigs on the floor…and Jennings is looking great

  • Jan 11, 20148:04 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Is this real life?

  • Jan 11, 20148:07 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    oh no Charlie v is in

  • Jan 11, 20148:08 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Ok now they are killing the momentum

    • Jan 11, 20148:12 pm
      by CityofKlompton

      Reply

      That’s what happens when they try to play normal basketball.

  • Jan 11, 20148:10 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    OMG

  • Jan 11, 20148:11 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    R u fuckin*n kidding me?? What the fuc*k man.

  • Jan 11, 20148:12 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Cheeks better get the starters back in!!

  • Jan 11, 20148:25 pm
    by T Casey

    Reply

    Aaand the roller coaster is back on.

  • Jan 11, 20148:43 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    So it’s halftime and we’re up by 13… can I get an amen reply from everyone here who thinks we are going to somehow blow this one.

  • Jan 11, 20148:51 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Brandon Jennings about to get 30 assists.

  • Jan 11, 20149:20 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Drummond Beast Mode lmaooo

  • Jan 11, 20149:28 pm
    by jinzzy

    Reply

    bynum killing us , 

  • Jan 11, 20149:29 pm
    by smitty

    Reply

    Here we go again. Blowing a 4th quarter lead.

  • Jan 11, 20149:40 pm
    by Jopl

    Reply

    This lineup with Smith as center….just no.

    • Jan 11, 20149:45 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      It is working offensively tho. Remember we usually don’t score at all in the 4th quarter. I am fine with it.

    • Jan 11, 20149:46 pm
      by Smitty

      Reply

      At least cheeks is making adustments. But ya put drummond in.

      • Jan 11, 20149:50 pm
        by Jopl

        Reply

        I figured no Drummond because they were doing hack a Drummond but its under 2 minutes and he’s still not in

  • Jan 11, 20149:57 pm
    by Reaction

    Reply

    Josh Smith. SO FREAKING BIPOLAR. This love hate relationship needs to end. He miraculously makes a 3 that gets us the lead then he fouls the other team on a 3 point shot. FML

  • Jan 11, 20149:57 pm
    by Smitty

    Reply

    Make a 3 foul a 3. haha only in Detroit.

    • Jan 11, 201410:02 pm
      by Smitty

      Reply

      wins it blows it wins it. That’s a new ride at cedar point. hahhahaha
       

  • Jan 11, 20149:59 pm
    by jinzzy

    Reply

    And he just made a go ahead basket LOL

  • Jan 11, 201410:00 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    • Jan 11, 201410:03 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      LOL THE YEAH DIDNT EVEN FIT. THAT’S HOW HAPPY I AM RIGHT NOW

  • Jan 11, 201410:03 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Give Smith his props

  • Jan 11, 201410:05 pm
    by Jopl

    Reply

    I don’t think I have fingernails left

  • Jan 11, 201410:08 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    I’m okay with the Sun’s coming back in this game…pope Singler and jennings….were 1-12 for 3…they had good looks… Suns made 13 threes….

  • Jan 11, 201410:10 pm
    by Smitty

    Reply

    It seems cheeks may finally be coming a coach. Match ups. Line up changes. Seems like we still need 1 more piece. Another gaurd/sf.

  • Jan 11, 201410:11 pm
    by Adam

    Reply

    man the suns have some shooters we should try a trade with them to get some of those shooters they put us thru a clinic on how to space the floor 

  • Jan 11, 201410:11 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Only thing I didn’t like was the start of the 4th qrt line up…

  • Jan 11, 201410:13 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    The problem with the pistons is that they don’t have a #1 option to go to in clutch moments. We need that guy. Melo :P

  • Jan 11, 201410:16 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    I would have switched everything and no double teams

  • Jan 11, 201410:21 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    You see now the value of Josh freaking Smith!! Don’t ever compare him to Monroe again.

  • Jan 11, 201410:27 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    He only forced up one bad shot and it was against the shot click…..we often talk about his basketball I but it was on point today

  • Jan 11, 201410:36 pm
    by jg22

    Reply

    Smith isn’t a low IQ player. He knows the game. He just has a tendency to lose focus, I think.

    • Jan 12, 20141:55 am
      by frankie d

      Reply

      lol!
      10 years of dumb ball, horrendous shot selection and braindead decisions is just a matter of losing focus.  yea right.  just like that dumbass play that almost cost the team the game tonight.
      nice to see him redeem himself at the end, but josh smith giveth and josh smith taketh away.
      no thanks.  i’d rather do without the drama associated with having an idiot like that on the team i root for.

  • Jan 11, 201410:54 pm
    by Adam

    Reply

    good to see our bigs actually defend the rim drummond has just figured out he can block shots 

    • Jan 11, 201411:00 pm
      by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

      Reply

      Seem it’s called defending the rim…I yhink.him and Josh got a contest going on…..

  • Jan 11, 201411:13 pm
    by Adam

    Reply

    What ever it is they need to keep doing it 

  • Jan 11, 201411:48 pm
    by Josh

    Reply

    This was the ideal Josh Smith Joe Dumars wanted to see when he signed him as the most expensive Piston in Franchise history. Number 1 priority to attack the basket, last resort to settle for jump shots. The miracle 3 he made may be the highlight, but I personally loved his go ahead basket after that. Shows that he learned from his mishap against the Knicks. Same sentiments for Jennings and his 18 assists. Would have been a perfect game for him had he not gone 4-14 and 0 assists in the 4th, but give Phoenix props for adjusting their D against him.

  • Jan 12, 201412:07 am
    by Smitty

    Reply

    We beat a good team.

  • Jan 12, 20141:17 am
    by jg22

    Reply

    I loved that Cheeks made use of his versatile lineup tonight. We have a roster that can play any style, and the talent to match most of these small teams. There’s no reason they should be afraid to go small. Jennings, Bynum, Stuckey, Singler, KCP… I don’t see how the Suns perimeter guys are any more talented than what we have. No reason we shouldn’t be able to go small and outplay these teams at their own game, if need be. 
     
    Sure you don’t want to do that against Miami, but the Suns, Sixers, and other mid-level teams, we shouldnt have to stay big and get run out of the gym vs these caliber teams.
     
     
     

  • Jan 12, 20143:25 am
    by pistons moribund

    Reply

    Smith much more effective playing his natural position as evidenced by the production he had tonight and the night before.  Bullwinkle also more productive at the center spot and had to be take out when he becomes a defensive liability.  Clueless on the switches and always leaving his man open for wide open looks.  Defense is so much more sound when Bullwinkle is not in the game when he is not there to muck up the screen and role defense.
    Now if only there was a way to get BJ to stop jacking up shots coming down the floor.  The teams plays better when he probes the defense for openings instead.
    Rotation with only two of the three a much better balance in terms of scoring and defense.

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