It’s always a treat when Sebastian Pruiti features the Pistons on NBAPlaybook.com, even when their opponent is spotlighted in the post, as was the case with the Hawks last night.
Pruiti highlights a pair of Pistons fourth-quarter 3-pointers and reaches this conclusion:
You have two really poor/lazy rotations from the Atlanta Hawks that helped power the run that allowed Detroit to stretch their lead out. When people look at this score, they are going to wonder how the more talented Hawks lost to the Pistons. This is how.
Check Pruiti’s post for his breakdown and video of the plays. I’m not going to re-recap them here, but I will offer alternate explanations for their results.
- First play: Three Hawks closed on Ben Gordon, who has the somewhat undeserved reputation as a selfish shooter. Gordon wisely passed to Tracy McGrady, who made the extra pass to Charlie Villanueva. Because of that extra pass, Damien Wilkins had the extremely difficult tasking of running all the way across the court to close on Villanueva. Wilkins didn’t make it, and Villanueva made the shot.
- Second play: Josh Smith saw McGrady, who made just 2-of-13 3-pointers in 25 games entering last night and drove powerfully to the basket earlier in this game, with some room behind the 3-point line. Smith made the logical choice to sag off McGrady, but McGrady’s legs have finally become strong enough to make that shot.
Did the Hawks hustle enough on those plays? Not quite. But that doesn’t mean the Pistons shouldn’t get credit for executing.