Asking Brandon Jennings to carry you to victory is asking for a loss

Detroit Pistons 106 Final
Recap | Box Score
111 New Orleans Pelicans
Greg Monroe, PF 42 MIN | 13-22 FG | 2-7 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 28 PTS | +6

Monroe worked really hard on offense. Generating 18 shots in the restricted area — he made 12, converting 6.8 percentage points better than league average — is not easy, but Monroe kept forcing his way into that high-efficiency area both with and without the ball. That outweighed defensive laziness, though his defense and free-throw shooting drop his grade.

Josh Smith, SF 32 MIN | 5-15 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -8

Smith made a few big shots, but that doesn’t negate an overall underwhelming shooting night. Smith took too many jumpers, of course, but he also shot just 4-for-9 in the paint. He often didn’t get all the way to the rim, settling for hook shots a little further out in the paint. Smith had a couple shots blocked, and that might have spooked him. If that were the case, he can’t let that happen next time. Although his hook looks nice when he makes it, Smith is capable of getting all the way to the rim more often, and his layups are much more effective than his hooks. His defense doesn’t save him this time.

Andre Drummond, C 35 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -13

Drummond is so good, he can have a quiet double-double. He didn’t make enough noise defensively, and that hurt the Pistons. They need more from him on that end, but games like this show why they can’t keep him off the floor.

Brandon Jennings, PG 46 MIN | 10-23 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 6 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 25 PTS | -2

Jennings was 6-for-8, including 4-of-5 on 3-pointers, into the third quarter. After that, he went 4-for-15 and 0-for-5 on 3-pointers. That’s the problem with Jennings: He’s rarely as hot as he thinks he is. Even though the Pistons had team-wide issues keeping guards from penetrating on the pick-and-roll, Jennings did a particularly horrendous job of staying in front of Jrue Holiday. At least he adjusted by gambling more, and he gambled effectively, even poking the ball loose a couple times after his man blew by him. Also consider that a few of Jennings’ late misses came with the clock forcing his hand, and overall, this was a very strong performance.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 25 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8

Caldwell-Pope’s defense was good enough to create his only made shot, a layup after a steal, but his effectiveness on the defensive end fell well short of great. His effort was there, but the Pelicans’ screens and ball movement had him lost at times — though it’s quite possible his teammates did a poor job of communicating on those plays. Within the offense, he took a couple comfortable shots and a couple uncomfortable shots and missed all four.

Josh Harrellson, PF 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | 0

Harrellson was all over the place, making the little deflections that don’t show up in the box score. He was the Pistons’ best defensive big man, but he was also a non-entity offensively. That’s better than being an offensive negative, but it would help if he didn’t disappear on that end.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1

Small sample, but the Pelicans killed the Pistons on the glass while Jerebko got his lone run in the second quarter, and Jerebko was at least somewhat at fault, even though he grabbed one rebound with a New Orleans player on his back. Jerebko never had a chance to do anything offensively. This was was nearly an incomplete.

Kyle Singler, SF 29 MIN | 1-5 FG | 6-8 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -7

Singler cut very well, and his teammates found him, often leading to New Orleans fouls. Singler also looked really, really good as a rim protector. His three blocks were no cheapies.

Peyton Siva, PG 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3

Siva defended better than any other Pistons guard, but his defense was not overly impressive. It probably didn’t just as many minutes as he got, considering the offense remains very poor when he’s running it.

Rodney Stuckey, SG 33 MIN | 7-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +9

Stuckey just looks so confident with the ball in his hands. His range beyond 13 feet or so is shaky, but he gets it done inside that with a variety of moves — shots and passes.

Maurice Cheeks

The Pistons’ defense was a mess. Confusion on pick-and-rolls, rotation issues when the Pelicans moved the ball, losing track of Ryan Anderson, getting outrun even in non-obvious transition opportunities. I’m not sure how much of that to pin on Cheeks, but he likely deserves at least some of the blame. On the plus side, Cheeks allocated minutes in line with production.

Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Greg Monroe Jason Smith Jonas Jerebko Josh Harrellson Josh Smith Jrue Holiday Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Maurice Cheeks New Orleans Pelicans Peyton Siva Rodney Stuckey THN-NOP

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