Pistons start a rookie for first time this season, win for first time this season

Detroit Pistons 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
76 Philadelphia 76ers
Jason Maxiell, PF 28 MIN | 2-3 FG | 4-6 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +11

I don’t know how much the Pistons needed someone to protect the interior, considering how fond the 76ers are of shooting jumpers, but Maxiell did an excellent job in case Philadelphia had any ideas about driving more (or gaining extra shot attempts by grabbing offensive rebounds). He passed well and left the the shooting to more skilled offensive players.

Tayshaun Prince, SF 34 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 15 PTS | +20

Prince really kept the ball moving, and that resulted in a season high in assists. His defense was solid, he helped on the boards, and he shot pretty efficiently. This is the Prince I like to see.

Kyle Singler, SF 40 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +15

Welcome to the starting lineup, kid. Singler looks like a legitimate starter on a non-playoff team like the Pistons will almost assuredly be. He didn’t bring the house down with his 3-point shooting, but the threat opened his in-between game and spaced the floor for his teammates. Singler is an efficient scorer capable of making baskets with a variety of moves, and he should start even when Rodney Stuckey returns. Singler just meshes better with the other starters.

Greg Monroe, C 40 MIN | 7-16 FG | 5-6 FT | 18 REB | 6 AST | 19 PTS | +17

He turned the ball over too much, but, man, he got after it on the glass — defensively and offensively. That gave him plenty of opportunities to score, and the Pistons could use a high-usage player who is somewhat efficient. His passing become a valuable tool every night. No other player has gotten 19 points, 18 rebounds and 6 assists this season, and only Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin have done it in the last three years. A Piston has hit that mark only three times since 1985-86 (Grant Hill, Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer).

Brandon Knight, PG 35 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-6 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 15 PTS | +13

Brandon Knight passed better tonight, evidenced by his seven assists and only two turnovers. But those stats don’t tell the whole story. Knight had a few more poor passes that luckily didn’t result in turnovers. Still, he settled down and made mostly good decisions and shot well.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 15 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +2

Missed all his shots but defended pretty well and rebounded very well.

Corey Maggette, SF 22 MIN | 2-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +7

Four offensive fouls, two fouls drawn.

Andre Drummond, C 11 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +2

A very up-and-down night. On the plus side, he was active on both ends. He missed two layups, but he rebounded one and tipped out the other for a teammate to rebound. He’s not polished, but he’s so darn athletic, positive results will come as long as he’s playing hard. Still, three fouls in 11 minutes gave the 76ers too much of an opportunity to get easy baskets. That last dunk was sweet, though.

Lawrence Frank, HEAD COACH

Most importantly, he started Kyle Singler. He could have stuck with a veteran like Maggette or Will Bynum, but Frank trusted a rookie, and it paid off — big time. This was Frank’s defense at its finest. The Pistons forced 59 misses and rebounded 45 of them. They didn’t gamble for steals or abandon positioning for chances at blocks. They just draped their opponents — who were all too happy to shoot jumpers — and rebounded the misses. Frank should get some credit for the Pistons’ cohesive offense, as their 27 assists were a season high.

Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Knight Corey Maggette Greg Monroe Jason Maxiell Jonas Jerebko Kyle Singler Lawrence Frank Rodney Stuckey Tayshaun Prince