Pistons Hold Off Late Knicks Run To Pick Up Needed Win

New York Knicks 86 Final

Recap | Box Score

92 Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe, PF 36 MIN | 6-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 16 PTS | +10Monroe’s offense was desperately needed int his one, but he didn’t assert himself often enough and his D was the worst I’ve seen from him this year. Bargnani went off on him early and whenever Anthony had success, it was typically because he was able to force Monroe to switch onto him.
Josh Smith, SF 41 MIN | 7-19 FG | 3-5 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +9Smith was once again way too eager to throw up long jumpers, but he shut down Carmelo and that was exactly what Detroit needed.
Andre Drummond, C 36 MIN | 6-7 FG | 1-5 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -6Drummond is starting to look like the most consistent player in the league. His play every night is the same. On offense, the Pistons don’t run anything for him but he regularly bails them out with good positioning to catch lobs or beautiful putbacks. On defense, he fouls way too much and doesn’t yet have the best instincts, but he hustles and comes up with several big plays. Chalk him up as pretty much a nightly 12 and 12 while hitting about 80% of his field goals and 20% of his free throes.
Brandon Jennings, PG 27 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +3Jennings missed a lot of time in this one because he was ailing. If Bynum were available, he should have just sat out the game. Jennings was invisible for most of his playing time. Get better soon Jennings, I don’t love your trigger-happiness but Detroit really could have used your floor spacing while the Knicks stormed back from 15 down to a 5 point gap.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 29 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +12Pope’s shot looked a lot better in this one even if he still only hit 4 of 12. The next step is to work on his shot selection. He took several shots from waaaay beyond the arc or just inside of it. Those are low value attempts. His man-to-man D wasn’t as good as it’s been in other games either, but his help and rotations were crisp. Pope looks like he may take a while to put everything together, but he has a lot of very valuable skills.
Luigi Datome, SF 5 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -3For his couple minutes, Datome looked exactly as I expected going into the season. If he could extrapolate those stats to 20-25 mpg, Datome could be a very valuable contributor in Detroit this year. But that defense was awful and there was no way he was going to get 20-25 minutes.
Kyle Singler, SF 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +3Singler didn’t produce much, but I loved his activity around loose balls. And he did a very good job on defense, especially when he rotated onto Melo.
Peyton Siva, PG 11 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +4Siva didn’t look talented enough to be on an NBA court, he was sloppy, and he fought with teammates for boards. If he wants to ever carve out a niche in the league, Siva will have to play some much headier ball because I don’t see anything else he has to offer.
Rodney Stuckey, SG 31 MIN | 8-14 FG | 5-5 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -2Make no mistake, I don’t want to see Stuckey shoot 20 footers with 4 hands in his face ever again. But against New York, he hit multiple such shots. His offense and Smith’s defense are the reasons Detroit got a win. Not bad for a guy who has taken as much flak in recent years as Stuckey has had to absorb.
Maurice Cheeks
I still don’t like his rotations, but Cheeks made a very smart move putting in Singler for Drummond at the end. No need to allow a hack-a-Drummond strategy to ever even be an option. Given how few shooters the Pistons employ, Cheeks needs to drum it into their heads that,w hen on the floor, they need to be beyond the 3 point arc unless they are actively carrying out a play. The spacing down the stretch was abysmal.

One Thing We Saw

  1. There were no egregious calls, but nearly everything questionable went the Pistons’ way. They were fortunate to come up with this win. But wins often involve a bit of fortune. They’ll take it: 4-6 sounds way better than 3-7.

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