Category → Game Review
Gigi was done for the night, and Italy eventually finished off Jerebko’s Sweden (82-79), but the competition between these two is just beginning.
Because the Pistons have so many players who play multiple positions, the ripple effects of any lineup adjustment can be felt everywhere in the rotation. That’s why a combo forward like Jerebko and a small forward like Datome are competing for minutes, even if Jerebko is more likely to play power forward on this Detroit team.
Today, Jerebko outdid Datome, notching 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists to Datome’s seven points in 13 minutes. But Sweden needed Jerebko more than Italy needed Datome, whose outside shooting might make him a better fit in a Pistons lineup that will heavily feature Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
As I argued last year, Jerebko’s inclusion into the rotation is dependent on his willingness to accepter a lesser role. Lawrence Frank got a hard time for benching Jerebko early, but Frank was justified based on Jerebko deciding to shoot a lot (without making many baskets) and not do much else. Hopefully, Jerebko has accepted his NBA niche as a hustle player with a better-than-average jumper for that role. If he hasn’t, hopefully Maurice Cheeks can work with Jerebko on his outlook rather than banish him to the end of the bench like Frank did.
When Jerebko stepped to the free-throw line today, he was drenched in sweat, his face red and his hair disheveled. He clearly hasn’t stopped playing hard. In this setting, it’s as co-top player with Jeffery Taylor. In Detroit, Jerebko must play hard differently, working to get loose balls rather than jump shots.
For Datome, the path to at least cracking the Pistons’ rotation is simpler: make shots. After scoring 25 points and making 3-of-4 3-pointers against Russia in Italy’s EuroBasket opener, he’s shot just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc, including 1-of-3 today. He might have to prove himself a better shooter from distance, but then again, the Pistons might be so starved for floor spacing that he plays regularly anyway.
Jerebko and Datome are both in the thick of the Pistons’ position battles, and both had a chance to make an impression today. Whose performance rates higher is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholders who matter most, Joe Dumars and George David, are in Slovenia watching.
ORLANDO — It seemed as though the Pistons had Tuesday’s game against the Thunder well in hand, leading by 11 points entering the fourth quarter.
Well, with this being Florida, that all changed when the hurricane of all hurricanes struck — Hurricane Reggie Jackson — and with it came an array of jumpers, trash talking and an eventual Thunder victory, 79-75.
The third-year guard is far-and-away the most accomplished player in Orlando this week, and it showed in the fourth quarter when he just willed the Thunder back. Jackson isolated, and isolated, and what do you know, isolated some more. He playfully yapped at the Pistons’ bench and those who tried to defend him, Kim English, among others, barely fazed him.
That’s fine and dandy, but this is the NBA Summer League; guys like Jackson and Drummond should toss up huge numbers.
There are normally two things to expect when it comes to summer league: real, genuine effort from fringe guys basically trying out for 30 teams in one week and conversely sloppy basketball.
Tuesday’s game provided a little bit of both, and shockingly (sloppily) enough, the Pistons’ extremely meaningful summer league loss was actually an extremely entertaining one thanks, in part, to the quiet coming out of rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
It was only a matter of time before he brushed off the first-time nerves and started showing glimpses of why the Pistons drafted him with the No. 8 pick in June. He was streaky — doing most of his damage in the third quarter where he score 11 of 19 points — but when he was on during that stretch, he was really on.
You’d like to see him not settle for jumper after jumper and drive a little, but he’s showing some confidence in his shot. I’ll have a more in-depth post about KCP after talking to him today, too. Oh, and for those keeping score on this at home, Trey Burke shot 5-for-15 today with five turnovers in a Utah loss to Houston.
I always liked Siva during his days at Louisville because he never seemed rattled. From Big East championship game at Madison Square Garden to the National Title Game at the Georgia Dome, Siva always plays within himself.
That was the same vibe I got after he dropped an efficient line of 12 points, seven assists and just one turnover. He’s not the biggest, but he’s as quick as advertised with the ball and once he gets a pick — especially the monstrous-sized ones via Andre Drummond — he knows exactly where he wants to go with the ball after. He made two of four from deep two, a good sign for a guy with a questionable jumper.
He wasn’t dominating like he was in the team’s summer-league opener, but he was still a force on the boards. There were plenty of times where he tried to dribble-drive and shot those baseline fadeaways that make you groan, but he, like the rest of the team, picked up the energy in the second half.
Thunder rookie Steven Adams did an admirable job bumping Drummond around, but once the second half rolled around, Drummond’s energy cranked up and the entire team kind of followed suit. He’s still got work to do as a player, but physically he’s a man among boys here in Orlando.
Dan said it yesterday, but he’s got some real skills (and a great baby-sized, high-top fade) but he just doesn’t have enough range to stick around. I love his effort, he’s not afraid to body up on anyone and he seems to have a high IQ when it comes to court awareness, knowing where to be, etc.
He’s one of those guys who you kind of want to see succeed — possibly because you know it’d be like rooting for the underdog of all underdogs.
Big, tall, shoots 3-pointers. He’s basically the pasty reincarnation of Rasheed, right?
Known as “#ThreeJaySingler” to some folks at the University of Oregon, Kyle’s little brother got his first real action with Khris Middleton out with an ankle injury. He, like Peterson, won’t be making the team, and he suffers from the same problem, albeit more so, that his older brother does — he’s not athletic enough to be a real contributor. Every summer league team needs some nepotism or family though, right?
If you told me four years ago that Kalin Lucas’ backup at Michigan State, then Lucious, would be competing for an NBA roster spot today, I would have laughed at you. Lucious doesn’t stand a puncher’s chance of making the Pistons, but he played pretty well on Tuesday.
He’s a little lackadaisical with the ball — but all point guards in summer league kind of are because of the sloppy plays and confused players running them — but his shot has been pretty consistent. He’s not afraid to take an open shot though, and unlike some guys in summer league, he’s pretty confident in showing what he can do. He knows his situation, so I applaud him for being able to just play.
The Pistons’ suffered one of the worst summer-league losses in history, falling by 30 to the Celtics today. Fortunately, that ranks just behind the best summer-league win in history.
- Kelly Olynyk ’s offensive moves were too advanced for Mitchell’s defense
- Very active again the offensive glass, though I think offensively rebounding airballs, which he did a couple times, is easier than shots that hit rim
- Powerful putback dunk, followed by a stare-down to match
- Nice cut and strong alley-oop finish. More mean mugging
- Didn’t follow same routine on a pair of free throws. Spun the ball around his hand before dribbling it on the first, but not on the second. Missed both.
- Shot another jumper just inside the 3-point arc, which won’t be frustrating until the regular season, but I’m readying myself
- Also played for the Celtics (not really, but this guy made for one confusing matchup)
- Another day, another airball
- Shot 3-for-10, including 1-for-6 on 3-pointers. Clearly getting frustrated.
- Made another 3-pointer, but it was wiped out by a moving screen that got him open
- Again tried for a thunderous dunk, again missed, but this time didn’t draw a foul
- Good instincts to swarm for a steal and fastbreak dunk when Olynyk bobbled the ball on the perimeter
- Good hustle to get a fastbreak steal
- Shot 0-for-8, including 0-for-5 on 3-pointers
- Kicking his legs out on his 3-pointers
- How is he going to make the team?
- Shot an early jumper, obviously missed, and then fouled on an and-one on the other end. Great way to indicate he didn’t really care about this game at the outset, but he came around
- Repeatedly showed good hands inside
- Used quick feet to cleanly block Celtics shot right in front of basket
- Landing spot on jumper nowhere near where he lifts off
- Shot 0-for-4
- Nice defensive rotation and impressive guts to take a hard charge
Nice in-air adjustment on contested fastbreak layup
Trying to use the summer league to develop his passing
Sent to the bench in the third quarter with a right leg injury and was attended to by Mike Abdenour
- Good defense
- If he could shoot just a little bit, he could play in the NBA
- Who the heck are you, Mr. 6-foot-10 making 3-of-4 3-pointers?
- Amnesty Charlie Villanueva, please
The summer league is the definitive tool for judging NBA players. I mean, we all remember the Hall of Fame career of Loren Woods, right?
OK, obviously, there’s a whole lot of noise clouding summer-scouting – perhaps so much that all this is useless – but the Pistons are playing, so PistonPowered will be covering it.
There’s some gimmick the summer league is using this year to determine matchups for the final game, including a championship game. I don’t care at all about that (unless the Pistons are playing for the championship, and then wooooooooo, high-stakes basketball, baby), and I’m not going to bother updating the meaningless standings. You’re lucky if I mention the score. (The Pistons beat the Nets, 76-67, in their opener, by the way.)
What I will provide is a player-by-player assessment of anyone who stood out. Depending on how the game went, not every player will necessarily get covered.
- Trey Burke shot 1-for-12 earlier in the day, and certain fans cackled. Caldwell-Pope followed that with a 1-of-10 day, leaving supporters of both one-time potential Pistons draft picks in a depressing stalemate.
- Shot 0-for-8 on 3-pointers
- Unbalanced on most of his jump shots
- Showed athleticism by driving for dunk attempt while being fouled
- Too good for this level, but in a game with sloppy sets and poor spacing, the external factors that held him back in college also limited him here
- Had 12 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks, five steals, zero assists, seven turnovers and six fouls
- Didn’t always play hard, which is understandable, because unlike a large majority of summer-league players, Drummond has started in the pros. But that’s disappointing, because one time when Drummond didn’t hustle back on defense after blocking a shot, Tony Mitchel, a teammate facing his own questions about playing hard, lingered in the backcourt with him
- Intentionally fouled as called for by new Nets
clowncoach Jason Kidd, who also got a technical and had to be calmed by Lawrence Frank. Kidd might be a good coach, but he did more to draw attention for silliness in this game.
- Looked out of breath at times
- Also looked like Moses freaking Malone
- Active on the offensive glass and successfully aggressive in going for putbacks
- Had seven points and six rebounds and made all three of his shots
- Made a long jumper just inside the 3-point arc, which is a nice sign for his range but a poor indicator for his (and/or the coaching staff’s) understanding of a quality shot
- Shooting stroke looked good, as it always does
- Made shots (2-of-2 on 3-pointers and 5-of-11 overall), which isn’t always the case
- Used his jumper to create passing lanes
- Comfortable dominating the ball and running the offense
- Took just two shots in 26 minutes, missing them both
- Finished well at the rim in catch-and-dunk situations
- Drove from mid-range, but too slowly, and his his shot was blocked
- Fouled rather than moved his feet going for defensive rebound
- Didn’t start and spent too much time playing with non-roster summer league teammates who don’t know what they’re doing for someone facing a contract decision – unless the Pistons have already made their choice
- Didn’t play. I’m guessing he might play later in the week, perhaps cycling into the lineup in place of Drummond, so the veterans each get a chance to get into a rhythm rather than everyone playing limited minutes in every game.
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.