Category → Game Review
Most Valuable Player
Will Bynum scored 23 points 10 shots. In a game few others cared, it’s tempting to say the pending free agent was playing for his next contract, but that wasn’t the case. Bynum plays hard every moment of every game.
That was… uninspired
Neither team had the mental focus to show proper form on their jump shots (combining to shoot 28 percent outside the restricted area) or the physical willingness to defend the interior (allowing a combined 70 percent shooting in the restricted area).
Mirza Teletovic adjusted his shoe while the Pistons took one free throw of one, allowing Andre Drummond to swoop in for the rebound and putback dunk.
|Greg Monroe, C 37 MIN | 10-14 FG | 7-7 FT | 16 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 27 PTS | +17
Monroe has owned the 76ers, averaging 22.7 points, 13.7 points and 4.3 assists in three games against them this season.
|Andre Drummond, C 33 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -3
This was far from Drummond’s best game, but he’s so athletic, he still made several positive plays. That’s certainly an upgrade from Jason Maxiell‘s no-show starts.
|Brandon Knight, PG 31 MIN | 5-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | +9
Knight, to his credit, eased his way into this game. He began by making a couple quality, but high percentage, passes and then worked for good shots. But as the game progressed, Knight drifted back into the player who took poor care of the ball and bad shots.
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 33 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +13
Stuckey was clearly the point guard at the get-go, but he still deferred to Knight. At a certain point, he can’t just blame Lawrence Frank for taking the ball out of his hands. Stuckey has been more passive this season.
|Kyle Singler, SG 31 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +18
Singler hadn’t scored this much in 11 games, but tonight was a reminder he’s still better than Middleton right now.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +12
A Jerebko that is good every other game is definite progress from earlier in the season.
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -10
We know Villanueva isn’t defending or rebounding, but when he’s not even shooting, what’s the point?
|Khris Middleton, SF 16 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -6
Middleton is definitely getting more comfortable on both ends of the court. He’s still behind Singler, but the gap might be narrowing. (I say "might," because Middleton hasn’t shown his improvement over a large enough and meaningful enough sample.)
|Will Bynum, PG 25 MIN | 8-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | +4
Bynum is finishing the season on a high note and making sure he gets paid this summer. Good for him. He deserves one more multi-year contract.
|Kim English, SG 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -14
English was a glaringly bad -14 in nine minutes, but I think this was one of many times single-game plus-minus misleads. English didn’t really do anything wrong, other than play six of his minutes with Villanueva. The rookie just happened to be on the court when Detroit missed shots and Philadelphia made them. That said, English didn’t do anything to positively impact the game, either.
Frank stuck with Drummond long enough to let the rookie foul out, and really, he gave everyone who played a chance to show their ability. Some took advantage. Some didn’t.
|Greg Monroe, C 32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +10Monroe’s offense wasn’t needed much tonight, but Monroe had a nice all-around game, particularly with his quick hands defensively, coming up with four steals against the sometimes overly aggressive Charlotte frontcourt.|
|Andre Drummond, C 28 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-4 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 15 PTS | +4By Drummond’s standards, it wasn’t his best game. But you look at is final numbers and … well, there’s not a whole lot to complain about, save for the five turnovers, a few of which were simply Drummond being a tad too aggressive on offense. Drummond had a couple of highlight plays and filled up the statsheet, like he does every night.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 34 MIN | 6-9 FG | 4-6 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 19 PTS | +6Knight was aggressive offensively and helped on the boards. He also had five turnovers and didn’t always play great defense when he was matched up with Kemba Walker, but those points are relatively minor in a game that he’s making shots in.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 26 MIN | 1-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +8Stuckey shot poorly, but he distributed the ball well, took good care of the ball and helped force Gerald Henderson into a poor shooting performance.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 22 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -2Singler is typically about average. When his shots are falling, like they were tonight, and he’s rebounding (six boards in 22 minutes), he’s a useful player to have on the court even with his limitations.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 28 MIN | 9-18 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +17Jerebko’s late-season surge continues to be one of the few good developments for the Pistons late in the season. Hopefully, he carries this into the offseason, works on that 3-pointer some more and comes into next season able to give productive minutes like these at both forward spots.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +7Villanueva barely played, but he made shots in the few minutes he saw the court. That’s about all you can ask for from him at this point.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 26 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +22Middleton, along with Jerebko, continues to impress with his late season minutes. He’s a real candidate for a rotation spot next season if he can take his performance down the stretch into the offseason.|
|Will Bynum, PG 27 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 15 PTS | +15Bynum’s production and flashiness (including an amazing lob to a cutting Jerebko in traffic in the first half) was appreciated as always. He, like most of Detroit’s players, got sloppy with his passes and picked up four turnovers. That’s rather nitpicky, though, when he’s otherwise pretty productive.|
|Kim English, SG 10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +11English made a shot, but otherwise didn’t do much in his 10 minutes to distinguish himself one way or the other.|
|Lawrence FrankFrank continues to give big minutes to young players down the stretch, a welcome change from how he handled the rotation last season. On a going nowhere team, that’s all you can ask for from the coach.|
|Greg Monroe, C 38 MIN | 10-18 FG | 3-5 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 23 PTS | +19
Monroe can pass in tight spaces, and that will be key to making a pairing with Andre Drummond work. Half of Monroe’s assists tonight went to Drummond. Monroe is definitely trying to make the combination work, taking three mid-range shots with Drummond on the court (all misses) and none with Drummond on the bench.
|Andre Drummond, C 34 MIN | 10-11 FG | 9-17 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 29 PTS | +3
Drummond very effectively uses his wide frame, good hands and explosive leaping ability to create dunk opportunities in Detroit’s half-court offense. He’s getting to the point where he can get and convert those looks, even in traffic, which is important for playing with Monroe. Drummond’s career-high scoring output was boosted by Cleveland’s decision to intentionally foul him late in the game, but he came through with his fourth-best single-game free-throw percentage.
|Brandon Knight, PG 35 MIN | 2-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +8
After efficiently scoring 25 and 20 points in his last two games, Knight once again struggled to shoot well. He hasn’t scored more than 10 points in three straight games since a run that began Feb. 20.
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 37 MIN | 5-8 FG | 6-9 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +19
Since March 31, Stuckey is averaging 20 points, five assists and two turnovers per game. He’s finally turning the corner. Right? … Right? … Hello? … Is anyone still reading?
|Kyle Singler, SG 27 MIN | 1-7 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +28
Singler looked off, both in putting himself in position to shoot and in shooting.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +2
Jerebko was very active tonight, and that’s why what has become an off night for him was still better than most of his early-season performances.
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 6 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -13
Defensive. Disaster. It’s very difficult to hide a big man defensively, and that’s what really limits Villanueva’s value. It’s almost impossible to devise a defensive scheme that will prevent opponents from attacking him.
|Khris Middleton, SF 21 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -21
Middleton definitely looks more comfortable and confident lately. Hopefully, this is the first major step in him becoming a rotation-caliber player by next season.
|Will Bynum, PG 21 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -1
Bynum hadn’t heated up like this since mid-March. Barring an exception performance in either direction during the Pistons’ final three games, tonight will be a nice reminder heading into free agency of what he can do.
|Kim English, SG 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -9
Unless the Pistons see something in English’s on-ball defense he hasn’t shown in games, it’s increasingly difficult to envision him returning next year.
Kudos to Frank for giving Drummond and Monroe 26 minutes together. Offensively, they balanced each other, even though they shared a tight space. Defensively, they had a few issues, but I think those were more related to Tristan Thompson going off than a fundamental problem related to them playing together.
Frank leaving Drummond on the court when Cleveland intentionally fouled in the fourth quarter also worked, though it won’t every night unless Drummond boosts his free-throw percentage.The Pistons scored 1.286 points per possession when Cleveland intentionally fouled Drummond(not counting Thompson’s boneheaded/tanktastic decision to foul him inside two minutes, which resulted in two Stuckey free throws and the ball). The NBA’s top offense scores 1.103 points per possession, and coming off free throws, Detroit’s defense has an opportunity to set.
|Greg Monroe, C 32 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | +2He came sneakily close to a triple-double with seven rebounds and seven assists to go with 11 points, but he quietly played a good game. He and Drummond weren’t great on defense, a rusty Joakim Noah and an active Carlos Boozer carved them up, but both teamed well on the boards and within the offense.|
|Andre Drummond, C 20 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -3He’s still awesome, still über-athletic, but also still a 19-year-old rookie with 56 career games. Foul trouble plagued his minutes more than the minutes limit did, but in those minutes he was a force on the glass. Drummond, Monroe and Jerebko’s play on the boards has been a huge reason for the Pistons’ success the last four games.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 37 MIN | 7-12 FG | 5-7 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +10Was there anything better than seeing Knight not only frustrate Nate Robinson defensively, but also take it right at him on offense, too? Tonight was a night where, quite frankly, Knight looked like he knew what he wanted to do on offense. The switch from point guard to shooting guard is mainly a mentality thing, and tonight he had a confident scorer’s mentality — something he struggles with, at times.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +7Stuckey continued his strong end of season surge, this time in a supplementary role. Last time around in Chicago, he was the Pistons only scoring option for most of the game, but tonight he found a way to facilitate and score while taking a backseat to Knight.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 21 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -2Jonas Jerebko’s strong night cut into Singler’s playing time, but when he was out there, he played under control. That’s kind of his thing: even when things go wrong, Singler seems to always keep his composure. It’s nice to see from a rookie.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 27 MIN | 7-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +16This is the Jerebko that had people excited during his rookie season. He was efficient, he was active and killed it on the boards. I once had a basketball coach once who said that he loved guys with dirty knees because they weren’t afraid to get on the floor and make a play — that’s the kind of rebounding, effort player Jerebko has, and can, thrive as.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 15 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +11:Cue fans viciously slandering Charlie V and the Pistons because he played well in a Pistons win, ruining the team’s attempt to tank for a top-4 pick that may or may not be any better than a top-6 pick:|
|Khris Middleton, SF 33 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +19This guy may be better than we thought. It took him ¾ of the season — and Lawrence Frank’s extended leave — to work his way into the rotation, but he’s been surprisingly solid since. In his last handful of games, he’s been good for eight points and three boards on 13-for-21 shooting. Everyone loves Kim English, but Khris Middleton is the one you should love to see on the floor.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1“Good job, good effort!”|
|Will Bynum, PG 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +8There are two vastly different forms of Will Bynum, Good Will and Bad Will. Good Will, the one who scores from a variety of angles and throws a million successful alley-oops, is one of the most entertaining players in the NBA. Bad Will, shoots way too much and turns it over more than he makes a shot, is one of the least. Tonight, you got a bit of both.|
|Kim English, SG 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1“I AM THE HUMAN VICTORY CIGAR! SEE YA LATER LOSING STREAK TO THE BULLS,” said Kim English, I think.|
|Lawrence FrankThe Pistons offense was clicking without Jose Calderon and part of that is a credit to Frank. He still has to find a way to get Brandon Knight more comfortable moving without the ball, but he rode the bench in the second quarter to some success and appeared to have Monroe working to get the ball to cutters — which led to his seven assists. It’s been a rough year from Frank, but in the last five games, he’s really done a solid job.|
|Greg Monroe, C 39 MIN | 11-22 FG | 2-3 FT | 17 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 24 PTS | +3Monroe has averaged 18.3 points, 13.2 rebounds on 59 percent shooting in six games against Boston over the last two seasons. Tonight he was great offensively and on the boards, but he also turned it over, partially because he gets the ball too far from the basket, and the Celtics double him hard late in possessions. But he wasn’t bad defensively, either, especially on the times he switched out on Paul Pierce or Jeff Green.|
|Andre Drummond, C 21 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-3 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -10The only reason the Pistons had any business being in this game was because Drummond and Monroe dominated the undermanned Celtics frontcourt on the offensive glass. Drummond’s bounce definitely hasn’t been hindered since his return from the back injury — unfortunately his free throw shooting since returning (1-for-12) is still turrible.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 37 MIN | 2-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +3I don’t even know how to describe this. Some days it looks like Knight’s lost because he doesn’t have the ball in his hands, then he gets a night like tonight where he and Stuckey are the ONLY ball handlers and this happens. Defense wasn’t bad, but the offense, topped off by missing a wide-open layup in the final minutes, oye, it wasn’t pretty.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 37 MIN | 5-16 FG | 11-15 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 22 PTS | -13You know who hates losing games late in the season when teams are jockeying for draft position? Stuckey. He’s always had a knack for finishing the year strong (outside last season) and that’s been no different with this year’s late-March, early-April run. Hopefully next year’s April starting shooting guard — heck, or small forward — is someone like, say, Andre Igoudala, and not Rodney Stuckey?|
|Kyle Singler, SG 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -6The Celtics packed the house in a game against the Pistons, isn’t that cool to see in an NBA arena the Pistons are playing in? Anyways, Singler was one of the few Pistons murdered on defense by Jeff Green. There was much blood, much effort, but very little result on the part of Singler.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 27 MIN | 6-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +5He was also a member of the “let’s try to defend Jeff Green” club. Tonight wasn’t a great one on that side of the ball for Jerebko, but he was again productive on offense. He’s moving without the ball and taking what the defense — or extra pass — gives him.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 23 MIN | 2-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +1F- is the grade I’d give if I could. I don’t get why he plays big fourth quarter minutes. I don’t get how he’s still so out of shape. I don’t get why he’s playing over Drummond in the fourth (ok, I do, the minute limit), and I don’t get how he goes from missing an open-ish 3-pointer with a minute left to completely not guarding Jeff Green, who made the dagger 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. Brittany Griner would have helped more tonight.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 23 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3He tries, you have to give him that. Middleton’s not a great defender, but he gets some steals and when he gets open shots, he’s proven he’s capable of making some. Too bad he’s stuck out there most nights with black holes like Stuckey and Charlie V.|
|Kim English, SG 7 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5He was a non-factor, but he did find a way to crank up a 3-point attempt, which is good, I guess, considering that’s what he’s out there to do?|
He’s feeling the rest of our pain with the Andre Drummond minutes limit, but overall he’s done a decent job getting guys in positions to succeed this week. He can’t control two of his rotation guys shooting a combined 3-for-27. I still don’t understand how Charlie V missed the potentially game-tying 3-pointer in the final 50 seconds. That play, along with the previous one for Monroe, were the best late-game plays Frank has drawn up all season.
|Greg Monroe, C 38 MIN | 10-18 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 24 PTS | +10
Monroe played as effectively as he typically does in his good games, but his form was a bit more polished. He made most of his shots outside the restricted area, and he even shot 2-for-2 outside the paint. Monroe hadn’t had this many assists without a turnover this season.
|Andre Drummond, C 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -9
Drummond didn’t have his his usual energy. Maybe his lack of stamina after sitting for so long is catching up to him.
|Jose Calderon, PG 43 MIN | 8-12 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +11
Calderon has one of the best shooting strokes in the league, and he could take advantage of it as much as he did tonight more often. Best of all, he didn’t stop running the offense to score his most points since before Valentine’s Day. Raptors fans gave Calderon multiple standing ovations in his return to Toronto, where he spent his first 7.5 seasons. Calderon even headed toward the home locker room at halftime before realizing his mistake and reversing course. He’s an excellent player, and that’s why the Raptors miss him on the court. He’s also a class act, and that’s why Raptors fans miss him in every respect.
|Brandon Knight, PG 29 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -5
DeMar DeRozan is more physically mature than Knight, and the Raptors guard used that advantage to score at times tonight. DeRozan isn’t efficient enough to really make Knight pay, but this game shows how much adding a little muscle this offseason could help Knight defensively.
|Kyle Singler, SG 19 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -9
Rudy Gay is a gifted scorer, and he used all his moves on Singler, who struggled to disrupt Gay in even the slightest.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 28 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +19
Jerebko really upgraded the perimeter defense behind Singler. Jerebko played exactly how I’ve been hope he would all season: hustling, rebounding and defending. When he’s not trying to be the alpha scorer, he’s still one of the league’s best off-the-bench role players.
|Khris Middleton, SF 25 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +16
Middleton displayed a body control I hadn’t seen from him before. He’s had a higher field-goal percentage only once before (a 1-for-1 game), and he pulled it off by twisting and leaning through traffic to make several shots.
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 28 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | +17
Stuckey dribbled the air out of the ball as usual, but he can still be very effective when playing that way. The question about Stuckey is not whether he’s any good. He is. The question is whether he’s good enough for a team to thrive when allowing him to play the high-usage role that suits him best.
Frank often plays the starters together or the reserves together for long stretches of the second half if either unit is playing well. A problem with that strategy is subpar players on one unit get to play at the expense of superior players on the other unit just because their linemates are doing well. It’s a bit more difficult to mix and match players and determine which will click well in unorthodox lineups, but good coaches do it. Tonight, Frank did it. Behind a Calderon-Stuckey-Middleton-Jerebko-Monroe lineup, which was +13 in 13 minutes, the Pistons befuddled the Raptors, going on 13-0 and 10-0 runs in the fourth quarter.
Most Valuable Player
Rudy Gay. Gay, deservedly, has a reputation as an inefficient shooter, but he didn’t live up to it tonight. Gay had scored this much (34 points) six times before, but he’d always needed at least four more shots to get there than the 18 he took tonight.
Andre Drummond returns, Brandon Knight re-injured ankle and breaks nose, Pistons lose big in front of another home crowd
|Greg Monroe, C 30 MIN | 3-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 13 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -16Monroe was solid on the glass and decent in the passing game, but he struggled with his shot and … well … let’s just not talk about the interior defense on Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas tonight.|
|Andre Drummond, C 19 MIN | 8-10 FG | 1-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -7Drummond’s defense wasn’t great, either, but he scored around the basket, he blocked shots, he rebounded and he didn’t look all that rusty considering he’s missed the last 22 games.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 31 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -16Calderon wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him in other games, but for once, I can compliment his defense. He helped hold Kyle Lowry to a quiet game.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 26 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -24The bad news: Knight appeared to re-injure the ankle that caused him to miss games earlier this month. He also broke his nose. The good news: our grades tool now has the option for us to give ‘incompletes’ for players who are forced to leave due to injury. The bad news: Knight played a lot too poorly for too long in this game for me to to consider using the incomplete for the first time. Hopefully the Pistons didn’t rush Knight back too soon and hopefully his injury is not serious.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 33 MIN | 5-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -15Same story with Singler — he was overmatched defensively against Toronto’s quick wings, but he hit open jumpers, rebounded and made enough hustle plays to make him among the better players on the court for the Pistons on a night when most of his teammates struggled.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 28 MIN | 9-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | -6Other than Drummond’s return, Jerebko was the lone bright spot for the Pistons. He was active offensively, moved without the ball well and, if he can (finally) add a consistent 3-point shot in the offseason, he’ll head into next season as a reliable rotation player again.|
|Jason Maxiell, PF 13 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -11Maxiell’s role was finally reduced, and if this had happened earlier in the season, perhaps Maxiell’s production wouldn’t have fallen off a cliff. All parties would’ve been better off with Maxiell in a smaller role much sooner than the last week of March.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 8 MIN | 0-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +10Middleton didn’t make a shot and continues his slump since he had a brief stretch where he looked like he was ready to carve out a backup role down the stretch.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | +6Kravtsov played a few cursory minutes and was his usual — big and awkward, but seemingly trying really hard.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 25 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -10An all-too-familiar scene this season — Stuckey playing significant minutes while barely making any kind of positive contribution to the game.|
|Kim English, SG 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +4English played a decent amount of minutes and shot 2-for-5 from three. On this night, that’s enough to make him one of the top players the Pistons put on the court.|
Frank immediately starting Drummond in his return from injury is enough to get him a (barely) passing grade on a night when his team looked awful in just about every way.
J.J. Barea dashed past Jose Calderon on the perimeter. Charlie Villanueva flashed high above the 3-point line to defend a screen Barea never used, and Jason Maxiell stood flat-footed near the free-throw line before turning around too late to catch a streaking Barea, who made a layup.
“Lawrence Frank wants a timeout. He may talk about the help,” Pistons broadcaster George Blaha said. “Wasn’t that a great movie?”
|Jason Maxiell, PF 22 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -3If Maxiell stops shooting so many mid range jumpers and gets to the bucket more, he shoots better? What a novel idea! I wish someone would have thought of that before!|
|Greg Monroe, C 29 MIN | 2-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 8 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | 0This was a tough game for Monroe. His 2-11 from the field was not a misleading stat. He forced so many bad shots against competition that he should be clearly better than (Byron Mullens, Bismack Biyombo and Josh McRoberts). His defense was average, but again, he was playing against some of the worst starting big men in the league.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 30 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -8Calderon had another solid night. He was good shooting from outside, but probably could’ve gotten the ball inside a bit more (he did to his teammates, but took no shots in the paint himself). He had six assists, but probably could’ve gotten more if the big men could get all of their shots to go down. His defense wasn’t great, but Kemba Walker is a hard player to stop.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 37 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 10 PTS | 0In his first game back from his ankle injury, Brandon Knight was a disaster. He played a lot of minutes (a lot at point guard late in the game), but turned the ball over too much and shot very poorly. (16.5% from three). The only saving grace tonight for Knight was his stellar defense (see: Dan’s last post about Knight’s underrated defense).|
|Kyle Singler, SG 28 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -7Singler wasn’t too involved tonight, but when he was, he didn’t shoot too well and got in foul trouble. His defense was nothing too great, but he didn’t look lost.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 20 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +7Villanueva basically split time at power forward tonight with Jason Maxiell,and did about just as well in every facet of the game except for shooting, where he was good tonight long range. Oh, also, he had a monster dunk late in the fourth quarter.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -2Since the Pistons gave up on their season, Jerebko has been finding himself in the rotation more, and tonight was no different. Jerebko logged solid minutes but wasn’t very involved, shooting at a mediocre percentage and getting eight points.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 16 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +10Middleton has been finding himself playing a lot since the Pistons began tanking as well. Tonight he had six points and played surprisingly well on defense, forcing a lot of misses and turnovers.|
|Will Bynum, PG 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +1Unfortunately, Will Bynum didn’t play after the 5:35 mark in the second quarter due to his lingering hand injury. He didn’t really make an impact in his six minutes on the floor.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 30 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 13 PTS | +7Stuckey was expecting his minutes to go back down after Knight returned from his injury, but that was not the case. He played a lot tonight and shot well, but the best part of his game was the way he ran the offense. He has eight assists and was spreading the ball around very nicely.|
|Lawrence FrankFrank coached the Pistons to a win and did a nice job managing the team in crunch time, but it was against the Bobcats. It would have been nice to see Kravtsov and English log some playing time instead of Bynum and Stuckey. It was good to see him get Jerebko and Middleton some rotation time, however.|