Well, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Wallace aren’t Shaq and Kobe.
That’s obviously not a surprise. Despite how well the played today, they aren’t supposed to be.
But a 99-91 loss to the Knicks happens when they’re asked to be.
Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Will Bynum all missed the game with injuries. Wilcox missed the second half with an injury, too.
That considered, it took excellent performances by Wallace and Stuckey for the Pistons to even remain close.
Wallace scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. His plus-seven was tied for best on the team.
Stuckey had 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Although he had four turnovers, I thought he did a pretty good job of running the offense.
So how do the Pistons get those two some help?
Backup big man
Charlie Villanueva (16 points) and Jason (Maxiell 13 points) were fine offensively. But they were embarrassing defensively.
As I’ve written before, the Pistons struggle when Wallace is on the bench — especially their interior defense.
The Villanueva-Maxiell combo was so bad … how bad was it? … I missed Wilcox’s defense inside.
There are three ways this problem could be fixed minimized:
1. Wilcox recovers. No word on his status yet.
2. Kwame Brown gets more minutes. For whatever reason, this doesn’t seem likely to happen.
3. Detroit acquires another big man via trade or a 10-day contract.
As you can see, this issue isn’t going away anytime soon.
This one is a little easier of a fix.
Stuckey matched a season high with 26 shots (making eight). But how can you blame him too much? Someone had to shoot.
With Gordon, Hamilton, Prince and Bynum out, the Pistons were low on competent offensive weapons. When those four return, I still think Detroit’s offense can be pretty good.
I’m getting tired of blaming the Pistons’ woes on injuries. But I’m more tired of the injuries.