Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Singler stand out in otherwise underwhelming Pistons performance

76  Recap | Box Score  95
Jason Maxiell, PF 24 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +6

Maxiell had another OK game. For a reserve. But he’s still the starter.

Tayshaun Prince, SF 23 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +1

Prince continued to struggle this preseason. He is shooting just 17-for-50 this preseason.

Greg Monroe, C 28 MIN | 4-12 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -6

Monroe shot poorly and was man-handled both offensively and defensively by Nikola Pekovic.

Brandon Knight, PG 33 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -5

Good – Knight had just one turnover in 33 minutes. Also good – he’s been an effective rebounder this preseason. He had six tonight and is averaging 4.3 per game for the preseason. Knight wasn’t great tonight, but he took care of the ball, and in a game where most of the team looked awful, that gets him a fairly high grade.

Rodney Stuckey, PG 25 MIN | 6-13 FG | 8-8 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 21 PTS | -1

Stuckey was the best player on the court for Detroit. That wasn’t saying much tonight, but he would’ve been even if his teammates had played better. He looked like the Stuckey we were accustomed to when he was healthy last season, getting 21 points on just 13 shots. If he’s that efficient once the season starts, the Pistons have a great chance of getting off to a better start.

Austin Daye, PF 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0

Daye got some cursory minutes in this game, but if Lawrence Frank is indeed tightening his rotation these last two preseason games, Daye is not in it. He shot 1-for-3 tonight, and that actually raised his preseason percentage.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 14 MIN | 0-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | -22

Jerebko was active as always, but he didn’t play well. With Prince struggling, it would’ve been nice to see Jerebko excel in a game like this to put some actual pressure on the incumbent small forward. Didn’t happen though.

Andre Drummond, PF 9 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -9

It’s hard to grade Drummond tonight because he inexplicably only played nine minutes. He didn’t do any better against Minnesota’s front line in the first half than Detroit’s starters, but he certainly wasn’t doing any worse either.

Kyle Singler, SF 25 MIN | 3-4 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -20

Singler continues to show that he’s a smart, fundamentally sound player. More importantly, he’s now 4-for-9 from 3-point range this season. If he continues to shoot the three, he’ll make a strong case for a rotation spot.

Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 13 MIN | 2-2 FG | 4-8 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -7

Kravtsov didn’t get minutes until the second half, giving the impression that he might not start the season in the regular rotation either, but he got a few garbage baskets and was active. He still is what he is … big, mobile and physical. He’s not skilled on offense, but he’ll finish if he gets the ball around the basket.

Will Bynum, PG 22 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -24

Bynum didn’t shoot well, turned it over twice and didn’t play as well tonight as he has in other preseason games this season.

Kim English, SG 15 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -8

English had his worst game of the preseason, missing all four of his shots. I’d guess that he and Khris Middleton, who didn’t play, are probably competing for one rotation spot, so we’ll probably see Middleton get his chance to make a final impression on Friday.

Five Things We Saw

  • Lawrence Frank isn’t winning any friends with his lineup choices. I don’t know why he’s been so hesitant to go with a lineup of Knight-Stuckey-Jerebko-Monroe-Drummond, but fans desperately want to see it. It seems like we’ve seen every other combination this preseason except that one. I’m sure Frank has a reason for it, but it has been a long time since the Pistons had five promising young players at once. It would be great to see them all on the court at once.
  • Stuckey got it going tonight. He came into this game shooting 36 percent for the preseason, so a 6-for-13 performance is a welcome sight. The Pistons desperately need him to get off to a good start this season.
  • The Pistons are still weak inside. I shudder to think how lopsided this would’ve been had the Pistons had to guard both Pekovic and Kevin Love if he were healthy tonight. Pekovic did whatever he wanted offensively and his physical defense flustered Detroit’s bigs, particularly Monroe.
  • Knight’s lack of turnovers is a great sign. After having a few high turnover games through the first five preseason games, Knight now has just two turnovers in his last 36 minutes. He still needs it to carry over into the regular season, but I think it’s clear he’s worked hard at his two biggest weaknesses — passing and taking care of the ball.
  • Yes, we are testing out a fancy new recap format. Don’t worry, the long-winded recaps you’ve grown accustomed to on PistonPowered won’t go away completely. But we look at this format as a way to get some quick-hitting thoughts up after the game, then we can save our longer-form stuff for the morning when it’s warranted, after we’ve had a chance to process things more and hopefully be more organized and less rambly. This also will eliminate our ‘check back for updates’ tag we inserted in our recaps after games. You can check back once after the game and everything will be there. Let us know what you think, positive or negative.

Tags: Andre Drummond Austin Daye Brandon Knight Greg Monroe Jason Maxiell Kim English Kyle Singler Lawrence Frank Rodney Stuckey Tayshaun Prince Will Bynum

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