Detroit Pistons’ losing streak reaches season-worst five games, each defeat coming to losing team

Detroit Pistons 85 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 New York Knicks
Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 8-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 19 PTS | -15

Monroe was strong offensively, taking advantage a New York frontline that, lacking Tyson Chandler, is pretty unimposing. Defensively, Monroe struggled, but that’s nothing new. He sat with seven minutes remaining in the game, returning in the final seconds only to get pushed under the basket as the Knicks offensively rebounded their own missed free throw to seal the game. If Maurice Cheeks re-inserted Josh Smith after the reserves helped Detroit’s comeback, why didn’t Monroe get a real second chance?

Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 40 MIN | 6-14 FG | 8-9 FT | 12 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 8 TO | 21 PTS | -8

For three quarters, Smith was horrific. He protected the ball as if it were covered in grease, coughing up eight turnovers, including seven live-ball giveaways. Smith got going late, scoring 13 of his points on five shots in the final 14:15 and defending better down the stretch. Carmelo Anthony and Mike Woodson helped Smith’s defensive turnaround, though. Anthony was giving Smith fits for much of the game, working off the ball on the perimeter and taking advantage of the Knicks’ strong ball movement. Late, the ball stagnated with Melo, and Smith is far too of a defender to struggle in those isolations. With 27 seconds left and the Pistons down only one after trailing by 17, Smith even took a charge on a Melo drive. But on the ensuing Detroit possession, after Jennings held the ball too long and erased much of the shot clock, Smith sized up Melo while also holding the ball too long and forced an airballed jumper. The possession, including the shot, was a mockery.

Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 36 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-6 FT | 17 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -14

Drummond played brain-dead defense, and unfortunately, this was only one example. Still, his physical profile almost makes it difficult for him to have a really bad game. Because he’s so big and agile and strong and sure-handed, he beasted on the glass and scored effectively inside.

Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 31 MIN | 2-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -11

Jennings shot very poorly, though it seemed his baskets came when the team really needed them (which is meaningless, but was just how it felt). He had a couple nice passes too, but this was not a good distributing day for him. Ultimately, despite a couple fine flashes, he shoulders the blame for a game in which the Pistons had sustained offensive ineptitude. Jennings gambled far too much defensively, without defending his man much, to justify the result.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 29 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -9

Caldwell-Pope’s lone basket was a fastbreak layup, and he was mostly invisible within the halfcourt offense. Caldwell-Pope defended fine, but Maurice Cheeks was giving Kyle Singler minutes at shooting guard just to keep Caldwell-Pope off the court.

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

Harrellson entered the game only when Monroe got his second foul late in the first half. A guaranteed contract obviously doesn’t get you playing time.

Charlie Villanueva, PF Shot Chart 10 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +12

Villanueva, a DNP-CD regular, didn’t enter the game until the Pistons trailed big in the fourth quarter. Detroit cut into the deficit while he was on the court, but it wasn’t really because of him. Sure, he made a shot here, a good pass there. He wasn’t bad, but he definitely didn’t drive the comeback.

Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 30 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +13

Singler went after loose balls, helping his own offensive cause in the process, and hit a big 3-pointer late. Not bad, but if he’s going to make a push for the starting lineup, which I really think could happen soon, he needs to raise his game a bit.

Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +7

The lobs to Drummond were nice. The rest was OK at best. This has sort of become a description of Bynum’s place on the team.

Chauncey Billups, SG Shot Chart 8 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +5

Billups is too far over the hill to make a habit of breaking off the offense to force his own shot, but he did it repeatedly tonight.

Maurice Cheeks

He took two timeouts within 1:40 of each other as the Knicks went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter. I guess Cheeks wanted to talk it over, but I didn’t see much change after the timeouts. When his team is struggling, Cheeks seems to have the philosophy of more intervention. More practices. More meetings. More timeouts. More, more, more. But is anything actually getting accomplished?

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Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Carmelo Anthony Charlie Villanueva Chauncey Billups Greg Monroe Josh Harrellson Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Maurice Cheeks New York Knicks THN-NYK Will Bynum

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