The Pistons started the game well against Dallas Saturday and led by 11 points with three minutes to go in the first half. From that point on, Dallas got more aggressive defensively, the Pistons stopped contesting perimeter shots and started forcing things on offense as the Mavs out-scored them by 26 points the rest of the way.
An awful third quarter did the Pistons in. Detroit turned it over just twice in the first half, but had 13 in the second half. The Pistons scored 11 third quarter points, allowed O.J. Mayo — a 51 percent 3-point shooter! — to get any open look he wanted and could not make shots close to the rim (they missed 29 shots within two feet of the basket). Oh, and they couldn’t really make jumpers either.
The second half was as ugly to watch as any half the Pistons have played this season. They combined both poor decision-making with little effort, and the results of that combination were predictable.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -6I mean, he was the only big on the roster who could stay in front of Elton Brand, so I guess that’s something, right?|
|Tayshaun Prince, SF 37 MIN | 5-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -10Vince Carter made 4-for-6 3-pointers without much resistance from Prince.|
|Kyle Singler, SF 33 MIN | 3-6 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -21Repeat the above, substitute ‘O.J. Mayo’ and ’6-for-9.’ Singler actually did an OK job on Mayo in the first half, holding him to 1-for-5 shooting. That all unraveled in about three minutes in the third, when he lost Mayo twice for transition threes and Mayo beat the entire defense back for a layup after a made Pistons shot.|
|Greg Monroe, C 32 MIN | 4-17 FG | 0-1 FT | 15 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -17Monroe looked uncomfortable all night on offense. He couldn’t get good position on Chris Kaman, he forced things, he got frustrated looking for calls, he couldn’t finish at the rim and he had his shot blocked five times. His worst game in a long time.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 35 MIN | 6-14 FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | -10Knight had an excellent first half. He was active defensively with three steals. He was also out of control, starting in the third quarter. One series in particular stands out — Knight had the ball stolen by Derek Fisher because he was carless with his handle. Knight hustled back and re-stole the ball from Fisher. That’s good. Then he wildly tried to split a double-team and had the ball easily stolen right back. That’s bad. He had a big first half which gave the Pistons a lead, but he couldn’t sustain it in the second half. His legs looked tired and, as a result, his jumper got flat — he missed a couple of open looks badly.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 15 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -8Regressing to the mean.|
|Corey Maggette, SF 11 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -5Maggette made no impact in his 11 minutes.|
|Andre Drummond, C 12 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | +1Drummond should’ve played significantly more tonight with the Pistons starters obviously tired. Still, when he did play, he continued to make the types of defensive mistakes that cost him a larger role. When Elton Brand got rolling in the second half, it was partially at the expense of Drummond, who had some bad defensive possessions against him.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 9 PTS | +1For the second straight game, Stuckey didn’t get to the free throw line. He also continues to take a ridiculous number of 3-pointers. His only make tonight was a prayer with the shot clock running down. There is ample evidence to suggest that Stuckey should never, ever shoot 3-pointers at this point. He’s still Detroit’s best point guard, though.|
|Lawrence Frank, Coach My biggest issue with Frank tonight was simply the fact that after a tough game last night against a physical Memphis team, all of his starters still played over 30 minutes tonight. If you’re ever going to use your bench, tonight is the night to do it.But this loss isn’t on Frank. The Pistons missed a ridiculous number of shots at the rim and the defense was awful in the second half. Short of benching everyone, there wasn’t a whole lot Frank could do. And considering that the bench options who played didn’t play great either, that wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game.|