|Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 37 MIN | 8-16 FG | 2-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | -10
Monroe used both his strength and craftiness to score inside, but he was at his best when relying more on the former. Josh McRoberts (3-for-5 on all 3-point attempts) was a tough cover for Monroe. Monroe also spent time on Al Jefferson (32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists), but Jefferson is just too good for any Piston.
|Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 37 MIN | 5-17 FG | 2-6 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -15
Smith shot 0-for-6 outside the paint, sabotaging what would have been merely a solid game otherwise. I believe Tom Gores erred by demanding the Pistons make the playoffs this season, but once tasked with completing that objective and given the money to do so, Joe Dumars really blew it. Jefferson would not have been a great fit in Detroit, but he shows there were better splurging options available.
|Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 40 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -6
Singler made his share of very helpful plays, and his off-ball movement is welcome in Detroit’s stagnant offense.
|Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 34 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-2 FT | 22 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -10
It’s a shame the Pistons are wasting Drummond’s present. His offense needs more polish, and Jefferson exposed his defensive weaknesses. But Drummond is so strong on the glass, that alone makes him extremely effective on both ends. Tonight’s loss puts the Pistons 1.5 games behind Charlotte for eighth place – the same distance Detroit is ahead of the Cavaliers, who’ve won five straight. The Knicks are just a half game behind Cleveland. The race for the No. 8 seed is getting more crowded, and the Pistons are poorly positioned to emerge on top. In a grander sense, the Pistons are right on track to lose their draft pick to the Bobcats and squander Drummond’s future, too. A win at Charlotte tomorrow won’t be easy, but it’s pivotal in avoiding The Disaster Zone.
|Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 7-18 FG | 8-9 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 24 PTS | -15
Jennings carried a larger offensive load than should be placed on him, but he handled it well. It also helped his offensive cause that he let up defensively.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF Shot Chart 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1
Jerebko didn’t play in the second half if that tells you something about his hold on a rotation spot.
|Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 20 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +2
Bynum pushed the pace in the fourth quarter and helped the Pistons cut Charlotte’s lead. Increasing variance is what Bynum does best. His own offense was so-so, and his defense was poor. But his impact on the game spread beyond his obvious individual contributions.
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 10 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2
Caldwell-Pope was solid defensively and invisible offensively.
|Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 17 MIN | 1-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3
Stuckey made his first shot and then missed his next 10. Bleh.
Loyer gets creativity points for installing a 3-2 zone, but the Pistons played far too flat in such a pivotal game. Getting the emotional best from this team is a deep challenge for an interim coach, but that’s the request the Pistons doomed themselves to when hiring Maurice Cheeks. Keeping a theme, even if Gores wouldn’t pay enough to hire someone like Lionel Hollins or George Karl, there were far better less-heralded options available. One of them was sitting on the visiting team’s bench tonight. Steve Clifford has the Bobcats prepared and syncing at a level the Pistons haven’t approached in years.
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