Pistons, at home, can’t keep up with 18-34 New Orleans Hornets

New Orleans Hornets 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 Detroit Pistons
Jason Maxiell, PF 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -23

Usually, I’d use this section as a plea for Andre Drummond to start. With Drummond out injured (and maybe already penciled into the starting lineup when healthy), I’m not sure what to write here.

Greg Monroe, C 39 MIN | 8-15 FG | 1-7 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -10

Monroe is averaging 16/11/3 in wins and 16/9/3 in losses this season. Essentially, he’s elevated himself past that X-Factor level to the point he plays well almost every game, win or loss. Monroe’s 17 points and 11 rebounds will actually lower his February per-game averages. Robin Lopez did plenty of his damage against Monroe, and though Monroe is somewhat culpable, Lopez deserves more credit than Monroe does blame.

Jose Calderon, PG 34 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -17

Calderon won’t play this well every night, but he can near this level of efficiency more often than not – and way more often than any Pistons point guard lately. Calderon has already tied Brandon Knight with four eight-assist games for the Pistons this season, and team-leader Will Bynum (six such games) is in Calderon’s sights.

Brandon Knight, PG 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | -24

Like: Knight’s shot selection. He took all 10 of his shots either in the paint or from beyond the arc, the two most efficient areas on the floor.

Dislike: Knight’s shooting. He went 2-for-7 in the paint and 1-for-3 on 3-pointers.

Kyle Singler, SG 29 MIN | 4-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -22

Another quality game at small forward from Singler, who’s averaging 11.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game since moving from shooting guard when the Pistons traded Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. There are still questions about Singler’s long-term ability – at the moment, I believe he could be the fifth starter on a good team – but all indications are that he’s better suited to play small forward than shooting guard.

Charlie Villanueva, PF 20 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -4

Villanueva scored 21 points against the Spurs on Friday and 18 points against the Bucks on Saturday, but he’d never posted 18 in three straight games with the Pistons. Don’t worry, he didn’t come close to breaking the streak tonight.

Will Bynum, PG 22 MIN | 0-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +3

Bynum now has more 0-for-at-least-8 games in the last two years combined (two) than anyone else in the NBA.

Rodney Stuckey, PG 30 MIN | 4-12 FG | 11-13 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | -2

Stuckey’s 11 free throws made and 13 free throws attempted are each Pistons highs this season. Entering tonight, Stuckey had attempted 1.3 times as many free throws as 3-pointers. In every previous season, Stuckey attempted at least three times as many free throws as 3-pointers. Whether it’s Stuckey’s fault, Lawrence Frank‘s fault or a shared blame, Stuckey’s offensive game has been a mess this season. Hopefully, this game signifies some type of change, but I doubt it.

Lawrence Frank

Frank chanced using an eight-man rotation, not inserting Kim English or Jonas Jerebko until late in the third quarter, and the risk didn’t pay off. The Pistons wasted big minutes from their top players just to trail by nine in the first quarter, 14 in the second quarter and 20 in the third quarter. Monty Williams out-coached him, and Frank admitted as much after the game. Missing Drummond definitely hurt the Pistons, but I’m not giving Frank sympathy points for that. Frank, all season, has been prepping the Pistons to play without Drummond on the court.

Most Valuable Player

Robin Lopez (23 points on 9-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds) scored 13 points on 5-on-5 shooting in the first quarter to set an active tone early for the Hornets. This was his first double-double of the calendar year.

X-Factor

Ryan Anderson had 31 points in 31 minutes, joining Samuel Dalembert, Dion Waiters and Antawn Jamison as the only reserves this season to score that many points and do so at a point-per-minute rate. He’s also now the only player this season with multiple 30-point, 0-free-throw-attempt games.

Defining moment

After the Pistons opened the game on an 8-0 run, Hornets coach Monty Williams called timeout and settled his team, which responded with its own 8-0 run and trailed only briefly afterward. Williams’ steady hand is a big reason the Hornets have more road wins (10) than the Celtics, Jazz, Lakers and Trail Blazers.

Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Knight Charlie Villanueva Greg Monroe Jason Maxiell Jonas Jerebko Jose Calderon Kim English Kyle Singler Lawrence Frank Rodney Stuckey Will Bynum