Pistons regress to season-opening lows with second 0-8 stretch

Detroit Pistons 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
112 Portland Trail Blazers
Jason Maxiell, PF 38 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -6

Maxiell defended LaMarcus Aldridge as closely as one could hope, but there just wasn’t much the 6-foot-7 Maxiell could do against Aldridge, who is 6-foot-11 with a high release and had 31 points and 12 rebounds.

Greg Monroe, C 36 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-8 FT | 9 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -6

Monroe quietly had a very nice, efficient game. He scored, rebounded and passed well, showing off his versatile skill set. After picking up two early fouls (and wisely being allowed by Brian Hill to remain in the game), his defense even looked adequate. This might be a glimpse of what Monroe can do when both the Pistons’ two most-used guards play well and take attention off Monroe, which hasn’t happened much this season.

Jose Calderon, PG 24 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -1

Calderon hasn’t controlled the offense as much lately, which might be problematic as far as making him like the Pistons. When Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum play this well, it’s perfectly justifiable to shift Calderon off the ball and rest him longer. But how will Calderon react this summer when he hits free agency? That question shouldn’t color Hill’s rotation, but we should be aware of the ramifications.

Rodney Stuckey, PG 40 MIN | 12-23 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 32 PTS | -12

Every once in a while, Stuckey shows a will to compete that makes him a very good player. Tonight he had it. Evidence: Stuckey made 3-of-5 shots while being fouled, which is actually better than he shot while not being fouled (9-of-20). Stuckey’s will was clearly focused on scoring, and he had a season-high 32 points. If you watched the game, you saw Stuckey, with a chipped tooth and a bad cut above his eye, playing hard despite looking like he had just lost a fight. But no assists in 40 minutes? That partially explains why Stuckey, even when he plays well individually, probably isn’t good enough to play a major role on a good team. Unfortunately, when not dominating the ball, Stuckey rarely plays well. It’s a catch-22.

Kyle Singler, SG 40 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -4

His baseline drive and reverse dunk looked pretty awesome, especially to all his fans in his home state of Oregon. Singler is more athletic than he gets credit for. Unfortunately, Singler otherwise missed a lot of shots and didn’t use his athleticism to help in any peripheral way.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -7

Jerebko showed nice hustle and didn’t appear intent on shooting every time touched the ball, which is how I’d like to see him play more often. This wasn’t his best showing of that style, but at least he didn’t chuck up the possession-wasting shots that he has been prone to taking much of this season.

Charlie Villanueva, PF 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 1 PTS | -3

Three turnovers in six minutes. Yeesh. I wonder whether Villanueva’s return to the rotation will last for only one game.

Will Bynum, PG 28 MIN | 10-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | -10

Cool and calm, Bynum picked his spots well to smoothly drive either with a quick attack or on a pick-and-roll. Bynum has score more before, but I can’t recall him ever making it look so effortless. Unlike Stuckey, he also sprinkled in a few assists.

Brian Hill 

The Pistons went on a 10-0 run coming out of a timeout late in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to two points before Portland pulled away, and Hill deserves some credit for that. Unfortunately, his 0-6 record as acting head coach can’t be ignored.

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Tags: Brian Hill Charlie Villanueva Greg Monroe Jason Maxiell Jonas Jerebko Jose Calderon Kyle Singler LaMarcus Aldridge Portland Trail Blazers Rodney Stuckey THN-POR Vyacheslav Kravtsov Will Bynum

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