New venue, same result as Hawks beat Pistons back-to-back

Atlanta Hawks 96 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe, PF 29 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -1Millsap was at his best when guarded by Monroe. But that was expected and it’s not like he torched Detroit. Monroe’s offense, though, was lacking. He loses the ball far too often when trying to make post moves and was fortunate to escape with just two turnovers.
Andre Drummond, C 35 MIN | 6-7 FG | 3-8 FT | 16 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +3Drummond was a beast on both ends of the court. He continued to get rebounds and putbacks nobody else could, but what really impressed was when he helped Jennings guard Teague. It was probably the best defensive possession by Detroit this year as the Hawks got a 24 second violation without coming close to getting a shot off. Also, Drummond was “on fire” from the stripe as one announcer put it, hitting multiple free throws for the first time all year.
Brandon Jennings, PG 38 MIN | 4-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 14 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 8 PTS | -8This game may as well have been a caricature of Jennings. He missed a ton of shots, played horrible D (except for when Drummond helped him out), and still racked up a ton of assists. The point total was surprisingly low and the turnovers too high. But I was happy to see him pass up a good look on the fast break to give Pope a better look. He hasn’t been doing that consistently.
Kyle Singler, SF 41 MIN | 9-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | -10Singler got a surprise start over Smith. He responded with a career high in scoring, and he did it very efficiently. He did get away with a blatant travel early and didn’t do enough else on the court, but it was a very good game for him. I loved his fast break block on Teague.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 28 MIN | 4-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +4Pope played some very good defense, but once again, his shooting was abysmal. This seems like it could wrap up every game he has played. If Pope can become a reliable outside shooter, he’ll be exceedingly valuable to Detroit. If not, he’s just another ill-fitting piece on the roster.
Josh Harrellson, PF 11 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -8Harrellson made the most of his time on the floor. He doesn’t look to have a ton of upside, but he is rapidly earning a larger role by hitting outside shots and hustling enough to not pose a liability as a big man.
Josh Smith, SF 20 MIN | 0-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -8Not all of Smith’s shots were terrible, but he took multiple long 2s early int he shot clock with a defender up on him. That is the epitome of the shot Smith should never take, and it worked out in the worst way possible. The Hawks blanked Smith and that was probably the difference between a win and a loss.
Peyton Siva, PG 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PTS | -1Siva didn’t get much time on the floor, but he turned the ball over every chance he got. He didn’t even touch the ball on one of his eight played possesions and there was only one possession when he did anything more than bring the ball past halfway and pass it to a teammate without turning it over. Even if Mack hit only one of three shots with Siva on him, that is abysmal.
Rodney Stuckey, SG 31 MIN | 6-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | -10Stuckey continued to shoot the difficult shots he has been hitting this year. That’s bad news as they weren’t falling this time around. The really bad news: he may be the Pistons’ best chance of generating something on many possessions.
Jonas Jerebko, PF 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +4Jerebko didn’t play enough merit grading.
Maurice Cheeks
Cheeks tinkered with the starting lineup, putting one of the bigs on the bench, he gave Siva a chance but quickly yanked him when he kept feeding the ball to Hawks, and he gave more minutes than normal to Harrelson and Pope (although he gave none to Datome). That may be all he did right, but that’s better than normal for him.

Three Things We Saw

  1. This game was pretty much deja vu. A competitive game for much of the night but when the Pistons fell behind late, it was hard to envision them making the run necessary to catch up.
  2. As Draper pointed out after these teams’ last meeting, the Pistons were hopeless against the pick and roll. They haven’t been destroyed by it nearly as much against other teams, so do the Hawks just cause bigger matchup problems for the Pistons on this play or have other teams just not bothered yet to catch on to the easiest way to dismiss Detroit.
  3. The Hawks were probably going to get the win anyway, but a couple terrible calls late in the game put it out of reach. First Singler got hit with a clear path foul when he had definitely reached in for the steal while still in front of Carroll. Then the refs failed to whistle Stuckey for an incredibly obvious foul on Millsap on the fast break. Because of that, Carroll got the offensive board for a three point play opportunity. Each mistake led to two extra points for Atlanta and about an extra 20 seconds coming off the clock.

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