Category → Game Review
If any of you have anything constructive to say about tonight’s game, feel free to do so in the comments. The Clippers shot 63 percent for the game (and would’ve been pushing 70 percent if they didn’t empty their bench). Blake Griffin had 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting in his first six minutes of action, and would’ve done even more damage if he didn’t pick up three quick fouls. Chris Paul had 20 points, 14 assists and no turnovers in just 31 minutes. In short, the Clippers completely picked the Pistons apart, Detroit played no defense and there was literally nothing redeeming to take away from this game. Grades below.
|Brandon Knight, PG 19 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -28Any nondescript losing team like the Pistons struggles to get national news coverage throughout the season as interest wanes. But not every losing team has a selfless up and coming player like Knight, who selflessly goes out of his way to get his team headlines all over the national media. Players all over the league could learn a thing or two from the way Knight approaches his job.|
The only two Pistons who played reasonably well were Jose Calderon, whose solid offensive contributions were dwarfed by those of his counterpart Paul, and done so relatively easily, and Jonas Jerebko, who got the bulk of his points when the benches had been emptied.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 34 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-6 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -1Jason Maxiell had his second straight good game, hopefully a sign that he’ll end the season strong. He would’ve shot 50 percent in this game if not for a missed open dunk in the first half that he went up for and didn’t look to completely have his feet under him. Maxiell has been a lightning rod for criticism this season, mostly because nearly everyone wanted to see more of Andre Drummond. But it’s not his fault Maxiell has been asked to play a role as a starter that he’s not really equipped to play. Like I said, he deserves a strong finish to the season as he enters free agency. He’s worked hard the last two seasons to get himself in shape and get a chance at another NBA contract.|
|Greg Monroe, C 34 MIN | 5-13 FG | 4-5 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | 0Monroe didn’t shoot well and didn’t defend well, but he was effective on the glass and he did a nice job creating shots for others. The saddest, “I miss Drummond” moment came in the second half when Will Bynum tossed up a short lob in traffic to a cutting Monroe — a play we’ve seen plenty between Bynum and Drummond. The differences between Monroe and Drummond were abundantly clear there as Monroe couldn’t get to a ball Drummond would’ve undoubtedly reached above everyone for and finished.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 35 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +5Calderon’s seven assists and no turnovers were nice, and he helped on the glass with six rebounds from the point guard spot, but he didn’t shoot well and he didn’t defend well.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 32 MIN | 9-17 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | -1Brandon Knight was aggressive, frequently taking defenders off the dribble. But more importantly, he was purposeful in his movements. He rarely forced his way inside, he took good shots, he finished well and he took care of the ball with only one turnover. Any game where the Pistons backcourt has just one turnover combined is an impressive performance.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 28 MIN | 3-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -4Singler shot poorly, but in what is becoming a broke record, did enough other things well to justify minutes. He played passing lanes well, picking up three steals, and he did a great job at the end of the third quarter drawing a foul on Vince Carter as Singler was just shooting a desperation heave in the final seconds. It was a boneheaded play by Carter, but Singler also deserves credit for selling it well, considering officials tend to let contact go on shots like that.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 14 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +6Villanueva, along with Khris Middleton, helped the Pistons erase a double-digit deficit in the second half. He also had a great look at a three that would’ve tied the game in the final seconds, but he appeared to rush the release some, so that’ll knock him from an A to an A- tonight.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 14 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -11Like Singler, Jerebko shot really poorly, but he wasn’t a total loss on the court because he was active in other areas, particularly rebounding. Jerebko also made an open three, something that will undoubtedly get him on the court more if he can do it consistently.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 20 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +1Remember earlier today when Dan posted about Middleton’s shot getting rave reviews, but his pro and college percentages never really matching the hype? Well, tonight Middleton had the production to match his mechanics. With Rodney Stuckey playing awful, Middleton took advantage of increased minutes and teamed with Villanueva to shoot the Pistons back into a game that looked over at one point in the second half.|
|Will Bynum, PG 16 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -1Bynum had his second straight bad game. As nice as his block on an O.J. Mayo jumper was in the second half, his poor shooting and four turnovers make it impossible for me to give him anything higher.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 13 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | -9There’s not much to say about Stuckey’s performance. He wasn’t aggressive, he’s now 0-for-11 shooting over his last three games and he lost his rotation spot, at least for this game, to a second round rookie who has barely played this season.|
Brian Hill is in a tough situation, and it’s hard to evaluate him as a result. But tonight he made a couple of decisions that stood out — first and foremost, he benched Stuckey. Secondly, he drew up a play for the final shot that resulted in a nice open look for Villanueva. For an assistant coach stepping in on the fly, those two things are enough to give him an A for the night, even in a loss.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 37 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -8
Maxiell dunked four times, three thanks to Jose Calderon’s ability to run the pick-and-roll. If only Maxiell had stuck to that. He was 0-for-3 on jumpers outside the restricted zone.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -1
In his first 12:41 of playing time, Jerebko had three shots and two assists. Per 12:41 entering the game, Jerebko averaged two more shots and one fewer assist, and the Knicks seemed to know that, overplaying him for the shot. I get Jerebko wants to score more, but he’ll do so more effectively if he’s less focused on shooting all the time. Once the Knicks adjusted to Jerebko’s willingness to pass, he had room to score. Amar’e Stouemire (22 points on 8-of-12 shooting) torched him, but I won’t blame Jerebko much for that. With Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Charlie Villanueva out injured, the Pistons didn’t have the size to defend Stoudemire. Unfortunately for Jerebko, he just got stuck guarding Stoudemire more than anyone else did.
|Jose Calderon, PG 40 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 16 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -3
Who leads the NBA in 16-assist games? That’s right, it’s Calderon. With his fifth of the season, Calderon broke his tie with Rajon Rondo.
|Brandon Knight, PG 39 MIN | 6-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 17 PTS | 0
Three of Knight’s first seven shots would have been assisted. He shot 1-for-7 on them. Nine of his next nine shots would have been assisted. He shot 5-for-9 on those. (His final shot was with the Pistons down 10 with 34 seconds left, when it was fine for Knight to force the action in isolation.) Also, Knight’s five turnovers were each pretty ugly, though it’s possible Calderon was out of position on one pass from Knight that went out of bounds. In short, Knight was pretty good when working hard off the ball to get good looks and awful with the ball in his hands.
|Kyle Singler, SG 42 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -1
Singler put in work tonight, playing a season-high 42 minutes and grabbing eight rebounds, which ties for his second-most. The undersized Pistons needed both, minutes and rebounds, and Singler answered the call, but he wasn’t overly effective in any one area.
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 12 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -2
I can’t tell whether Kravtsov moves slowly on defense because he’s slow-footed or because he’s unsure where to go. Either way, it makes his defense poor.
|Will Bynum, PG 17 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -17
I could tell you everything Bynum did wrong, or you could go read something nice about him.
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 26 MIN | 0-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -18
When many people see Stuckey shot 0-for-5, they assume he didn’t give much effort. I don’t think that’s fair. Stuckey was trying tonight. He was just bad.
|Brian Hill, acting head coach
Hill was pretty unimaginative, playing the starters a combined 185 minutes. The only other time the Pistons’ starters played more was Detroit’s double-overtime loss to the Nets, and the starters played less in regulation than they did tonight. I’m fine with this, because part of Hill’s job in his one-game fill-in for Lawrence Frank is to maintain the status quo. Fans might not like everything – or anything – Frank does, but as long as he remains head coach, Frank must maintain clear authority. If you don’t understand that, two words: Ron Rothstein.
The Pistons were outrebounded, 48-36, and I don’t mention that above, because only injuries are to blame. But that is a big reason Detroit lost, so if grades skew high, it’s because I’m not focused on a losing rebounding battle that has no bearing on the Pistons’ actual ability to rebound.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 16 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | -11Tonight, Jason Maxiell only had one point in 16 minutes of play, while racking up four fouls. He didn’t have any turnovers, which is the only thing that gives him a passing grade.|
|Greg Monroe, C 30 MIN | 6-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | -33In 30 minutes, Monroe almost got a double-double, but had a relatively low shooting percentage for a big man and turned the ball over four times.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 28 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -30Calderon played a mediocre game, but the thing stopping him from getting a higher grade was the two assists he had. He was brought in to Detroit to get the ball to the big men, and that’s not what he did tonight. He did shoot well, however.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 36 MIN | 3-14 FG | 1-3 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -25Brandon Knight played another horrid game, going 3-14 from the field and 1-6 from three point range. Although he had six assists, he countered that with three turnovers.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 24 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -21Singler played 23 minutes tonight, took a lot of shots and didn’t make many of them. He went 2-10 from the field and had two turnovers.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 25 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -19Villanueva was one of the only Pistons to not have an awful game tonight. He got a double-double and didn’t shoot too poorly. He played alright on defense, too. Nothing spectacular, but enough to make a good impression.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 18 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -6Jerebko didn’t play a ton tonight, but while he was on the floor he shot below average, had two turnovers and three fouls. He won’t earn himself more playing time if he continues to play like this.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 16 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -13Tonight, Middleton showed Lawrence Frank why he doesn’t play a lot. In his 15 minutes of playing time, he shot 20% from the field and had four personal fouls.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 7 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-3 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -9Kravtsov barely saw the court tonight, but in his short stint out there he didn’t miss a shot and grabbed five rebounds. He would’ve made a bigger impact had he played more.|
|Will Bynum, PG 11 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 6 PTS | -2Bynum also didn’t play a lot tonight, but was efficient in the scoring department while playing. He did have four turnovers, however.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 19 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -18In 19 minutes, Rodney Stuckey made absolutely no impact. He went 0-5 from the floor and that’s about it. Not many bright spots tonight for Stuckey.|
|Kim English, SG 11 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -8Just like Rodney Stuckey, Kim English did not make much of an impact tonight. He missed all three of his shots and had two turnovers.|
|Lawrence FrankLet’s be frank (pun intended) here. He coached his team to a 114-75 loss. That’s unacceptable. He played his starters, who were obviously not making any plays, way too much and they ended up losing by 39 points. There’s no excuse for that.|
I’m no fan of tanking. But, as I wrote earlier, I am a fan of a non-playoff team like the Pistons trying really hard and losing, especially when that loss is to a team like New Orleans, who could move in front of the Pistons in the standings this season and improve Detroit’s lottery odds. Grades are below. Unfortunately, our recap generator isn’t working properly, so you’ll have to live without the graphics tonight. Box score is here.
Jason Maxiell was active, he picked up a couple of blocks and he had a big 3-point play in the fourth quarter to keep the Pistons close. Maxiell shot well, including from the perimeter, something he just hasn’t done a lot of since early on in the season. – B
Greg Monroe played about as well as anyone playing in front of his hometown crowd could want to. His scoring and rebounding were impressive, but he also was really active in the passing game, frequently finding Piston cutters with nice passes. – A
Jose Calderon ran the offense well and has 29 assists with just three turnovers in his last two games. Greivis Vasquez lit him up defensively, but Calderon did put up a fight. Vasquez hit a tough, contested runner late in the game to seal it for the Hornets. Calderon did just about everything he could do on that play and several others. Vasquez is just one of those players who excels at making weird looking shots (as anyone who watched him closely in college surely remembers). - B-
Brandon Knight has been exception in both games since returning from injury. He and Calderon seem to be quickly developing some chemistry together and Knight has confidently looked for his shot. He played good defense against Eric Gordon tonight too. – A
Kyle Singler was Kyle Singler — active, hit open jumpers and moved without the ball. He was the recipient of one of those nice Monroe dishes after a good cut towards the basket by Singler. – B-
Charlie Villanueva missed his only two shot attempts and didn’t do anything else to justify his existence on the court tonight. – F
Jonas Jerebko was active and, like Singler and Slava Kravtsov, provided a nice target for Monroe by moving without the ball. – B-
Slava Kravtsov didn’t do much, but he did find himself open for a nice cut to the basket and dunk in the first half. – D
Will Bynum wasn’t awful tonight, but he also wasn’t the dynamic presence the Pistons really needed off the bench either. He’s obviously not going to be much help defensively, but he also wasn’t very aggressive offensively. – C-
I was tempted to give Rodney Stuckey an ‘F’ simply for forcing an awful three with less than 10 seconds left and the Pistons down three. Yeah, he had the ball, yeah, time was running down, but he had much more time to get a better shot than that. But that would be unfair, considering Stuckey had an OK all-around game off the bench. – C+
Tonight was pretty much a similar weakness with Lawrence Frank getting exposed. The Pistons played tough and competitively on the road, but the Hornets seemed to make better use of halftime to make a few adjustments that helped the team win. – C
“Welcome back, young fella,” Villanueva boomed as he left the locker room. “Welcome back.”
“Thank you, sir,” Knight said before continuing his response to the media.
I’ll take a cue from Knight and show my appreciation, too.
After missing the last three games – his first-ever DNPs – Knight scored a career-high 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-6 on 3-pointers, to lead the Pistons to a 96-95 win over the Wizards on Wednesday.
Knight’s performance was hardly transcendent, but this season, when every Pistons game is quickly forgotten, it might come as close as we get. With Knight sidelined, the Pistons lost by 32, 18 and 11. Facing his first return after a missed game, Knight quickly changed the Pistons’ direction with 12 points, two assists and no turnovers in the first quarter.
“Our fight just wasn’t really there,” Knight said of the three games he missed. “So, me, as one of the leaders, just wanted to come back and make sure I provided us with some fight.”
The Pistons responded like Knight hoped.
Jose Calderon’s defense tightened on John Wall, who finished with more turnovers (seven) than points (six). Kim English raced the floor to get 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. Jason Maxiell played stifling defense, finishing with seven defensive rebounds, four blocks, a steal and a well-earned, game-best +21 plus-minus rating in 26 minutes.
All fed off Knight’s fight.
There’s room to pick apart Knight’s game – especially his four turnovers, including two on the first two possessions of the second half – but I’m just going to note those miscues and move on.
Knight played brilliantly offensively. He ran the pick-and-roll to create space, ran hard around off-ball screens and pushed up court during fastbreaks to get his points. Most of his arsenal was on display, and it was a joy to watch.
Defensively, Knight struggled,which he admitted after the game, citing his knee injury.
“I wanted to play last game,” Knight said. “So, it’s not good. There’s going to be some discomfort, just a matter of how much and how much you can play through. I always play through some discomfort, different things that you guys don’t always know about.”
I asked Knight about preparing after his first missed games, and he dismissed any significance, saying he prepared for every game as if he were playing. That’s a veteran answer from a 21-year-old.
It can be easy to forget how many situations Knight has yet to experience, but tonight, he got a new one, and that could pay off later. I can imagine Knight, relying on his experience tonight, getting injured in the playoffs a couple years from now and coming back without missing a beat.
Nearly every night, there are lessons like that for Knight to absorb.
The same can be said for Greg Monroe, the 22-year-old who had 26 points, 11 rebounds and four steals Wednesday. He stopped hesitating on his mid-range jumper, and not only did he make shots from that area, it opened the rest of his offense.
Monroe’s and Knight’s 58 combined points were the most they’ve ever scored together in a game. Of course, they had plenty of help from Calderon, who had 18 assists, including six to each Monroe and Knight. Knight was asked whether the Pistons were unstoppable when he and Monroe played so well.
“Not necessarily unstoppable, because we still almost lost,” Knight said. “So, it’s not about offense. It’s about making sure, no matter what’s going on offense, it’s about making sure we’re getting stops on the defensive end.”
Another veteran answer and also a very correct one. Trevor Ariza ended the game on a personal 8-0 run before missing a 3-pointer as time expired.
With Monroe and Knight playing well simultaneously, we glimpsed where this team was hopefully headed after last season. Those two looked great, but a one-point win over the Wizards hardly constitutes the end goal. As the Wizards shot 25-of-40 in the paint (63 percent), it became clear how fortunate the Pistons were to draft Andre Drummond, a potential rim-protecting difference maker.
Monroe and Knight are nice pieces to rebuild around, but they’re not nearly enough.
They were enough to win Wednesday, though, and that counts for something. There has been a lot of talk about whether the Pistons should start tanking, and Lawrence Frank basically admitted before the game he’d begin more lineup experimentation once the Pistons are officially eliminated from the playoff race. As a fan, that’s satisfying. But for the current players, these days must be torture. It’s important – if for no other reason than to keep morale high enough to keep working hard – they experience some success, some good feelings.
With postgame of Georgetown’s just-concluded win over Connecticut playing on the locker-room television, Monroe stopped teasing Villanueva and Drummond long enough to talk about Knight.
“He’s a big part of what we do,” Monroe said. “So ,whenever he’s on the floor, guys do feel better.”
|Jason Maxiell, PF 17 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -6He’s been playing his worst ball of the season and a matchup with uber-athletic Josh Smith wasn’t going to remedy that. He didn’t do much when he was out there, and it’s become pretty obvious that once Andre Drummond returns in the next week or so, Maxiell’s days as the starter are probably limited.|
|Greg Monroe, C 31 MIN | 5-9 FG | 5-8 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | -11Monroe bounced back nicely from a pair of rough games against the Pacers tonight. With Max’s play slipping and no other legitimate rebounder around, he’s been one of the guys who’s really been affected by Drummond’s absence. Monroe is a good rebounder, but right now, he’s the Pistons only rebounder.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 33 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | -10He’s in a bit of a shooting slump, but the nine assists are the most he’s had since before the debacle(s) against Indiana. His neck beard is looking as good as it has during his Pistons tenure, though, so there’s that?|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 36 MIN | 10-17 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | -18Stuckey’s struggled with his shot this season — and part of his success tonight was the fact that he took most of his shots at the rim — but from outside 10 feet, he’s shooting a putrid 36.5 percent. Then again, he’s only shooting 39 percent overall, so, yeah, yuck.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 29 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -9Solid. There’s not a lot that Singler is going to do that really wows you outside of make his shots and do what he can on defense. Unfortunately, that defense against Kyle Korver slowly deteriorated as the game went on.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 24 MIN | 9-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +4Maybe Jerebko isn’t quite as bad as everyone thought. He’s done a lot of his recent damage with the game out of reach, but that’s how every game has been recently. Basically, his entire game is based around hustle and he was all over the place tonight; in a good way. He even topped it off with a slick behind the back pass to Slava Kravtsov for a dunk in the final minute.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 7 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -9These “wait, Charlie V still plays for the Pistons?” games are becoming more and more frequent.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 23 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +6He just, kinda, stands around when he’s on the court. He’s active on defense, but on offense he just looks around and either stands in the corners or at the top of the key. Looks like a rookie getting playtime for the first time in basically an entire year.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 17 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | 0I get that it’s nice to see guys on the bench thrive when given the chance. When Slava got his double-double against Indiana, it was cool to see him doing well, but there’s a reason he wasn’t playing before. Outside of that game, he’s averaging 4.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.5 fouls in his last five games.|
|Kim English, SG 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 6-6 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -2He was active, but again, his shot hasn’t been there yet this season. He is getting more comfortable, though, and once a young guy kind of gets his footing, you’d hope the jumper comes. Without that, he’s not doing much to help.|
|Lawrence FrankThings went to hell once he gave Monroe and Calderon a break early in the second quarter. Part of the problem was Brandon Knight and Will Bynum being out, but without Monroe or Calderon, the Pistons offense is non-existant. He is playing the kids, so that’s something, but the team’s also been victim to opposing scoring runs the size of tidal waves, part of the reason they’ve dropped five of seven by 10-plus points.|
|Will Bynum, PG 15 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -10
Punched Tyler Hansbrough in the stomach.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -21This will appeal to the college students out there, but let’s make a Jason Maxiell drinking game. Missed shots inside six feet are a drink, huge dunks are a shot and fouls or turnovers mean you finish your drink. By the way, seven boards are Max’s most since Feb. 6 against Brooklyn.|
|Greg Monroe, C 22 MIN | 2-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -32Monroe wasn’t good defensively, he wasn’t good offensively and he wasn’t good on the boards. He was just plain bad tonight, something he really hasn’t been much this season. He’s a good player who had a bad night, but he’s also never “stand around and watch him play” good like his teammates appeared to think he was tonight.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 26 MIN | 1-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -35It was bound to happen eventually — Jose Calderon finally had a bad game as a Piston. Tonight his jumper (finally) wasn’t falling and his passes were going to teammates who had no intention of either:A. Scoring orB. Holding on to the ball.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 28 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -34Stuckey was the best starter tonight and it wasn’t even close. The completely discombobulated offense made his line look worse than it was, though. It seemed like every other possession in the third quarter resulted in a late-in-the-clock-desperation heave by Stuckey — a formula for disaster, aka tonight.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 14 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -21Remember that thing the other day about how Singler is never horribly bad? Forget that I ever said that.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 20 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +1There were a lot of guys who played 10 or more minutes and had little to no impact on the game and Jerebko was one of them. Even in the fourth quarter with the game well out of reach, it was Will Bynum, not Jerebko, running with the kids. Ouch.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 15 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -18If I told you the options for the final guy in your 5-on-5 game at the YMCA was down to Charlie V, Jason Maxiell or just running with four guys, which option would you pick?|
|Khris Middleton, SF 24 MIN | 1-7 FG | 7-9 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +1He didn’t shoot well, but after checking in and hitting a 3-pointer in the first half, Middleton showed some aggressiveness on the offensive end the rest of the way. He wasn’t half bad defensively, either. At this point, what’s the harm in seeing what you’ve got with him?|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 29 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-10 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -4There are still a lot of times where I’m not sure if Slava knows exactly what’s going on or where he’s supposed to be, but tonight he was easily the best Pistons player. He’s proven to be a better rebounder than he showed in Europe and his dunk game is almost Drummond-like in its efficiency. You want a bright spot? Here he is.|
|Will Bynum, PG 22 MIN | 7-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 17 PTS | +1I’ll give credit to the end of bench guys — English, Middleton — when they do something good in a blowout, mainly because it’s tough to just go into a game cold and produce. But when Will Bynum puts up numbers (12 points) in a blowout, it doesn’t magically make his badness during the other three quarters go away.|
|Kim English, SG 20 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +2English still can’t stay in front of his own shadow defensively, but he was the star of his very own fourth-quarter highlight tonight. After making a wide open, fall away 16-footer, the Fox Sports cameras gave it instant replay treatment. Ata boy, Kim.|
|Corey Maggette, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | Corey Maggette was active tonight, and apparently he was too ill to watch from the bench. Sounds about right.|
|Lawrence FrankDid you know the Pistons trailed by as many as 40 points tonight? That’s bad, actually, that’s awful, but this one isn’t all on Frank. You can coach X’s and O’s all you want, but when your guys come out like the Pistons did tonight, there’s nothing a coach can do about it. Any team is victim to lapses, albeit not this horrific, but even Red Auerbach wasn’t coaching them to a win tonight.|
|Jason Maxiell, PF 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +2
Nobody has started more games this season than Maxiell, so you know he’s good. Imagine a team that trade for him to be backup. That’s insane value.
|Greg Monroe, C 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 5-5 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +1
It’s just the seventh time someone has posted 19 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three blocks this season. Who cares that three of the games have in Charlotte by Bobcats opponents? It still puts Monroe in special company.
|Jose Calderon, PG 29 MIN | 4-8 FG | 5-6 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +13
Calderon has well-deserved reputation as a top passer, but don’t forget about his outside shooting (4-of-4 on 3-pointers tonight). Just don’t look at his 2-point attempts (0-for-4) or defense.
|Brandon Knight, PG 30 MIN | 7-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +4
Knight clearly figured out how to play shooting guard before injuring his right knee late in the third quarter. Staying aggressive might not come as naturally without the ball in his hands as often, but Knight found the right balance tonight. He’s the type of budding talent any team should love to have. And he showed his toughness by returning in the fourth quarter.
|Kyle Singler, SG 23 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | +10
Singler has really settled in at small forward, a position where he can concentrate on shooting efficiently rather than chasing around quick guards all night.
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 26 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +7
Villanueva would, admittedly, be a bit of a reclamation project for any team that trades for him, but the way he got after it on defense tonight must be encouraging. He can stretch the floor and score without question, but can he defend at least decently regularly? That’s the question any team trading for him must ask, and tonight’s results indicate yes.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 9 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -4
Jerebko certainly isn’t afraid to shoot, and shooting is usually the first step to scoring. Jerebko established his ability to defend, rebound and hustle in previous seasons. If his ability to score matches his ability to shoot this season, he could have excellent value.
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 13 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +5
Kravtsov went 3-for-4, and his field-goal percentage actually dropped. No worries. He still leads the NBA in field-goal percentage (minimum: two shots). He’s a
|Will Bynum, PG 26 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -2
Bynum, whether scoring himself or setting up his teammates, would make nearly any bench more effective offensively. Tonight, he showed off both those skills.
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -6
Stuckey scored nine points in six minutes, including consecutive baskets while being fouled, in the middle of the second half. When he heats up, he’s still a capable scorer who can get to the free-throw line at a strong rate. And don’t forget, he has the stature to be a plus defender.
|Corey Maggette, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION
Maggette didn’t play tonight, but he didn’t sign a contract extension, either. His value remains sky high.
|Khris Middleton, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION
Middleton didn’t miss a shot, didn’t turn the ball over and didn’t commit a foul. Plus, he has the potential to produce, literally, infinitely more than he did tonight.
|Kim English, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
Remember Middleton’s potential to produce more than he did tonight? Multiply it by infinity, and you have English’s.
Frank is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad coach. He always puts his players in uncomfortable positions, and they could all excel on other teams. Frank is the only thing standing between the Pistons and 60 wins. Attention any of the NBA’s other 29 general managers: When offering trades for Pistons players, offer a bit more, because once you get them away from Frank, they’ll star for your team.