Pistons rally late, fall short against Magic in Orlando

Detroit Pistons 86 Final

Recap | Box Score

87 Orlando Magic
Josh Smith, SF 29 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 13 PTS | +12This was a hard one because after looking pretty solid in pre-game shooting drills — both mid-range and 3-point jumpers — he came out laying bricks early. There were times in the first half where Smith looked uncomfortable, but he really came alive in the fourth. He was the catalyst in the Pistons’ comeback, hitting 2-of-3 from deep. It also requires mentioning that his early-clock heave from downtown with the Pistons down one with 30 seconds left was just terrible.
Andre Drummond, C 37 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 15 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -12Drummond had what’s become a pretty standard game for him. Crazy to say that, eh? He did the dirty work, rarely tried to do too much and played pretty solid defense. He, like Smith and Greg Monroe, is still learning what his role is, but if he plays near this level in the regular season, well, that’s a great role.
Greg Monroe, C 35 MIN | 7-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 19 PTS | +9It was a quiet night for Monroe, who didn’t really do much until that fourth-quarter run. He didn’t rebound well, and came out surprisingly slow against the mighty Orlando frontline of Solomon Jones and Kyle O’Quinn. His two blocks and steal are solid, preseason or not.
Peyton Siva, PG 47 MIN | 3-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 9 TO | 12 PTS | +4There were plenty of times where Siva looked bad tonight. Considering he played all but one minute due to Will Bynum being out with food poisoning, it turned out to be a gutty effort. His slashing-and-passing was the reason the Pistons looked great early. Once the Magic adjusted, he had nowhere to go, and that’s where the nine turnovers started.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 35 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | +1There’s definitely two dimensions to Caldwell-Pope’s offensive game — KCP behind the 3-point line and inside of it. Tonight he made two from deep, and in the preseason he’s 6-for-18. However, he’s only 9-for-29 inside the arc. He’s a good 3-point shooter now, but as he adjusts to the NBA game, he’ll improve inside, too.
Tony Mitchell, PF 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +5Mitchell didn’t play a whole lot, but when he did he brought a bundle of energy. He used his athleticism to corral some pretty impressive rebounds above the rim. There was also a horrific sequence of trying to throw flashy passes on the break, which not-so-shockingly didn’t work out well at all.
Charlie Villanueva, PF 15 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -9He came out locked and loaded, per usual. There were some flops, there were some weak attempts at rebounds and there were plenty of shots fired up. It wouldn’t surprise me if Villanueva entered the season as the first big off the bench for the Pistons over Jonas Jerebko — purely because he spaces the floor better.
Jonas Jerebko, PF 15 MIN | 1-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | -11Battling for that primary backup gig, tonight’s shooting woes probably don’t help his cause. Jerebko did rebound well, and he brought some energy — which head coach Mo Cheeks mentioned that he wanted out of his bench before the game.
Kyle Singler, SG 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -4I wouldn’t say he did anything really bad tonight, but he didn’t do anything amazing either. He still just does a lot of Singler-y things out there. I’m not sure how to quantify that, but it’s him. He even spelled Siva at the point for the one minute he got a breather in the second quarter.
Maurice CheeksIt’s pretty difficult to grade a coach who only has two healthy guards. The team came and went with Siva’s play tonight, but Cheeks had to play the rookie. These guys are still a work in progress, and the product tonight probably isn’t reflective of what Cheeks can do or what it’ll look like with the starters back.

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Tags: Andre Drummond Greg Monroe Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Mo Cheeks Tony Mitchell

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