Shooting guard Brandon Knight scores career-high 31 in Pistons’ win over Magic

Detroit Pistons 104 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Orlando Magic
Jason Maxiell, PF 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +3

J.J. Redick scored 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 8-of-11 on 3-pointers. Kim English and Kyle Singler deserve primarily blame, but to my untrained eye, Maxiell appeared at fault, too. Multiple times, Singler cheated inside to help because Maxiell was slow to rotate back inside after defending pick and rolls, and that left Redick open. Was Maxiell defending passing lanes farther from the basket by design? Did Singler respond correctly? I’m not certain, but I think at least Maxiell failed to rotate properly. He also didn’t pursue rebounds with enough desire. If Andre Drummond played like this early in the season, we’d be questioning his motor.

Tayshaun Prince, SF 35 MIN | 3-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | -8

Prince played like he had to meet a minimum quota for shot attempts. None of the looks were particularly terrible, but the Pistons have enough other good offensive options that Prince should be a little more selective. His defense, rebounding and point-guard skills while Brandon Knight played off the ball were all moderate positives.

Greg Monroe, C 33 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -2

Monroe scored efficiently and moved the ball well. But his defense was a mixed bag, and his rebounding was just so-so.

Brandon Knight, PG 37 MIN | 12-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 31 PTS | -5

The Pistons had 25 assists, their most since November, but Knight had none. That wasn’t a failure of Knight to run the offense, because the Pistons barely asked him to do that tonight. Knight –a  more so than any other game I can recall this season — played off the ball. He worked the perimeter to get open for jumpers (5-for-8 on 3-pointers), and the Magic helped him by going under a couple screens when Knight ran pick-and-rolls. Knight did little to show he’s Detroit’s point guard of the future, but he had a very good game, nonetheless. More importantly, without Knight trying to balance point-guard duties with finding his own offense, the Pistons’ offense had a very good game.

Kyle Singler, SG 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +14

Singler repeatedly lost J.J. Redick while "guarding" him. Some of those instances, as explained above, might have been Maxiell’s fault. But Singler definitely deserves blame, too. Some efficient offense redeems him a bit.

Charlie Villanueva, PF 25 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +4

Villanueva (12 shots in 25 minutes), isn’t gun shy, is he?

Austin Daye, PF 16 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +8

Solid enough to hang onto a backup rotation spot on this team.

Andre Drummond, C 16 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -1

Drummond was as ineffective as I’ve seen him, but I don’t believe an ineffective 16 minutes meant Drummond would necessarily be ineffective in eight more. (For that same reason, I don’t typically criticize Frank for pulling a "hot" shooter. Past performance, especially in a small, single-game sample, does not necessarily predict future performance.)

Will Bynum, PG 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 12 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +8

Bynum led a floor-spacing lineup with Singler, Daye, Villanueva and Drummond that outscored the Magic by 12 points in nine minutes. More interestingly, he assisted Knight on three fourth-quarter 3-pointers. Was this a preview of Knight’s game while he’s playing with Trey Burke next season?

Kim English, SG 19 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -11

Redick did English worse than he did Singler. English was absolutely brutal at getting through off-ball screens set for Redick. I’m not sure whether it’s a strength issue or something else, but English was very poor at that.

Khris Middleton, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION

This is just a reminder that Khris Middleton was active and Rodney Stuckey was not. This was clearly more than just a basketball decision. Stuckey was being punished.

Corey Maggette, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN

This is just a reminder that Corey Maggette was active and Rodney Stuckey was not. This was clearly more than just a basketball decision. Stuckey was being punished.

Lawrence Frank

More than anything else tonight, Frank’s decision to inactivate Rodney Stuckey should come under the closest scrutiny. Unfortunately, we have the least information about that decision. During the game, I thought Frank was fine. As usual, Drummond should have played more – though I don’t think he should have been in at the end. To recap, Bynum fouled Jameer Nelson on a 3-pointer with six seconds left and the Pistons leading by four. Nelson made the first two free throws and missed the second, and the Magic had a few tips at the ball before time expired. Some have criticized for Frank leaving Detroit’s top rebounder on the bench. But if Drummond were in and had grabbed the rebound, gotten fouled and missed at least one free throw, many of the same people would be criticizing Frank for inserting Drummond.

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