At least we don’t have to endure calls for Brian Hill to replace Lawrence Frank permanently

New York Knicks 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
77 Detroit Pistons
Jason Maxiell, PF 37 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -8

Maxiell dunked four times, three thanks to Jose Calderon’s ability to run the pick-and-roll. If only Maxiell had stuck to that. He was 0-for-3 on jumpers outside the restricted zone.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -1

In his first 12:41 of playing time, Jerebko had three shots and two assists. Per 12:41 entering the game, Jerebko averaged two more shots and one fewer assist, and the Knicks seemed to know that, overplaying him for the shot. I get Jerebko wants to score more, but he’ll do so more effectively if he’s less focused on shooting all the time. Once the Knicks adjusted to Jerebko’s willingness to pass, he had room to score. Amar’e Stouemire (22 points on 8-of-12 shooting) torched him, but I won’t blame Jerebko much for that. With Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Charlie Villanueva out injured, the Pistons didn’t have the size to defend Stoudemire. Unfortunately for Jerebko, he just got stuck guarding Stoudemire more than anyone else did.

Jose Calderon, PG 40 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 16 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -3

Who leads the NBA in 16-assist games? That’s right, it’s Calderon. With his fifth of the season, Calderon broke his tie with Rajon Rondo.

Brandon Knight, PG 39 MIN | 6-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 17 PTS | 0

Three of Knight’s first seven shots would have been assisted. He shot 1-for-7 on them. Nine of his next nine shots would have been assisted. He shot 5-for-9 on those. (His final shot was with the Pistons down 10 with 34 seconds left, when it was fine for Knight to force the action in isolation.) Also, Knight’s five turnovers were each pretty ugly, though it’s possible Calderon was out of position on one pass from Knight that went out of bounds. In short, Knight was pretty good when working hard off the ball to get good looks and awful with the ball in his hands.

Kyle Singler, SG 42 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -1

Singler put in work tonight, playing a season-high 42 minutes and grabbing eight rebounds, which ties for his second-most. The undersized Pistons needed both, minutes and rebounds, and Singler answered the call, but he wasn’t overly effective in any one area.

Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 12 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -2

I can’t tell whether Kravtsov moves slowly on defense because he’s slow-footed or because he’s unsure where to go. Either way, it makes his defense poor.

Will Bynum, PG 17 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -17

I could tell you everything Bynum did wrong, or you could go read something nice about him.

Rodney Stuckey, PG 26 MIN | 0-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -18

When many people see Stuckey shot 0-for-5, they assume he didn’t give much effort. I don’t think that’s fair. Stuckey was trying tonight. He was just bad.

Brian Hill, acting head coach 

Hill was pretty unimaginative, playing the starters a combined 185 minutes. The only other time the Pistons’ starters played more was Detroit’s double-overtime loss to the Nets, and the starters played less in regulation than they did tonight. I’m fine with this, because part of Hill’s job in his one-game fill-in for Lawrence Frank is to maintain the status quo. Fans might not like everything – or anything – Frank does, but as long as he remains head coach, Frank must maintain clear authority. If you don’t understand that, two words: Ron Rothstein.

The Pistons were outrebounded, 48-36, and I don’t mention that above, because only injuries are to blame. But that is a big reason Detroit lost, so if grades skew high, it’s because I’m not focused on a losing rebounding battle that has no bearing on the Pistons’ actual ability to rebound.

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Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Knight Charlie Villanueva Greg Monroe Jason Maxiell Jonas Jerebko Kyle Singler Lawrence Frank Rodney Stuckey Vyacheslav Kravtsov Will Bynum

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