Pistons have no answer for Kevin Love, get routed by Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves 121 Final

Recap | Box Score

94 Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe, PF 20 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -14Monroe shot efficiently, but who cares? He didn’t bully his way inside nearly enough times and he did a horrendous job on Love. I expect Love to score on anyone, but getting beat on the glass 16-2 is unacceptable.
Josh Smith, SF 34 MIN | 7-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | -18Smith took 7 of his shots in the paint. And he hit 5 of them. The other 7 attempts were stupid, especially the 20-foot 2-pointers (even though he made one of them).

But Smith also bailed out two of three abysmal passes by Jennings–and another from Billups–that would have been turnovers if they’d been thrown to a player only slightly less alert, hustling or athletic.

Andre Drummond, C 29 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -19Drummond didn’t play a terrible game, but he is easily the best player on the Pistons. They need more from you, Dre.
Brandon Jennings, PG 31 MIN | 8-16 FG | 2-5 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 20 PTS | -19See Josh Smith above for why Jennings had “only” six turnovers. Early in the season, Jennings was putting up an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio but couldn’t shoot. Now his shots are dropping but he can’t stop giving the ball away.

You’re in Motown, take a cue from the obnoxious Ford commercials, Jennings. Accurate passing AND shooting is better than accurate passing OR shooting.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 33 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -22As is normally the case, Caldwell-Pope’s grade is only slightly based on his box score. Tonight, he was making tons of huge plays that required hustle and getting himself to the right place in time:
Monroe dribbled the ball off his foot and KCP saved it from going out of bounds, instead draining a corner 3. Smith bobbled the ball away on the fast break; the Wolves would have recovered it, but KCP was right behind and slammed it home. Billups tried to throw the ball away but Pope bailed him out and two passes later, Harrellson got an easy deuce.Biggest of all was his block on Love’s fast break dunk attempt. He wasn’t even in the screen when Love started going up, but Caldwell-Pope pinned the ball on the glass, recovered it, and sent it the other way for a Smith dunk and a quick four point swing.
Tony Mitchell, PF 10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -4Mitchell played well in garbage time.
Josh Harrellson, PF 13 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -6Harrellson didn’t do a great job on Minnesota’s big men but he ended up guarding wings a couple times and did a really good job of that. Martin got him in the air on a pump fake, but Josh landed right in front of him so K-Mart couldn’t pull a Pierce and get cheap free throws, but was instead trapped in the corner with a massive body impeding his movement. Then Harrellson drew a fast break charge from Cunningham that felt very important at the time, before the Wolves’ lead ballooned.
Jonas Jerebko, PF 21 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 5 PTS | -9Jerebko was decent but unremarkable. It’s too bad his one spectacular play (a vicious putback dunk) was called off for offensive goaltending.
Charlie Villanueva, PF 8 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -9Villanueva’s time on the floor was fairly irrelevant, but he did hit a 3-pointer on just two tries and he was making an effort on D, which was half-encouraging and half-depressing.
Luigi Datome, SF 6 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5Datome is gradually building up a big enough sample size to conclude that perhaps he’s not actually a good shooter. He is now 4-23 (17 percent) from beyond the arc and 13-43 (30 percent) overall.
Kyle Singler, SF 11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0Singler might as well have not played in this one.
Peyton Siva, PG 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -6Siva got the inverse of his regular numbers. Coming into this game, he had a 1:2 AST:TO ratio. Tonight, it was 2:1, which isn’t great, but is a lot better.
Chauncey Billups, SG 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -4Don’t be fooled by Billups’ zero turnovers, that is thanks to some incredibly athletic saves by Smith and KCP. But apart from a couple wild passes, Billups played about to expectations. His poor shooting is probably more due to decline and the fact that he’s always shot a low percentage than it is due to rust.
Maurice Cheeks
I don’t know what Cheeks could have done differently in this one. Detroit just got torched by Love. But he certainly didn’t make a positive impact.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Love put up an insane line of 26 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists–in just 30 minutes. The Wolves were pounding the Pistons sufficiently that he never got on the court in the 4th quarter.Only Kevin Garnett (26-15-5 in 29 mins) and Brad Daugherty (30-15-5 in 29 mins) have managed to put up a 25-15-5 in so few minutes.
  2. The Pistons were less aggressive than their opponent at going to the hole. Given their relative lack of shooting prowess, that can’t happen. Minnesota ended up with 33 free throws to Detroit’s 16. And then the Pistons exacerbated the problem by missing half of them.