Pistons rally (again) only to fall (again) in loss at Portland

Detroit Pistons 103 FinalRecap | Box Score 109 Portland Trail Blazers
Greg Monroe, PF 37 MIN | 9-17 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | +3Pretty good effort from Monroe, who may have run out of gas late. Like it or not, he’s been the team’s most improved player this season. He’s not perfect, but when the offense ran through him, it looked good. It’s hard to knock him a ton defensively either, considering he helped contain LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s historically cooked the Pistons, to 8-of-19 shooting.
Josh Smith, SF 36 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -7For someone who’s been active on the boards all year long, Smith was a non-factor tonight. Shot selection wasn’t the problem — making shots was the problem. Nicolas Batum is a heckuva matchup for anyone, and Smith slowed him, but Batum still won this round with Smith. Smith’s best role in this offense is as a distributor. It’s just a matter of when he figures it out.
Andre Drummond, C 42 MIN | 8-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 16 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | -3Drummond came back strong after a lackluster couple of games. He rebounded, dunked and just did Andre Drummond things. His game is so elementary, but what he does, he does great. Heck, Maurice Cheeks even trusted him on the floor late in game, which is nice to see.
Brandon Jennings, PG 32 MIN | 11-24 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 28 PTS | -6Where to start? He’s the reason the Pistons made another late comeback, but he’s probably one of the main reasons they fell behind. He freelanced enough on defense to the point of legitimately having no idea where his man was at times. He used about 90 percent of his screens as avenues to the basket, rarely looking for the pop or roll man. He has glimpses of being a, ya know, point guard. But just as many glimpses of being the volume shooter that no one wants to play with.
Chauncey Billups, SG 14 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -4He’s looking his age, and it’s becoming more and more clear that his days starting are nearing an end. He definitely can still help this team, but trying to guard starting shooting guards isn’t that role. I’d bet, with Tuesday’s game at the Warriors being a back-to-back, he’ll sit while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope gets a shot.
Charlie Villanueva, PF 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -6So, you want to know how to “Villanueva” a game? First, come in and hoist up a 3-pointer immediately. Alright? But follow that up by just hovering around the 3-point line on defense, then miss a box out or two and come out of the game with two or so points points and a minus-6 plus/minus in five minutes. Charlie V’s season debut? Villanueva’d it.
Kyle Singler, SF 23 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -5It’s hard to hate Singler when he plays hard. He does little things when his shot isn’t falling, and that’s good. Problem is his shot hasn’t fallen this season. He’s 2-for-12 from deep, and that has to change for the Pistons’ second unit to succeed — and for him to stick in the rotation.
Will Bynum, PG 16 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | 0Typical game that makes you love, hate, then love again before eventually hating Bynum once again. When he’s out there, the team runs a little bit and he makes things happen. But he just wasn’t as big a spark against the Blazers. Plus, all the guards lose points for the massacre that was defending Mo Williams in the first half.
Rodney Stuckey, SG 34 MIN | 4-15 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -2The shot wasn’t falling today — and, strangely, it has been recently — but he didn’t play a terrible game outside that. His block of a Joel Freeland dunk in the second half was really impressive, and during the Pistons’ fourth-quarter comeback, he shared the lead guard duties while Jennings playing off ball a bit.
Maurice Cheeks
Well, the Pistons’ defense wasn’t totally his fault, but boy was it bad enough to feel like it. I can’t even think of a joke to make about the team’s 3-point defense because the defense was the joke. It just didn’t seem like there were many, if any, adjustments on that end. Also, why play Charlie Villanueva? Honestly? If he was just going to shoot from deep, why not play Luigi Datome? This was another game where the team showed flashes, but as the coach, he has to start finding a way to capture those flashes. I did like that he shortened the rotation, but it’s still not a finished product. Until he figures out who can be the floor spacer — Caldwell-Pope? Datome? — then there are going to be some ups and downs. He needs the team to start playing defense before worrying about making 3-pointers, though.

Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Charlie Villanueva Chauncey Billups Greg Monroe Josh Smith Kyle Singler Luigi Datome Maurice Cheeks Rodney Stuckey Will Bynum

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