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Like Pistons’ playoff hopes, Josh Smith dissappears in loss to Spurs

Detroit Pistons 110 Final
Recap | Box Score
120 San Antonio Spurs
Greg Monroe, PF 31 MIN | 3-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -10

Monroe played mostly meekly, typically unable to establish good post position or beat Spurs for rebounds. But Monroe wasn’t completely passive. When he challenged San Antonio, he found success. If only he did that more often tonight. In a twist, Monroe asserted himself much more defensively, using his quick hands to get a few steals.

Josh Smith, SF 43 MIN | 10-19 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 24 PTS | -18

Smith was EVERYWHERE early. Early in the second quarter, Smith’s line was: 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, one turnover. After that: four points on 2-of-8 shooting, one rebound, zero assists zero steals, two turnovers. To start the contest, Smith fearlessly sought to impact the game on both ends – and he did. Turns out you can’t rely on Smith when he’s unafraid to take jumpers and gamble defensively.

Kyle Singler, SF 34 MIN | 7-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -8

Singler cut well to get a couple baskets, and he also made a couple jumpers off a single dribble. He’s a real master of creating room to shoot. Still playing shooting guard, Singler had trouble defending the Spurs quicker guards.

Andre Drummond, C 40 MIN | 7-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 17 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | -11

Drummond wasn’t quite as good as his numbers, yielding a couple hustle plays to the Spurs. But his ability to get putbacks is so darn valuable. I really don’t think enough people understand how important that skill is. Drummond, often singlehandedly, turns a bad offensive possession into a good one. On the other end, he prevents opponents from doing the same.

Brandon Jennings, PG 13 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -13

Jennings didn’t play in the second half due to a sore toe. Before leaving the game, he took a backseat to Smith and didn’t do much when behind the wheel himself.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3

Jerebko played the last few minutes of the third quarter, and though he showed good defensive energy, he looked a little lost.

Tony Mitchell, PF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3

Played the final 46 seconds and did nothing

Luigi Datome, SF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3

Played the final 46 seconds and did nothing

Peyton Siva, PG 1 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +3

On the Pistons’ final possession, Siva pushed the ball upcourt and made a 3-pointer. That ought to be good for his confidence.

Will Bynum, PG 31 MIN | 9-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | +3

Starting the second half for Jennings, Bynum wasn’t shy about getting his own offense. He was more effective than not, but not overly so. Offensively and defensively, Bynum played at his usual levels, just with more volume.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 11 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +4

A corner 3, a mid-range jumper off the dribble and impressive defensive effort – Caldwell-Pope excelled in his first-half run. In the second half, he did little more than miss a few shots.

Rodney Stuckey, SG 31 MIN | 6-13 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | -3

Contract-Year Rodney Stuckey hunted his own shot in the first half, but he scored efficiently, so I didn’t mind. Asked to initiate the offense a bit more in the second half without Jennings, Stuckey was a bit shakier.

John Loyer

The Pistons’ rotation players gave up down 13 points in the final two minutes. Did Loyer empty the bench to send a message?

33 Comments

  • Feb 27, 20146:45 am
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    Cavs caught us up by beating the Thunder last night. The #8 pick is within sight, just need to keep up these types of nights.
    Then we can go into a new season with a new GM, a new Coach and hopefully a decent draftee to go with some new hope…

  • Feb 27, 20149:38 am
    by WW

    Reply

    Smith is playing great this season, tired of him getting the blame. The problem with the Pistons this season is bad coaching, no chemistry and the fact they start 2 centers. Would have loved too see Monroe traded for a SG and then move the rest of the staters to their natural postions.

    • Feb 27, 201410:56 am
      by Birdman84

      Reply

      How is Smith playing great this season? He is the worst high-volume shooter in the NBA.

    • Feb 27, 20143:46 pm
      by jerrific

      Reply

      If smith is playing “great” then how do you rate the rest of this team? Do you think Drummmond is an mvp candidate? 

    • Feb 28, 20141:41 pm
      by koz

      Reply

      A shooting guard? Ya mean like Brandon knight? Oh, that’s right he was dealt to Milwaukee for Iverson the 2nd, and oh, by the way throw in another STARTER for the Bucks Middleton. The two best shooters on the team along with Singler, two starters for overpaid chucker jennings, and now you got a winning future in Detroit. Now there is no shooters to pass to, but hey you got a so-so point guard. you didn’t need to go to free agency for a point guard at this time, you need guys who can shoot. it helps everything, including defense. Bynum, stuckey knight even siva could have ran point at any time and the result would have been greater and the future brighter then what you have now. Joe just set the team back a few years with that silly deal. Joe got fleeced again just like he did with denver with afflalo and billups. Good shooters are so difficult to aquire and he threw 4 of them away for 1 washed up jackass iverson and his clone jennings. Joe and joe alone is the reason this team has got this dreary past present and future staring fans in the face. 

    • Feb 28, 20143:17 pm
      by PistonFanSinceDay1

      Reply

      I agree with WW 100%. Thanks for speaking the truth on this site

  • Feb 27, 20149:51 am
    by Mike

    Reply

    I don’t know if smith has been great this season, but he is certainly WAY better in 2014… The entire team disappeared down the stretch, as they do consistently. You singled out smith for the loss and gave him an A-… Wait WHAT? 

  • Feb 27, 201410:04 am
    by Alexander

    Reply

    I don’t mind these losses. The team was fun to watch, they were competitive against a good team, and they get closer to keeping their draft pick. If we were competitive every night and didn’t win a single game for the rest of the season, I would have no complaints. 

  • Feb 27, 201410:28 am
    by WW

    Reply

    With you Alexander, keeping our pic is what I’m routing for.

  • Feb 27, 201410:33 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    I’m no Smith fan but he has been playing better overall in 2014. 
    Then again, Monroe has too. 
    The problem with the team is the coaching AND the construction of the team. 
    If they brought Smith or Drummond off the bench they could be more consistent.
    They also need to play Singler at SF and get KCP his confidence by running a few plays for him at 2. He’s already proven great hustle and defense.
    pg defense is atrocious with Jennings. At this point I’d start Stuckey & KCP. 
    Unfortunately the way Joe Dumars spent his money makes it hard for coaches to make good playing rotation decisions.
    They just need to keep losing… which they probably will, and keep pick #8, draft Kyle Anderson or Doug McDermott and move Smith and or Jennings over the summer.
     

    • Feb 27, 201411:43 am
      by Georgio

      Reply

      Please explain to me how they could be more consistent by bringing Smith or Drummond off the bench, I personally don’t see how benching one of the big 3 would make the team more consistent. To me a couple of good shooter on the floor at all times would make the team more consistent without doing anything to the big 3. 

      • Feb 27, 20143:52 pm
        by jerrific

        Reply

        The Pistons have been a far better team with only two of their three starting bigs on the floor all season long. It certainly wouldn’t fix all of their issues, but bringing one off the bench would make their starting unit more effective,  and make it easier to stagger the minutes of their bigs.

    • Feb 27, 20143:57 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      @Vic Unfortunately the way Joe Dumars spent his money makes it hard for coaches to make good playing rotation decisions
       
      With this comment I think you’ve nailed the problem right on the head. It’s the very same situation when we had a glut of shooting guards with Hamilton, Iverson and Stuckey. If you send one of your vets to the bench like we did with the Rip and AI it usually ends badly. Good post!

  • Feb 27, 201410:50 am
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    We are basically playing with one shooter the entire game…. 
    Smith in the Second half of the season has been good…last 25 games 45% 18ppg 7.7rebs 4ast 1.4blks 1.6stls …. makes you wonder what he could have done at his natural position this year instead of forcing him at sf

    • Feb 27, 201411:45 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Thats basically his career average at PF…so he would probably be about there.  No reason to think he would make a huge leap in ability at this point in his career.

      • Feb 27, 201412:17 pm
        by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

        Reply

        Idk I think he wasted a lot of his time talent and patience at SF…his play in the second half of the season on offense and defense who his value…people can hate or dislike Josh Smith all they want…but he is truly one of the leagues most underrated talents…Damn shame we wasted it here in Detroit…
        I love what Monroe brings but he could have done what he’s doing as a big man version of James Harden…. we spent the entire season forcing square pegs in round holes

        • Feb 27, 201412:37 pm
          by Huddy

          Reply

          He played PF on a well balanced team in Atlanta and 17-18 ppg 7-8 rpg 4 apg 1.5 bpg 1.5spg were what he put up for years.  I agree he is exposed on defense out of position and is better at PF, but theres no reason to believe he would be doing considerably better at PF in Detroit than he did for 9 years before this in ATL.  He was listed today on ESPN as one of the most overrated players in the game…players not talent.  Everyone knows he is talented and thats where all the hate comes from.  He is talented and physically gifted and uses those talents and gifts sometimes and sometimes he doesn’t.  Would he be better at PF?  Sure, but I don’t think he is the answer at PF because 9 years tells me that he is one of the most frustrating players in the league because of what his talent and athleticism show everyone he could be.

    • Feb 27, 20144:04 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      @ I HATE LOSING. To be fair, Smith stunk at PF earlier this year too. Pretty much up to January he was roughly as inept offensively at either position. He was taking the same shots and hitting them at close to the same rate. Maybe all that time at SF helped him develop bad habits that he continued doing while playing PF, or maybe he just had a really bad start to the season. We can’t definitively say that he would have been any better on offense if he didn’t play so much SF, although I strongly suspect he would have been closer to how he is playing now.

      • Feb 27, 20149:19 pm
        by JYD for Life

        Reply

        his slow start could be attributed to his intense offseason regimine of smoking pot and getting plowed at bars in royal oak.  
        Might be why he still can’t finish with his right hand after a decade in the league.  
         
        His stats are incredibly close to what we got out of sheed for a few years, so I can see why Joe was enamored by him.  It just isn’t going to work long term with Monroe there too.  

  • Feb 27, 201411:00 am
    by WW

    Reply

    This year is wash, but the Pistons have some talent, hopeing we keep the pic and Marcus Smart drops.

  • Feb 27, 201411:06 am
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Smart is not the answer for this team…we need a scorer that can shoot….perfect storm for us is we end up in the top 3 and land Parket

  • Feb 27, 201411:24 am
    by WW

    Reply

    I like Smart because he is tuff athletic, he can play either guard position and will not have to play a big role right away. KCP Should eventually be good starter, I would Like to see him and Singler starting next year.

    • Feb 27, 20142:25 pm
      by Tim

      Reply

      smart is a shorter stuckey.  sorry to burst your bubble

      • Feb 27, 20144:23 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        Stuckey doesn’t play defense like Smart. They are pretty similar players, but then again he also looks like a better version of Russell Westbrook in college. His passing numbers are also pretty similar to Rajon Rondo, except Rondo had no clue on how to create points for himself in college. That’s the problem with these comparisons, they don’t always tell you a whole lot because very similar players can have wildly differing pro careers. Smart is a really good defensive player who can get to the rim and to the line seemingly at will, and if he remains just that then he will be similar to Stuckey but still a good player. If he develops a jump shot or figures out how to run an NBA offense he could be a hell of a lot better than that. He’s definitely not my favorite prospect, especially for a team needing shooters like Detroit is, but if Detroit is drafting in the 6-8 range and Smart is still there then he could easily be the best prospect available.

  • Feb 27, 201412:20 pm
    by Kathy Clater

    Reply

    Siva shot 50% from 3 and played well in D-League.  Good defender.  Time to give him some PT, but don’t think it will happen until Pistons are mathematically out of playoffs.

    • Feb 27, 201412:43 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Shot 50% on 40 shots…not much to go on.  He also averaged 4.6 assists to 2.8 turn overs. 

      • Feb 27, 20141:12 pm
        by Kathy Clater

        Reply

        Small sample size, understood.  Stats also include playing several games with an injured wrist and a near triple double performance.  I watched him play in every game, so I’m encouraged.  If you’re not, that’s OK, Pistons will likely keep doing more of the same anyway, although I do think Loyer is trying in limited time to address what he can.

        • Feb 27, 20149:22 pm
          by JYD for Life

          Reply

          At this point, I’m not sure if Siva would give you any less than Jennings, so why not give it a shot.  
          Not like we couldn’t have drafted Seth curry to shoot threes and play equally as bad defense instead of sending Siva to the d league all year…oh wait.   

        • Feb 27, 20149:23 pm
          by My Brain Hurts

          Reply

          Props to you, MFKC3… your colonisation of Pistons websites is noted and admired.

  • Feb 27, 201412:49 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    @Hubby I really believe he would gave had a breakout year here in Detroit…we just got selfish….Greg Monroe is a talented offensive player but his overall value us in his youth not abilities 

    • Feb 27, 20141:24 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Your optimism is admirable.  I really believe it is unlikely a guy breaks out in his 10th year in the league.  If the guy had moved around a lot, not gotten minutes consistently, shown a trend in an upward direction for a number of years…then maybe.  In his defense he is 28 so 10 years isn’t the same as a guy coming in to the league at 21 or so.  But when you have been featured on a good team for as long as he has there is little reason for me to believe something has held him back from “breaking out”.  Detroit even without Monroe is not a considerably better situation for Josh than he has had in previous seasons.

  • Feb 28, 201410:32 am
    by travis

    Reply

    Drummond, often singlehandedly, turns a bad offensive possession into a good one. On the other end, he prevents opponents from doing the same.”
    Is this for real? Someone who writes a pistons blog knows nothing about bball or dies not watch. Drummond prevents nothing on d. His drebounding is solid but unspectacular.. And he is very prone to give up stick backs. The rest of his defense is an unmitigated disaster. Truly twice as bad a defender as Monroe in his second year. People think his blocks mean he can defend a little.. Watch a game. The kid is a layup machine for then opponent. He doesn’t have a clue on that end

    • Feb 28, 20141:41 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      Drummond is the 9th most likely player in the NBA to grab a given defensive rebound. That is pretty spectacular by any reasonable measure.
       
      As for the rest of his defense, he’s got a long ways to go. He’s not a smart defender and often makes typical mistakes for a young big man. He gets worked over in the post and his rotations are still slow. Yet he’s still a pretty good pick and roll defender due to his athletic ability, and that is one of the most valuable plays to be able to execute. He’s not a good defender by a long shot, but he doesn’t actually need to be a good defender to be better than Monroe. The team plays better defense with the Smith and Drummond pairing than the Smith and Monroe pairing, so I’d conclude that Drummond is already the better defender of the two right now.

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