This is why Jonas Jerebko plays, and Austin Daye doesn’t

Check the stats from last night’s 105-100 loss to the Celtics:

  • Jonas Jerebko: 16 points (5-of-9 from the field) and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes.
  • Austin Daye: Nine points (4-of-7) and five rebounds in 13 minutes.

Per minute, those stats are very similar. In fact, Daye’s are a little better. But that only tells half the story.

On defense, Jerebko is a bull. His nose for the ball is incredible. How many times does he tip a rebound or an opponent’s dribble or pass he has no business getting near? Even if the Pistons don’t get the ball, he slows a fastbreak opportunity.

Here’s Daye’s defensive gameplan:

  1. Lift head.
  2. Find correct defensive positioning.
  3. Put head down.
  4. Shuffle to correct spot.
  5. Repeat until opponent scores.

I was really impressed by Daye offensively last night. When Detroit drafted him, I expected him to be just a spot-up shooter. But his game is pretty varied.

He used a nice head fake to get by Paul Pierce twice. He also made swift cuts and showed good hands.

He just needs a lot of work on his defensive positioning. The good news is, despite being rail thin, he’s not a terrible defender. He just needs to learn where to go.

Prince is growing on me

Tayshaun Prince has looked a lot more positive lately – and I don’t just mean on the floor. A couple times last night, he was spotted giving instructions to younger players.

And he had a smile while doing it.

That’s the Prince the Pistons need.

Ben Gordon’s funk

Midway through the second quarter, the Celtics tipped the ball out of bounds. Detroit inbounded with one second left on the shot clock.

Ben Gordon worked his way around the court, took the pass and made the smoothest-looking shot I’d seen from him in a long time.

“He didn’t have time to think about it even a little bit,” George Blaha said on the TV telecast.

And that’s exactly why Gordon made it.

Gordon is still clearly uncomfortable after his injury. It’s the most time he’s missed in the NBA, and I’m sure he was disappointed he didn’t rebound quicker. Now, I think the problem is just compounding.

It seems like his head is spinning on the court, and that’s obviously not productive. I’m becoming less and less convinced he can shake this until he gets a summer break.

But with Gordon’s work ethic, he might spend the whole off-season shooting jumpers. I’m not sure that would be best for him.

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Tags: Austin Daye Ben Gordon Jonas Jerebko Tayshaun Prince

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