Category → Game Review
Note: Andre Drummond re-injured his back and only played four minutes tonight. This is of course extremely unfortunate and something that likely has every fan hoping that it’s nothing serious and heals quickly. It’s also why I left him out of grades tonight. Since these grades are meant to solely evaluate impact on the game, there’s no way Drummond had any positive impact out there. But in the interest of not blaming him for being injured, I’d rather just leave him out than give him a poor grade and hear a handful of ‘OMG you’re so mean to Drummond!’ comments. Sound fair?
|Jason Maxiell, PF 20 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +6Maxiell’s productivity ont he glass and on the boards was OK for 20 minutes. But with Drummond injured, on a night the Pistons actually needed extended minutes from Maxiell, he got into foul trouble.|
|Greg Monroe, C 35 MIN | 10-16 FG | 3-6 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | +4Monroe would’ve been an A, but a familiar problem hit him again. With a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with less than a minute left, Monroe hit just 1-for-2. After great improvement at the line last year (jumping nearly 10 percent from his rookie season), Monroe has regressed there this season.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 31 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -7Calderon looked even more comfortable tonight and did the two things the Pistons knew he would — ran the offense and made 3-pointers (2-for-3).|
|Brandon Knight, PG 26 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -3Knight was decent defensively and had four assists. He’s struggling from 3-point range right now. He went 0-for-3 tonight and he’s 1-for-12 in his last three games.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 34 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +2Singler shot the ball well and chipped in with rebounding and passing. I don’t know if switching from shooting guard to small forward makes that big a difference for him, but he’s certainly played better of late.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 16 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -2On a night when even a little bit of bench scoring would’ve possibly won this game, Villanueva wasn’t up to the task.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 19 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | 0Jerebko started slow, but gave solid minutes in the second half. He struggled shooting the ball but made a big shot with a minute left to cut Brooklyn’s lead to one.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 11 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -11There are no positives about Drummond’s injury, but it did give Kravtsov a chance at some extended playing time tonight. He picked up three fouls in 11 minutes, but most teams stash a bruising big man with those attributes at the end of their bench.|
|Will Bynum, PG 20 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +4Bynum’s strong play continues. His offense and ability to get in the lane once again sparked the Pistons tonight and gave them a chance to win.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 23 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -7Like Villanueva, any offense at all from Stuckey tonight probably results in the Pistons winning this game.|
|Lawrence FrankWeirdly, Frank’s cautious approach with Drummond is actually a good thing now. By all accounts, his back injury is not serious, but the Pistons are also going nowhere this season. If there’s any doubt whatsoever — and in Drummond’s four minutes tonight, there is clearly doubt — about his health, by all means sit him until he’s fully healed. As for the rest of the game, the Pistons played well for three quarters and ran out of steam late. The defense, particularly on Brooklyn’s guards, was solid. The Pistons just had too many guys who didn’t make shots tonight.|
|Jason Maxiell, PF 22 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +3Maxiell’s lack of production wasn’t entirely his fault tonight. The Knicks’ small lineup meant he had to try to defend either Carmelo Anthony or Iman Shumpert. Even if Maxiell was playing great (and he wasn’t at all), he’s not winning either of those matchups.|
|Greg Monroe, C 35 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 5 TO | 13 PTS | -12Monroe got off to a poor start and he had another of the occasional really sloppy games that we’ve seen this season with five turnovers. He also missed a layup in the first quarter on a perfect pass from Jose Calderon.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 27 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | -9Not a bad debut for Calderon, who shot well and had no turnovers. He also would’ve had a few more assists if guys hit shots he set up for them that were very makable.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 28 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -12Knight didn’t shoot well and didn’t do anything else that contributed tonight.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 25 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -9Singler was ineffective defensively tonight, but at least he didn’t compound by having an awful shooting game like a few of his teammates.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 23 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -12Villanueva shot poorly, but as he’s sneakily been doing at times this season, he helped out on the boards and even picked up a couple assists. It was far from a stellar performance, but it could’ve been much worse.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 17 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -7Jerebko had his best game in a while, and he did it by doing Jerebko-like things — rebounding, hustling, running and getting into passing lanes.|
|Andre Drummond, C 8 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -3Drummond had one of his worst games of the season (but still managed to get five boards in eight minutes). He left the game with what is reportedly a sore back, and when he was in there, he looked off. Amar’e Stoudemire easily got post position and beat him off the dribble early in the game.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 2 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2Kravtsov played! And made a shot! That’s really about all that can be said about his two minute cameo.|
|Will Bynum, PG 21 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -5Bynum shot well and provided a spark offensively, but also had three turnovers.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 30 MIN | 6-15 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -8Stuckey shot poorly, but he did rebound well, played OK defense with three steals and picked up a few assists.|
|Lawrence FrankThe Pistons missed good shots and didn’t play with much energy. Plus, their lineup was limited due to Drummond’s apparent injury. Whatever the gameplan was against the Knicks obviously didn’t work, but New York is also a really bad matchup for the Pistons at key positions.|
Simple recap: The Pistons played well. The Lakers played well.
This was one of the Pistons’ most pleasing games of the season. They trailed by eight in the first quarter and tied the game in the second quarter. Then, they trailed by 18 in the third quarter and tied the game in the fourth quarter. There’s no shame in being only one point worse today, just as there would have been no shame for the Lakers if the Pistons had pulled out the win.
The Pistons are far from perfect, but they played hard and they played and played unselfishly. After the last few years, just being entertaining more often than not is progress, and they were definitely that tonight.
I can only imagine what Jose Calderon will add.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -12
Maxiell did plenty of things – going hard after rebounds, dunking, blocking shots – I really like. But he’s way too in love with his mid-range jumper (0-for-3 today). Cut those out, or at least limit them, and he’d be a lot more effective.
|Greg Monro , C 32 MIN | 9-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 20 PTS | -4
Monroe has shot 49-for-83 (59 percent) in his last six games after a relatively inefficient start to the season. He’s doing an excellent job of establishing deep post position and patiently picking his spots. Add excellent rebounding and at least effort on defense, and Monroe is starting to play like we all hoped he would this season.
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -3
He passed the ball alright, but Stuckey was such a non-factor, the Pistons had Kyle Singler defend Kobe Bryant down the stretch.
|Brandon Knight, PG 34 MIN | 3-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -10
As we’ve seen, Knight isn’t good enough to start as a distributing guard right now. I also worry he’s not good enough to starting as a scoring guard, either. He just hasn’t proven himself an efficient enough shooter. He moved the ball well today as a complementary option, but he’s sort of stuck in the middle between both backcourt roles. Right now, he’s good enough to be a combo guard off the bench on a good team. There’s plenty of time for him to improve, but I still wonder how much the Jose Calderon trade indicates the Pistons aren’t totally sold on Knight. Also, Knight is docked points for poor form in his dust-up with Metta World Peace. You can’t go at someone like World Peace and duck your head into his chest. Better advice: Don’t be a small guard and go at World Peace.
|Kyle Singler, SG 40 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | +12
Singler worked hard on defense, drawing a charge on World Peace, but the Kobe Bryant assignment was too much for him. Singler is doing alright for what he is, a rookie who was as second-round pick, but the Pistons should be looking to upgrade their wings this offseason.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 10 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -6
Jerebko made a 3-pointer late in the first quarter that really got him going. He was more engaged on both ends, working to get open offensively and hitting the glass defensively. But his ability to guard his man was lacking, especially on Kobe’s half-ending alley-oop to Earl Clark.
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 16 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +3
Villanueva scored all 10 of his points in the final eight minutes, so he really stood out during an exciting finish. But, overall, his contributions were closer to average.
|Andre Drummond, C 23 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-4 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 4 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +11
Without Tayshaun Prince, who was arguably the team’s top perimeter defender, are the Pistons funneling more drives to Drummond? His four blocks match a career high against legitimate NBA teams,* and his two steals were also impressive (especially the one he took right to the basket himself before being fouled). Drummond was solid with his lob receptions, but he was a defensive game-changer. And it certainly looked like Pau Gasol fouled Drummond on the last-second lob attempt, but no more so than the type of fouls that usually get overlooked at the ends of games.
*Every team besides the John Wall-less Wizards.
|Will Bynum, PG 29 MIN | 9-18 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | +13
The Lakers haven’t defended penetrating point guards well for years, and Bynum took full advantage. When the Pistons’ offense stagnated otherwise in the second quarter, Bynum made five straight Detroit field goals. Then, as the Lakers collapsed on his drives, Bynum transitioned well into a quality distributor. The Pistons’ offense was way more aesthetically pleasing than usual. Prince’s departure is certainly a reason, but Bynum was also a key factor.
|Kim English, SG 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -9
I thought English could become what Kevin Pelton calls a 3&D player, someone who spaces the floor on one end and defends well on the other. But English’s defense must improve a great deal before he can fill that role.
The Pistons are a player short, and it shows. Knight played poorly and received 34 minutes. Stuckey was off and still got 23 minutes. Singler was just so-so in his six minutes at guard, but he provided more than English did in his eight minutes. Detroit really struggled in just two situations: when its starting lineup was in (-11 in 13 minutes) and when English was in (-9 in eight minutes). Once Calderon can play, the starting lineup will change and English will likely drop out of the rotation. In the meantime, I’m not sure what else Frank can do with the backcourt.
As far as the front court, I’ll let Mike D’Antoni take this one:
With the Pistons acquiring a proven, pure point guard in Jose Calderon this week, it’s easy to draw a conclusion that the performance Friday (20 points and 10 assists with just one turnover) of their incumbent point guard, Brandon Knight, may have been a message that he is not ready to relinquish the position just yet.
That very well could be the case, but let’s not forget that Knight has had some of his best games as a pro when matched up with Kyrie Irving, a rival point guard from his high school class, his lone season of college basketball and his draft class. In fact, Knight plays far better against Cleveland than any team in the league. He averaged 23 points per game on 60 percent shooting with 5.2 assists and just 2.2 turnovers per game in six career games against the Cavs coming into tonight.
It’s hard to say if his outstanding game tonight was a response to sudden competition for his position or him heightening his game to play against a rival player he’s always done pretty well against. Either way, it was welcome and hopefully something that Knight can build on.
* Note – I also am giving Calderon an A tonight just for that shot of him taking notes in a legal pad on the sidelines. He’s already among my favorite players for that. Do the Pistons coaches even take notes during the game? I have a great feeling about how much he’s going to help this team improve.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +16Maxiell played OK, although he wasn’t particularly good against Tristan Thompson.|
|Greg Monroe, C 36 MIN | 7-16 FG | 4-8 FT | 16 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +21Monroe didn’t shoot the ball all that well most of the game, but he was a monster on the glass and he only turned it over once. Monroe also made some great, precision passes all game long.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 35 MIN | 5-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +20Stuckey only attempted one 3-pointer and, predictably, he shot very well as a result of that. It’s not a difficult concept with him. When his shot selection is better and he passes up those 3-point looks, he’s a much better player.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 32 MIN | 7-14 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 10 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +30Knight’s stat line is even more impressive when you consider he did it in just 32 minutes. It was a great game, but I’m done getting excited about one good performance here and there from Knight. His challenge is consistency, and until he can find it, he’ll continue to be a below average starting guard. Tonight gave a great glimpse as to why people are so high on his talent though.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 37 MIN | 9-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +17Singler looks to be settling into that small forward spot quite nicely. Not only did he rebound and defend well tonight, he also showed a quicker than expected first step, frequently beating his man off the dribble.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 6 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1Jerebko’s opportunity to earn his way back into the rotation isn’t going well. He rushed shots, didn’t look comfortable and didn’t make the customary hustle plays that have made him so valuable his previous seasons in Detroit. He just doesn’t look like the same player he was last year or as a rookie.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 3-8 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +4The Pistons blocked 11 shots tonight, and Andre Drummond only had one of them. Your new rim protecting presence, ladies and gentleman, is Charlie Villanueva. He and Drummond are the next Sampson-Olajuwon.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 1 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2Middleton made the most of his one minute of action, making a shot. Hard to do much positive or negative in one minute, so he gets a C.|
|Andre Drummond, C 18 MIN | 4-4 FG | 1-5 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -9Drummond was quiet (by his standards at least) tonight, but with the performance of Detroit’s starters, they didn’t need a monster game out of him. He dunked, he blocked, he rebounded, so basically, what we’ve come to expect from him every time he touches the court.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +4Hey, he made two free throws! That’s a decent accomplishment for a guy who would be the worst free throw shooter on the team if not for Drummond.|
|Will Bynum, PG 16 MIN | 4-5 FG | 3-6 FT | 0 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -9Speaking of players who might be leery of Mr. Calderon’s presence … Bynum was fantastic off the bench. Detroit’s point guards combined for 16 assists and three turnovers tonight. Amazingly, after years of needing point guards who are careful with the ball and look to set up others, all it took was bringing one to town who actually tries to do those things to get the team’s incumbent point guards to play that way.|
|Kim English, SG 16 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -5English played OK defense and I respect that he helped on the glass even though his shot wasn’t falling, but he’s yet to do much in his couple of games auditioning in extended minutes.|
|Lawrence FrankI can give a pass for not playing Drummond as much tonight considering the Pistons had a comfortable lead most of the way and there were a lot of other players playing well. The Pistons bounced back from two consecutive poor efforts, played good defense, played great offense and got a home win over a bad team that they absolutely had to get.|
As you can imagine, it was hard to focus on tonight’s Pistons game with the fairly significant news from earlier today that Joe Dumars made his first unquestionably good trade since … oh … about 2004 or so. Pistons fans have coped with these last five years of bad basketball, bad coaching and bad management in a variety of ways. I’ve personally never tried to take too hard-line a stance on wanting certain players gone. Instead, I just root for things that I hate watching to go away. If that means players have to go, then so be it, but I try not to openly root for guys’ lives getting uprooted and shipped off just because I’m a pissed off fan tired of watching awful ball.
So, with today’s trade, I’m excited that I will no longer have to watch/hear about the following things:
* Austin Daye clapping his hands, putting his head down and slumping his shoulders after every missed shot, blown defensive assignment, dropped pass or general miscue. Seriously, it was depressing.
* Isolayshaun offense. Self-explanatory.
* Fans perpetuating the myth that Tayshaun Prince’s presence was blocking certain young players from reaching their potential.
Example 1: “Daye’s confidence was sunk last year when the Pistons re-signed Prince because Daye thought he was going to be the Pistons starting small forward.”
Seriously, I hated that one so much. I don’t know if Daye really thought that or was affected by it, but if he was — and I was shocked at the number of people who perpetuated that theory — then he’s insane. He’d done nothing to remotely show he was capable of being a starting SF in the NBA, even on a bad team to that point. So good riddance to that myth.
Example 2: Prince dominating the ball is preventing Brandon Knight from becoming a capable point guard.
That’s the awful and frequently repeated one from this season. And seriously, no. You know what prevents Knight from being a capable point guard? Knight not being a capable point guard. That’s it. And thankfully, now Jose Calderon’s presence will prevent Knight from being a point guard, capable or otherwise, for the rest of the season.
So anyway, this was a great trade, obviously, but I have no idea how it will work out long-term. The elephant in the room is still that all too unforgettable summer of 2009, the last time Dumars had cap space, that is surely terrifying every fan who has bravely followed the team these last few years. But in the short-term, I’m thoroughly ecstatic that a few things that drive me nuts will no longer drive me nuts. Next on my list of things I want to never watch or write about again? Shot charts like this one from Rodney Stuckey tonight:
Woof. Six 3-point attempts from a guy hitting 30 percent on the season and 28 percent for his career? Again, woof. Just stop shooting. I don’t care if you’re open. Drive into four defenders if you have to. Anything is better than a Stuckey 3-point attempt.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -7He blocked two shots, but didn’t do much of anything else. On the plus side, 17 minutes is just about right for him. That’s a trend I hope continues.|
|Greg Monroe, C 33 MIN | 8-17 FG | 2-6 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | -15Indiana played very physical against Monroe, and for the most part, he was up for it. He drew contact inside (though he didn’t get rewarded for it much by the refs), he blocked shots and he had his moments defensively against Roy Hibbert. If it weren’t for his four turnovers and poor free throw shooting, he’d have easily been in B/B+ range. Also, lost in all of the hoopla of today’s trade was a great post comparing Monroe and Hibbert by J.M. today. Go check that out.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 34 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -17As mentioned above, my issue with Stuckey was solely shot selection. He just cannot take 3-pointers. He was wide open on several of his six attempts tonight and they were still way off. He’s not a good shooter, there is plenty of evidence supporting that, so for him to attempt as many threes as he does is simply ridiculous.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 28 MIN | 3-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -9Knight only had one turnover, but that’s about all that can be said for his performance. The best part of this trade is that, for the first time, the Pistons have a superior player capable of legitimately pushing Knight at the point guard spot.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 30 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -21Singler played solid defense helping limit Paul George to a bad shooting night and his reaction to Tyler Hansbrough being the annoying bro that Tyler Hansbrough is known for being was fantastic.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 19 MIN | 0-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +1Jerebko was active, but that activity didn’t lead to much production. On the plus side, he played more at small forward, something many fans have wanted to see for a long time. Hopefully that continues.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 15 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -16Villanueva missed open shots and didn’t do anything helpful while he was on the court.|
|Andre Drummond, C 24 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-10 FT | 14 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -3Drummond was a monster, once again. On top of his rebounding and blocked shots — which we’ve come to expect — Drummond exhibited quick hands, coming up with two steals and getting knockaways on two other plays that were called fouls but looked pretty questionable.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 3 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -1Hey, Kravtsov played! He got a couple of dunks, but also made contact with Pacers guard Orlando Johnson on a layup attempt by Johnson then promptly crumpled to the floor and died. Kravtsov is athletic, but still obviously has no idea what to do with that athleticism.|
|Will Bynum, PG 23 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 13 PTS | -13Bynum shot well, which is more than many of his teammates can say, but his shot selection wasn’t always great and he turned it over four times.|
|Kim English, SG 14 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -4English played solid minutes. I wish he would’ve got one of his 3-point attempts down, but he did enough to justify a continued crack at regular minutes. He also gets major points from me for flagrantly fouling Hansbrough, my least favorite player in the history of basketball.|
|Lawrence FrankDrummond played 24 minutes after playing 28 last night, and he would’ve played more if he didn’t pick up three first half fouls. That alone gets Frank a decent grade. As far as the blowout loss? Much like last night’s game, there’s not much blame you can put on a coach when guys just flat out miss good looks as the Pistons did a lot tonight.|
Yes, I am alive and well
A few of you have noticed that I’ve been scarce around these parts lately (seriously … thanks for noticing, makes me feel really appreciated). I just wanted to take a second and give an explanation, something I probably should’ve done in the first place.
First of all, I’m not going anywhere. As long as Dan is running this site, I’ll be here contributing in some capacity. I’ve always prided myself on being honest and unfiltered, whether my opinions are right or wrong, with readers, and I’ll try and do the same here. I was getting burnt out. This team, at times, is hard to watch, as you all know. As you can imagine, that also makes the team pretty hard to write about. There were several times over the first half of this season where I felt like I was being repetitive, where I felt like I wasn’t bringing anything new or relevant to the table and, to be completely blunt about it, I was just bitching about the countless things that this organization does wrong. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a place for bitching. Just ask Detroit Bad Boys (I kid, I kid … I love those guys and they’ve been even more fantastic since Matt Watson has come back full force over the last month or so*).
* Seriously, I scale back my writing slightly over the last month or so and I’m getting harassed about being dead, but Watson, who has been cryogenically frozen since like the ’07 season is all of a sudden back and in a matter of days the king of Pistons blogging again and no one bats an eye? The Free Press needs to be writing about this. It’s Matt effing Watson! One of the best NBA bloggers of all time!
As I said, a good rant is fine. It has just never worked for me or felt right for me as a writer. I tend to be too cynical, so when I allow myself to get into a negative mode writing, it snowballs and I soon start to feel incapable of writing without any of that negative bias seeping in. The fact is, I want to watch this team objectively. I want to see the young players on this team succeed. I want the real Joe Dumars to return and overthrow his evil twin who has been running the show since roughly the Nazr Mohammed signing (and maybe the Calderon trade is a sign that that coup has been staged). I want to believe that evidence exists suggesting Knight can be the point guard this organization desperately wants fans to believe he is. I want the real Lawrence Frank, the guy who is well-spoken, who worked his ass off through the ranks to get an opportunity as a NBA coach, who is respected by Hall of Fame players like Jason Kidd and Kevin Garnett, to show up here and figure out that the best way to win games is playing your best players the most minutes. I want those things and I don’t want to write with a cynical lens that makes it seem like I don’t want the team to succeed when the reality is I want nothing more as a sports fan. With that in mind, I think a step back to recharge is in order. I want to watch the team more without the pressure of trying to say something new in a recap. More importantly, I want to spend more time reading the work of others, NBA and otherwise, and work on some creative inspiration to provide content here that is at the level that PistonPowered readers have grown to expect. You guys deserve better than someone who is conflicted or not fully invested at all times, so in order for me to get back to that point, I need to spend some time doing less.
The second factor is a little less boring but more important to me personally. PistonPowered is a hobby for me that, because I tend to be on the obsessive compulsive side, often became like a second full-time job that I do on top of my day job that actually does things like ‘allow me to wear clothes’ and ‘allow me to eat food.’ When I stepped back and actually evaluated how much this site, its growth and its success consume me, I had to re-evaluate. Between writing posts and the hundreds of retorts I was writing in the comments on a monthly basis, I needed to get my home priorities straight. I don’t want watching basketball with my son to entail me also being in front of a computer at all times too. I don’t want my wife to have to plan stuff around whether or not I have to write about a game three or four nights a week. I want to be able to go watch my brother play basketball at Lawrence Tech. Those were things that I was letting fall through the cracks so that I could waste time spending 1,000 words pointing out in the comments why bugsygod is an idiot. And let’s be honest … there are so many smart commenters on PistonPowered these days, that I don’t need to do that sort of thing. You guys are fully capable of sorting out who is informed and who isn’t on your own. In the early days of this site, I thought it was important to help set a tone, and part of that meant responding with snark and sarcasm to comments I felt were below a standard of intelligent discourse that we wanted here. Basically, my fear with comments was that this place would turn into YouTube or Yahoo! or MLive comments sections where anything goes if we weren’t aggressive when it came to pointing out (and laughing at) comments that were dumb or lacked substance or were unwelcome. But now? We have a really vibrant community down there with people who are articulate, funny and bring a wide variety of well-argued opinions to the table. As much as I enjoy interacting with people (even those people who I’ve fought with), I’m not needed anymore. I still read them, I still laugh at the ones that are funny (either intentionally or unintentionally) and I’m still thankful that so many people take the time to read, let alone comment.
So, to wrap up what I originally intended to be a quick note, yes, it’s true — I’ll probably be a bit more scarce, but I’m also not going anywhere. And honestly, the content here, whether it’s written by me or not, is in good hands. I honestly can’t wait to read Feldman’s long-form post kicking Prince on his way out of town the way he kicked Rip Hamilton (kidding again!). And if you haven’t followed much of J.M., Brady or Jameson’s posts yet since they’ve come on board, check them out. They all bring different, interesting voices to the table. PistonPowered is in great hands and I’ll continue to be a part of it for the long haul, helping in any way I can.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 20 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -3
He wasn’t as bad as his line suggests, but he didn’t play well.
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 24 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -12
Prince often likes to attack Mike Dunleavy when they’re matched up, but he didn’t have much of an opportunity tonight. In the eight minutes they shared the court, Prince shot 2-of-4 and got to the line, where he made 2-of-2.
|Greg Monroe, C 24 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 14 PTS | -11
Monroe scored efficiently – once he got his shot up. He was way too careless with the ball, and his defense was lacking.
|Brandon Knight, PG 23 MIN | 3-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | -12
Knight had four turnovers of his own, and he might have been responsible for two of Kyle Singler’s. On one play, Singler grabbed a defensive rebound and threw a short outlet pass off Knight’s fingertips that I think Knight should have caught. On another play, Andre Drummond saved the ball from going out bounds on the baseline by passing to Singler. Singler immediately passed to Knight as Knight turned his head to look up court. I know Knight doesn’t always bring the ball up when it gets in the hands of someone like Rodney Stuckey or Tayshaun Prince, but he should be ready to take it from Singler. On the bright side, I wouldn’t put Brandon Jennings’ 30 points on Knight. That was more of a team failure.
|Kyle Singler, SG 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -14
It speaks to Singler’s activity level that he found nine good shots – of the other two, one was a bad shot and one was with the shot clock running out – but it speaks to his ability level that he made only three of those nine.
|Austin Daye, PF 18 MIN | 0-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -5
We often chastise Daye for not doing anything else when his shot isn’t falling, but that wasn’t the case tonight. Daye really got after it on the glass.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 9 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -3
Nine shots in nine minutes – Jerebko played like someone who doesn’t get many opportunities. Oh, right. He doesn’t.
|Andre Drummond, C 28 MIN | 9-15 FG | 0-1 FT | 18 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | -21
Drummond notched a double-double in just his first 12:20 of play. He finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds, and Dwight Howard is the only younger player since at least 1985-86 to post those totals. So why doesn’t Drummond get a higher grade? He was lost on defense a bit too often. With Drummond on the court, according to NBA.com/stats, the Bucks rebounded 41 percent of their misses – which would be an NBA high over the full season – partially because Drummond was out of position. He looked gas by the end of the game, missing a dunk, and Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News thought Drummond wanted a break much earlier in the game, too.
|Will Bynum, PG 17 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -21
Bynum captained a second unit that turned the ball over on five of its first 15 possessions. That’s when the Pistons blew an 11-point lead in the first half. After that, the Pistons basically gave up – which, to be fair, isn’t Bynum’s fault.
He played Drummond 28 minutes, the rookie’s most in the calendar year, but it shouldn’t have taken Monroe’s foul trouble to get Drummond in the game early. To Frank’s credit, he brought in Drummond even earlier in the second half than the first. Isolated to this game, there’s not much Frank can do when the team makes many careless turnovers and gives up once it gets down.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +3
J.J. Redick scored 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 8-of-11 on 3-pointers. Kim English and Kyle Singler deserve primarily blame, but to my untrained eye, Maxiell appeared at fault, too. Multiple times, Singler cheated inside to help because Maxiell was slow to rotate back inside after defending pick and rolls, and that left Redick open. Was Maxiell defending passing lanes farther from the basket by design? Did Singler respond correctly? I’m not certain, but I think at least Maxiell failed to rotate properly. He also didn’t pursue rebounds with enough desire. If Andre Drummond played like this early in the season, we’d be questioning his motor.
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 35 MIN | 3-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | -8
Prince played like he had to meet a minimum quota for shot attempts. None of the looks were particularly terrible, but the Pistons have enough other good offensive options that Prince should be a little more selective. His defense, rebounding and point-guard skills while Brandon Knight played off the ball were all moderate positives.
|Greg Monroe, C 33 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -2
Monroe scored efficiently and moved the ball well. But his defense was a mixed bag, and his rebounding was just so-so.
|Brandon Knight, PG 37 MIN | 12-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 31 PTS | -5
The Pistons had 25 assists, their most since November, but Knight had none. That wasn’t a failure of Knight to run the offense, because the Pistons barely asked him to do that tonight. Knight –a more so than any other game I can recall this season — played off the ball. He worked the perimeter to get open for jumpers (5-for-8 on 3-pointers), and the Magic helped him by going under a couple screens when Knight ran pick-and-rolls. Knight did little to show he’s Detroit’s point guard of the future, but he had a very good game, nonetheless. More importantly, without Knight trying to balance point-guard duties with finding his own offense, the Pistons’ offense had a very good game.
|Kyle Singler, SG 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +14
Singler repeatedly lost J.J. Redick while "guarding" him. Some of those instances, as explained above, might have been Maxiell’s fault. But Singler definitely deserves blame, too. Some efficient offense redeems him a bit.
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 25 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +4
Villanueva (12 shots in 25 minutes), isn’t gun shy, is he?
|Austin Daye, PF 16 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +8
Solid enough to hang onto a backup rotation spot on this team.
|Andre Drummond, C 16 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -1
Drummond was as ineffective as I’ve seen him, but I don’t believe an ineffective 16 minutes meant Drummond would necessarily be ineffective in eight more. (For that same reason, I don’t typically criticize Frank for pulling a "hot" shooter. Past performance, especially in a small, single-game sample, does not necessarily predict future performance.)
|Will Bynum, PG 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 12 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +8
Bynum led a floor-spacing lineup with Singler, Daye, Villanueva and Drummond that outscored the Magic by 12 points in nine minutes. More interestingly, he assisted Knight on three fourth-quarter 3-pointers. Was this a preview of Knight’s game while he’s playing with Trey Burke next season?
|Kim English, SG 19 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -11
Redick did English worse than he did Singler. English was absolutely brutal at getting through off-ball screens set for Redick. I’m not sure whether it’s a strength issue or something else, but English was very poor at that.
|Khris Middleton, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION
This is just a reminder that Khris Middleton was active and Rodney Stuckey was not. This was clearly more than just a basketball decision. Stuckey was being punished.
|Corey Maggette, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN
This is just a reminder that Corey Maggette was active and Rodney Stuckey was not. This was clearly more than just a basketball decision. Stuckey was being punished.
More than anything else tonight, Frank’s decision to inactivate Rodney Stuckey should come under the closest scrutiny. Unfortunately, we have the least information about that decision. During the game, I thought Frank was fine. As usual, Drummond should have played more – though I don’t think he should have been in at the end. To recap, Bynum fouled Jameer Nelson on a 3-pointer with six seconds left and the Pistons leading by four. Nelson made the first two free throws and missed the second, and the Magic had a few tips at the ball before time expired. Some have criticized for Frank leaving Detroit’s top rebounder on the bench. But if Drummond were in and had grabbed the rebound, gotten fouled and missed at least one free throw, many of the same people would be criticizing Frank for inserting Drummond.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -4
Maxiell was basically non-existent. Don’t get me wrong. Maxiell has plenty of quality performances. But he’s much more prone to these types of games than Andre Drummond is.
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 29 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -15
Prince handled the ball against Miami’s aggressive defense a bit more than he would if he were playing with a better point guard, but that doesn’t completely excuse his three turnovers. Prince was too sloppy with the ball and didn’t do enough to offset that.
|Kyle Singler, SF 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -15
Did not get buckets.
|Greg Monroe, C 34 MIN | 12-17 FG | 7-8 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 31 PTS | -10
This was an offensive masterpiece for a big man. Post-up, hook, runner, transition, mid-range jumper – Monroe scored every way he’s capable. He had no assists for the first time in 13 games and just the third time this season, but that was A-OK tonight. The Heat’s defense is particularly strong on the wings and Monroe was the Pistons’ best option – by far. At one point, he grabbed a rebound and took the ball all the way in for a goaltended basket. It wasn’t really a transition opportunity, but Monroe keeping the ball himself was Detroit’s best option.
|Brandon Knight, PG 28 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-3 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -16
Three turnovers in 28 minutes are only slightly above his season average, but these three were as ugly as they get. Knight is 0-for-7 on 3-pointers in his last two games, but I’d chalk that up to a small sample more than anything else.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4
Jerebko played! He didn’t do anything, but at least he played, which even in blowouts, has rarely happened lately. If and when he returns to the rotation shouldn’t be determined by his performance in these garbage minutes, and I doubt it will be.
|Andre Drummond, C 25 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -13
Drummond stole the ball from Dwyane Wade on back-to-back possessions. He took the first, raced up court and dunked. He was on his way for another fastbreak basket on the second when he was fouled. Just two flat-out awesome plays.
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -2
In his last seven games, Stuckey is shooting 20-for-58. He’s in a rut.
The following two sentences are related. The Heat had 12 steals and an offensive rating of 141.7 on the ensuing possessions. The Heat have LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Miami has much better players than Detroit, and there’s nothing Frank can do about that. I won’t pretend this was a well-coached game, but Frank couldn’t have changed much. At least the ball kept going to Monroe.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 32 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +2Maxiell had an OK game. He was active on the glass, blocked a couple of shots and was solid defensively against a frontcourt that always seems to give Detroit problems. He just played too many minutes, but that’s not his fault.|
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 34 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +4Prince was a little too ball-dominant tonight and didn’t look to set up shots for others all that often. He’d been doing a better job of that lately, including five assists last night.|
|Kyle Singler, SF 25 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -5Singler seems to have bounced back from his shooting slump. He’s now 17-for-31 in his last four games.|
|Greg Monroe, C 37 MIN | 4-13 FG | 1-3 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -4Monroe shot poorly, but he still gets an adequate grade because he passed well, only had two turnovers and, unlike their last meeting when Joakim Noah had 30 points and 23 rebounds, Monroe held his own defensively.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 34 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +2If not for missing all of his 3-point attempts, Knight would’ve had an A tonight. He distributed the ball well, he only turned it over twice and he shut down Kirk Hinrich (not the hardest task these days, but still).|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1Villanueva didn’t play in the second half and when he was on the court in the first half, he might as well not have been.|
|Austin Daye, PF 9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +4Ditto for Daye. Granted, neither guy did much of anything in the first half and Daye, in particular, has been slumping lately, but with the offense sputtering in the fourth and the team in the second game of a back-to-back, I’m mildly surprised that at least one of them didn’t find the floor again. Also, remember when we were coming up with nicknames for this bench? Good times those were.|
|Andre Drummond, C 22 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -3Same broken record with Drummond. He played 22 incredibly productive minutes, more productive than any other big man the Pistons put on the court, and his coach is still spoon-feeding him as if he’s the second coming of Hasheem Thabeet.|
|Will Bynum, PG 16 MIN | 3-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -6Bynum’s shot was off and he didn’t really create many opportunities for others, disappointing considering he did a great job of both creating and taking care of the ball just last night. Tonight, Nate Robinson played the Bynum role for the Bulls, scoring nine straight points early in the fourth quarter, helping the Bulls erase a double-digit lead.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 26 MIN | 5-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -8Stuckey’s shot was off and he led the team in 3-point attempts despite being a terrible 3-point shooter.|
|Lawrence FrankPart of the issue in the fourth quarter was obviously the Pistons running out of steam some on the second game of a back-to-back and the first game of a road trip. The other part of the issue was Lawrence Frank deciding the second half of the second game of a back-to-back was an appropriate time to stretch out his starters. Honestly, if Frank has seen enough of Villanueva and Daye, I’m totally fine with that. But are there not other options who could’ve just taken their second half minutes? Playing the starters extended minutes just made absolutely no sense tonight.|
|Jason Maxiell, PF 23 MIN | 3-8 FG | 5-5 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +12Maxiell notched his fourth double-double of the season, and did so in far fewer minutes than his others took him to achieve. He also helped force Glen Davis into an awful 4-for-16 shooting night.|
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +18Prince didn’t do much that stood out offensively or defensively, but his five assists tie his second highest single-game total of the season.|
|Kyle Singler, SF 33 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | 0Singler played within himself on offense and was great on the glass. He didn’t play well defensively because he’s still a non-shooting guard playing most of his minutes at shooting guard.|
|Greg Monroe, C 29 MIN | 6-12 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +6Monroe was efficient on offense and, for the first time this season, did not have a turnover in the game.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 33 MIN | 7-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | +8The bad — Knight had four of the Pistons’ eight turnovers in the game. The good — he was excellent defensively against Jameer Nelson. It’s no secret that I’m not convinced Knight is a full-time point guard in this league long-term. But one part of his upside that I’m fully sold on is his defensive potential. He has the quickness and long arms to pressure the ball, get in passing lanes and contest shots. He did a bit of all those things tonight.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 13 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +1Villanueva didn’t shoot well overall, but he hit two 3-pointers and six rebounds in 13 minutes for a guy that averages just over five boards per 36 for his career is almost miraculous.|
|Austin Daye, PF 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4Daye is now just 3-for-13 in his last six games. His tendency in his career has been to let a couple of missed shots turn into a lot of missed shots over a long string of games. The Pistons have plenty of wing options begging for minutes, so if his slump lasts much longer, Daye won’t be in the rotation anymore.|
|Andre Drummond, C 24 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-4 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +13Drummond, once again, was the best player on the floor for the Pistons. He was a huge presence on the boards, he blocked shots and he even got two steals as well.|
|Will Bynum, PG 26 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +6Bynum’s scoring and shot-making was impressive, but once again, his six assists and one turnover were far more impressive. When Bynum slows down just a bit and doesn’t look to ram the ball down someone’s throat every time he touches it, he’s actually capable of providing competent backup point guard minutes. Hopefully his more steady play over the last few weeks continues the rest of the season.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 25 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +18With Villanueva and Daye not scoring like they were a couple weeks ago, Stuckey had his second best game of 2013.|
|Kim English, SG 4 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3Hey, minutes for everyone’s favorite out-of-the-rotation Piston Kim English! He made a shot and got a steal too, so maybe he’ll be next in line for minutes if Daye continues to falter.|
|Lawrence FrankNo real complaints about Frank tonight. The offense looked great all night and the Pistons made some defensive adjustments and broke open a close game in the second half. And Frank even played Drummond 24 minutes. That’s still not enough, but baby steps. We’re getting there.|