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Will Bynum and Brandon Jennings duel for John Loyer’s affection in loss to Suns

Detroit Pistons 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Phoenix Suns
Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-7 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -1

Monroe’s shooting percentage isn’t great, but he offensively rebounded three of his own misses and tried to putback two of them, converting one. It’s a good way to make it seem as if he were sucking up possessions when he really wasn’t. All things considered, Monroe defended pretty well, too.

Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 43 MIN | 7-19 FG | 0-8 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -2

0-for-8 from the free-throw line? Are you freaking kidding me? Smith once shot 0-for-7 from the stripe with the Hawks, but he upped the ante tonight. Only one other player in the last three years has shot so many free throws in a game and missed them all, and I don’t need to tell you whom it was. Andre Drummond went 0-for-8 from the stripe against Atlanta last month. But Smith missing so many free throws means something different than when Drummond does it. For Drummond, it’s a structural issue. For Smith, it symbolizes his unfocused game. Beyond the free throws, Smith shot 3-for-13 outside the paint, turned the ball over thrice and repeatedly gave the man he was guarding too much space on the perimeter. The last one isn’t completely Smith’s fault – playing small forward, or even power against these Suns, doesn’t suit him – but with a little more defensive discipline, he could have performed better. It’s a minor miracle Smith somehow salvaged a passable grade, a product of playing hard with his athleticism even while he’s playing without focus.

Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 34 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -3

Singler defended with energy. He also missed a dunk and a layup.

Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 36 MIN | 5-7 FG | 3-7 FT | 16 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -7

Great to have Drummond back in the lineup. He just quietly went about his business, scoring inside and rebounding everywhere. He must make more of a defensive impact, though.

Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 14 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -11

The Suns successfully channeled Jennings’ dribble into the mid-range, forcing him to make quick decisions from no-man’s land. Guess how that went. Jennings missed both his shots and committed two turnovers with no assists before John Loyer pulled him for Will Bynum, the Pistons’ first sub. Maybe it was because Jennings had two fouls, and maybe Jennings was hooked again two minutes into the second half because he’d committed four fouls. But considering Jennings didn’t return for the game’s final 22 minutes, it really seems Loyer just trusts Bynum more.

Jonas Jerebko, PF Shot Chart 9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-3 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -2

Jerebko has looked a lot more athletic lately, especially when he finished a twisting layup while being fouled on a fastbreak. He also had two steals while the Suns were pushing the ball, not an easy task. He missed two 3-pointers, but both were wide open and good looks.

Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 8 PTS | +1

Loyer gives Bynum a much longer leash than Jennings gets. The Pistons’ offense had many more quality possessions with Bynum, rather than Jennings, running the show. But there were also a lot more negative possessions. Overall, the Pistons’ had a lowly offensive rating of 80.6 while Bynum played. Bynum also gave plenty of room to operate to Eric Bledsoe, who scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the second half.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 9 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -2

Caldwell-Pope hit a confident runner in the lane and a garbage basket late, but his defense wasn’t his sharpest.

Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 31 MIN | 10-19 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | -3

With 8:33 left in the game, Stuckey made a 3-pointer. That put the Pistons up four and gave Stuckey 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including 2-for-2 on 3-points. From there, Stuckey missed all five of his shots and got hit for a double technical with Goran Dragic while Detroit blew its lead.

John Loyer

Loyer chose to ride with Bynum rather than Jennings. In the end, it might have cost the Pistons a win.* I commend Loyer for both.

*We know the Pistons the Pistons lost with Bynum getting his most playing time in the last 31 games. Who’s to say what would have happened if Loyer went back to Jennings?

I want competitive games and losses. Loyer had the Pistons positioned to seize both.


  • Mar 22, 20145:24 am
    by gmehl


    Losing is the new winning at this point of our dismal season. Unlike other teams we have a OT more at stake in winning anymore from here on out.

    • Mar 22, 20145:25 am
      by gmehl


      *correction a lot more at stake

  • Mar 22, 20145:57 am
    by Guest


    You can always tell when Dan Feldman is giving the grades out, because Monroe gets a higher grade than he deserves.
    Monroe is way too weak on the defensive side of the ball to ever deserve an A- when he doesn’t score efficiently.

    • Mar 22, 20148:58 am
      by bonerici


      I know what you mean.  Josh Smith is 100 times the player Monroe is.  Josh should get the A for his high iq, heady play, excellent decisions, and you know what it is a shooter has to shoot, which is what he does he’s great, but Monroe should get an F he’s slow and only shoots when he has a good chance of making a shot.  That’s not how you play basketball.

      • Mar 22, 20149:36 am
        by johnnyboy


        What does a comment about Monroe’s grade have to with Smith? Nothing. 

        • Mar 22, 201410:23 am
          by gmehl


          Hint = sarcasm

          • Mar 22, 201411:24 am
            by Huddy

            I think he means regardless of sarcasm what does josh Smith have to do with  @guest comment about Monroe…he wasn’t making a comparison or claiming preference for Smith.

        • Mar 22, 201412:14 pm
          by bonerici


          the reason is that everyone who hates on greg monroe likes josh smith.
          Just how it is.

          • Mar 22, 201412:22 pm
            by bonerici

            of course mr woods proves Im wrong by wanting both of them gone, what?

          • Mar 22, 20145:13 pm
            by Guest

            I’m not hating on Monroe.  Just saying that his scoring and rebounding is 90% of his value.
            I have major problems with Josh Smith too.  But Josh Smith IS capable of playing well enough on the defensive end to overcome a 6-16 game and still deserve an A-.  Monroe isn’t.

  • Mar 22, 20149:34 am
    by Sean Corp


    I admire your lack of periods, bonerici.

    • Mar 22, 20144:24 pm
      by pablum


      Dan, Sean — Do you guys not edit each other’s work? Loyer’s only coached 18 games for us — and didn’t start benching Jenning’s until a few games into that stretch. Prior to those 18 games, Mo was obviously coaching, and he was benching Bynum. So how does Dan’s suggestion that Loyer/Pistons are tanking over the “last 31 games” by benching Jennings (i.e., giving Bynum his minutes) make any sense?  (1) It’s factually incorrect and (2) it ignores key dynamics between Loyer and Jennings, which would more likely explain why Jennings is being benched — given that we’re clearly not tanking:(Playing Drum last night beyond a doubt proves we’re not tanking.)
      I would suggest Jenning’s very recent comments to the press that he’s not recovered from Mo’s firing is likely why he played so little last night. (I’m sure to many in the organization, Jenning’s comments felt like a cop-out on his own accountability on the court — i.e., he’s a pro, he’s not supposed to use Mo as an excuse for his 4th qtr. benching or poor play, he did that with Skiles, etc.) — and so Loyer may have felt Jening’s wasn’t giving a 100% last night and benched him in the 2nd half. (Seriously, doesn’t this make far more sense than the idea Loyer was tanking? Especially given we almost won the game?)
      On a side note, do either of you have any info on Dumars and Gores and whether they are even on speaking terms? Again, this simple question would speak volumes on huge issues facing the team. And I’m sure readers here would be interested in this as well, including, even, the reporting process itself, and how a reporter would go about confirming such a story. (Who would they call? How would they ask the question? Would a player or someone else go off the record on this, etc.)

  • Mar 22, 20149:49 am
    by Mr Woods


    This season can’t end fast enough. I would love to see Smith & Monroe gone along with Dumars. It would be a bonus to get out of Jerebko & Will Bynum’s contracts too. Not only do we need to keep our pick,  we may need to try to attempt to get another mid 1st rd pick.

    • Mar 22, 201411:28 am
      by Huddy


      Smith AND Monroe?  Get ready for a long rebuild and more losing seasons then.  The team would have to upgrade almost every starting position besides center including some role players.  No way that happens quickly.

      • Mar 22, 20141:02 pm
        by Parsons


        We have to improve at every position anyway. Monroe’s a winy child who gives up twice as many points as he gets. Smith is an idiot. Just a colossal waste of time and money. Jennings is awful. He needs to focus on being a defensive specialist. He sucks at shooting. After our sentence with Jennings is up I suspect he signs as a backup PG. I can’t imagine anyone wanting him as more than a backup. We have the worst 2 shooters in the NBA in Jennings and Smith. The only players I’d keep are Singler, KCP, and Drummond. Everyone else sucks. High paid idiots that won’t ever sniff the second round of the playoffs. Yeah it’ll be another long rebuild but is this season really that much different than our rebuilding years? Still fired the coach, still didn’t make the playoffs, still disfunctional. Nothings changed.

        • Mar 22, 20143:56 pm
          by Huddy


          You’re overselling Monroe’s weakness and ignoring his strength.  EveN the best teams aren’t made up of 5 guys that are aces on both ends of the floor.  Monroe is talented and young, his defense wouldn’t look quite so bad if the system created by this years free agent additions wasn’t horrible.  it is not at all crazy to think a team could succeed with Monroe on it if the other pieces fit.  At a certain point you have to accept some faults or the rebuild will be never ending waiting for 5 perfct gems.

        • Mar 22, 20143:58 pm
          by Huddy


          Also I’m not at all saying to keep Jennings.  I want Smith gone as well but for the record he has sniffed the second round of the playoffs.

  • Mar 22, 20149:50 am
    by Mr Woods


    Brandon Jennings can go too!

  • Mar 22, 201410:06 am
    by Rich


    Josh Smith half-asses it so badly, I half expect him to walk out onto the court with loafers on his feet and a cigarette between his fingers for the opening tip.

    He’s getting paid.  Why work, on or off the court?

  • Mar 22, 201412:26 pm
    by Desolation Row


    We are in range…

  • Mar 22, 20141:20 pm
    by Brandon Knight


     Who’s better now Brandon Jennings or Brandon Knight? SMH at those who thought Brandon Knight was the problem from last year. We were actually much better with BK7. Remember when Calderon took over? Same exact thing. The guys didn’t play defense and we sucked so bad with him. Trust me dishing few more assists doesn’t make you a good PG. You guys went nuts when we traded for Calderon including “Dan” who I remember said that he was jumping out his seat. You thought he was gonna make us better…in fact we played garabage with him. You guys forget about the simple things in players: the hustle, the hard work, the love of the game, wanting to to win, the compititevness…Brandon Knight had all of these characteristics that didn’t show in his stats, yes and those characteristics impact the game so much. Brandon Knight is only gonna get better and we gonna just sit here and watch. Fu*ck you Joe Dumars…Fu*ck you Tom Gores. Idiots! 
    Brandon Knight Full Highlights 2014.03.20 at Warr…: http://youtu.be/U5n_8fKTam4

    • Mar 22, 20141:37 pm
      by Brandon Knight


      Oh in the last 4 months Brandon Knight is averaging 19.4 points a game…with two months over 20 points. Is that an improvement from last year? I think so! 
      I  am really expecting Brandon Knight to put up 22+ points next year. Yes I am not joking. He is playing around 32 minutes..give him 36 minutes and with hard work over the summer…he will be an All Star. Funny? No. You guys would have laughed if I told you Brandon Knight was gonna average 18 points a game this year. 

      • Mar 22, 20141:58 pm
        by Zdwtr


        Yeah but his team is worse than the pistons. Case closed. We would have far better with Calderon. With Jennings I hope he improved. With Knight we all know he is not a PG. 

        • Mar 22, 20142:54 pm
          by Parsons


          Jennings isn’t a starting caliber point guard either. A backcourt of Knight and Calderone would be a lot better.

      • Mar 22, 20144:03 pm
        by Huddy


        Jennings being bad doesn’t make knight good.  Knight is a much better value on his contract and that has always been true.  Knohht is scoring more points…because he is shooting more and still doesn’t have the play making skills to be a pg neither he nor Jennings should be the starting point guard on this team.  almost every player in the league that shoots 15 times a game scores 18+ pts a game his ppg is not amazing at all.

    • Mar 22, 20142:38 pm
      by bonerici


      unless im much mistaken the bucks are 13-56 now and unless I am much mistaken they were 38-44 and make the playoffs last year.  Since Middleton is clearly a decent NBA player . . .
      This 13-56 team has a record largely a creation of Brandon Knight.  Not to pick on him to much but he’s not a winner.

    • Mar 22, 20147:08 pm
      by gmehl


      @Brandon Knight Here are a couple of sites you can go drool over your man-crush. Seriously I don’t know what I hate more, you always pining for Knight or this miserable season. I’ll give you a clue… It’s pretty close.

  • Mar 22, 20142:05 pm
    by MrBlockedShot


    Frankly guys, I feel sad to say that I actually don’t regret to have missed our last dozen or so games on tv. After not watching the team for a while this last game against the Suns was even more dishearthening than the last one I got to watch. Watching this non-sense basketball team is too much for me and I have enough with the boxscore. Only thing that could interest me now was giving time to the rookies for proving what they are capable of. On an additional note, doesn’t anyone agree Jennings has already given up for the rest of the season some games ago? Remember that game being benched for the most of the night?….

  • Mar 22, 20142:51 pm
    by Hook Shot


    Hey everyone
    lets see if lakers would take Jennings who could probably run Dantoni’s system for Marshall who is a true point and a couple of their bench warmers(Meeks). That way we get a point guard who would grow with increased playing time and a 3 and D player. Throw in a second round choice to make it a bit more enticing. 

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