Quick hooks of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon shouldn’t overshadow Pistons’ total team collapse at Indiana

John Kuester didn’t show much patience tonight for the $95 million men.

When Josh McRoberts and Jeff Foster had as many putbacks (two for five points, including McRoberts’ and-one) as the Pistons had defensive rebounds early in the second quarter, Kuester removed Charlie Villanueva just 2:39 into the forward’s night.

Ben Gordon, who also started the second quarter, made it just 1:03 longer. Kuester pulled him after Gordon accumulated no stats besides a turnover.*

*Although, if Kuester reads this blog, maybe he pulled Gordon for not shooting.

Kuester replaced Villanueva with DaJuan Summers, who has never shown he can be an adequate NBA player, and Gordon with Richard Hamilton, who had already made three turnovers. Obviously, that didn’t solve any of Detroit’s problems.

Detroit committed 18 turnovers (tied for a season high and led by Hamilton’s six) and continued to allow bit players like McRoberts (15 points and 13 points) and Foster (seven points and seven rebounds) to dominate inside during a 111-101 loss to the Pacers.

Kuester’s lack of faith in the $95 million men shouldn’t distract from the Pistons’ larger (although, not largest*) problems. They’re an already-bad team that has given up on the season, making them dreadful to watch. It’s reached the point that Fox Sports Detroit’s technical difficulties in the second half served as a welcome relief.

*That would involve their pending sale and salary structure, matters too grim to devolve into after a loss like this.

The Pistons didn’t receive high-level energy tonight from anyone – although Greg Monroe (14 points and nine rebounds) and Chris Wilcox (10 points and seven rebounds) came closest. That’s particularly disappointing because Detroit had three days rest before the game. Rest should help an older team like the Pistons, who entered tonight’s contest 4-2 in games after at least three days off.

If the off days actually aided Detroit tonight, I fear how ugly their remaining eight games – which feature no more than one day off and two back-to-backs – will get.

In fact, Detroit trailed by 25 in the fourth quarter before a late rally made the score look reasonable and padded the stats of Rodney Stuckey (24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds) and Hamilton (19 points, five assists and five rebounds).

Those numbers, much like the Pistons’ tanks at this point, fit the same description:

Empty.

Chris Wilcox can really pass

Chris Wilcox had only two assists tonight, but they were impressive. Both went to Greg Monroe, and both gave Monroe the ball in perfect position to make a layup.

Wilcox has flashed his passing ability a lot more this season, especially in the second half, than he did last year. Last season, his passes were like a typical big man’s – forgettable.

Is this a newly developed skill for him? Or is it that under the radar? I hadn’t heard about it or seen it until this season.

Whichever team pays Wilcox next year would receive an offensive boost if it incorporates Wilcox’s passing into its game plan.

Tags: Ben Gordon Charlie Villanueva Chris Wilcox DaJuan Summers John Kuester Richard Hamilton Rodney Stuckey