That was pretty perfect, right?
Detroit’s 113-97 loss to the Bucks on Friday featured three things very important to the rebuilding Pistons:
- Greg Monroe (16 points and 10 rebounds and two blocks) playing well
- Brandon Knight (25 points, eight assists and five rebounds) playing even better
- Improved lottery odds
I’m not disappointed. I’m not upset. I’m not surprised.
This is, for the most part, who the 2011-12 Pistons are.
Rodney Stuckey (seven points and five turnovers) will usually play better, and Ben Gordon (24 points on 8-of-12 shooting) will usually play worse – but, on the whole, this was a fairly typical Pistons performance. They’re clearly worse than the Bucks – a nothing-special team that wouldn’t make the playoffs if the season ended today, though they’ve been playing better since trading for Monta Ellis.
Detroit’s defense was especially problematic – if you could say the Pistons actually played defense. The Bucks – especially Drew Gooden (26 points and eight assists), Brandon Jennings (20 points and 10 assists) and Ellis (18 points and seven assists ) – got wherever they wanted whenever they wanted and, from those advantageous spots, moved the ball with ease. Milwaukee finished with an incredible 36 assists on 45 field goals.
It wasn’t pretty for the Pistons, but this season hasn’t been pretty for the Pistons, and I’ve learned to tune out most of the negatives and focus on only their progress.
I remain wildly optimistic about Monroe and cautiously optimistic about Knight, receiving more reasons for encouragement tonight.
As far as the biggest problem, Detroit’s defense? See the third bullet above.