Trey Burke sees Pistons embarrass themselves once again

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Utah Jazz 110 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe, PF 16 MIN | 1-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -10

Monroe was terrible, the worst he’s been in a long time.

Josh Smith, SF 24 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -18

Smith was just as bad as Monroe, but he got 50 percent more playing time. All part of Maurice Cheeksplan.

Andre Drummond, C 32 MIN | 3-5 FG | 4-8 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -20

Drummond protected the basket very well, especially impressing his strong help-side rotations. That’s been a point of emphasis for him, and he blocked the critics (and the Jazz) tonight. He also rebounded well, per usual. There wasn’t much he could do as the Jazz lit up the Pistons from beyond the arc to build their big lead. Drummond was similarly helpless offensively, because Detroit refuses to make him a prominent part of their gameplan on that end.

Brandon Jennings, PG 32 MIN | 4-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -15

The offense had no flow, and though his teammates struggled much more than Jennings did, that problem ultimately falls at least somewhat on the point guard. Jennings played decent defense early against Burke, who helped Jennings by pressing with his effort. But once Burke settled down, Jennings was nowhere to be seen.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG 27 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -16

Trey Burke (20 points, 12 assists, seven turnovers, two steals) didn’t have a great game, and the Jazz certainly didn’t dominate because of him, but he at least showed why so many of us believe the Pistons should have draft him. Few rookies can orchestrate an NBA offense like that. Burke was way too sloppy with the ball tonight, but that’s an uncommon problem. His mix of scoring and passing was the norm. Notice this section isn’t really about Caldwell-Pope? That’s the point. He was fine, out-running everyone to get a fastbreak basket and making a confident 3-pointer early. He’s just limited. Caldwell-Pope is filling his role better and better, but Burke fills a bigger and more important role. Plus, Burke is just a flat-out better player right now. It’s far from conclusive Burke will remain aehad of Caldwell-Pope, but there’s also little reason to believe either player will improve at a faster rate than the other. Caldwell-Pope’s standing with the Pistons is still overshadowed by Burke, and tonight only enhances that.

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

The Jazz were too athletic for Harrellson inside. He can clog space, but he can’t hang with leapers.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 9 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +6

Jerebko played nine minutes, all of them in garbage time. Obviously, that’s not Jerebko’s fault, but my goodness, that’s a long garbage time. And it’s not as if Jerebko entered the game immediately once garbage time began. The Pistons were pathetic and took themselves out of the game relatively quickly. For his part, Jerebko made the most of his time.

Charlie Villanueva, PF 10 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -5

Unremarkable

Luigi Datome, SF 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +1

Datome made a jumper, and I suppose we should credit him for not jacking up a ton of meaningless shots.

Kyle Singler, SF 32 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -11

It will get lost given everything else that happened, but Singler had a really good game. He got inside for good shots and hit a 3. He also showed good effort on defense.

Will Bynum, PG 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -8

Bynum helped Burke get on track, falling well short of the even Jennings’ defensive level. Bynum was sloppy offensively, but at least he threw a lob to Drummond. Maybe some other Pistons should try involving a 6-foot-10, 270-pound center with great hands and quick hops into their offense.

Rodney Stuckey, SG 21 MIN | 9-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | -10

Stuckey, who declared himself finally healthy during the Pistons’ lengthy break, certainly looked it tonight. He was a one-man offensive machine, using his strength and speed to get good shots. If the Pistons hadn’t gotten blown out, maybe we could have overlooked Stuckey’s negligent defense.

Maurice Cheeks

Blaming Cheeks is the easy call – and probably the right one. The Pistons have had five days off twice this season, and they’ve been blown out their first game back both times. But is there any evidence whether teams perform better or worse after lengthy breaks? Most concerning is Cheeks has clearly established a preference for more practice time. But even when he gets it, the results are horrid. The only reason Cheeks avoids a failing grade: too many Pistons were bad tonight, leaving Cheeks’ hands tied. His rotation seemed off, but I’m not sure he stood a chance at making this work.

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Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Charlie Villanueva Greg Monroe Jonas Jerebko Josh Harrellson Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Luigi Datome Maurice Cheeks Rodney Stuckey THN-UTA Trey Burke Utah Jazz Will Bynum

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