In a twist, get mad at Josh Smith for shooting really well (and hurting the Detroit Pistons’ lottery odds)

Sacramento Kings 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
99 Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 30 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | -1

Monroe made a few nice passes, but that doesn’t begin to hit reasonable expectations for a starting power forward.

Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 33 MIN | 10-17 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +8

Somewhere in this world, there’s a person who has seen Smith play only tonight and believes he’s a great jump shooter (6-for-10 outside the paint, including 2-for-2 on 3-pointers) who adequately uses that skill to set up his inside game (4-for-7 in the paint).

Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 40 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 5 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +4

Four of Singer’s six highest-minute games have come since John Loyer replaced Maurice Cheeks, and the wing has really responded with some strong all-around efforts. His energy level is almost always high.

Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 33 MIN | 6-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 5 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +13

Cousins dunked on Drummond early, but after that, Drummond really applied more pressure defensively. Cousins has clearly outplayed the debate between himself and Monroe. How about Cousins vs. Drummond? Who would you take? That gets interesting. (I’d take Drummond due to youth, but Cousins is further ahead right now.) Drummond appeared to jam his finger at one point, and though he played well through it, it seemed to bother him at times. I don’t expect the issue to linger, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 28 MIN | 1-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +5

In the first half, Jennings shot 0-for-5 and couldn’t keep his man in front of him at all. In the second half, he really stepped up, shooting 1-for-5 and playing forgettable defense.

Jonas Jerebko, PF Shot Chart 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +2

I bet Jerebko would have graded well offensively by EPV tonight. He shot well, kept the ball moving and hit his right spots.

Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 22 MIN | 4-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | +3

Bynum was, to say the least, not a model of efficiency tonight. It’s games like this that make me believe he should be used only to increase variance when his team trails late.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 8 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +6

Caldwell-Pope forced a steal and beat everyone downcourt for a fastbreak dunk. That effort play earned him eight whole minutes of playing time.

Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 8-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 23 PTS | +10

Entering tonight, Stuckey averaged 19.6 points on per game on 48.6 percent shooting against the Kings – his best marks against any opponent. And he still topped both numbers in this game. What about the Kings gets him going?

John Loyer

The Pistons’ defensive focus improved from the jump after halftime, and the Kings responded by wilting. Did the Detroit players hold themselves accountable in the locker room during the break? Doubtful. So, in absence of other evidence, I’m giving Loyer credit. Sacramento made one mini-run late, but Loyer shut that down by calling timeout and refocusing his charges once again. If only I didn’t believe the Pistons’ head coach should be guiding his team toward losses at this point, Loyer would have graded well. I can’t too upset with him, though. How do you lose to the Kings at home? It’s not an easy task.

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Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Demarcus Cousins Greg Monroe John Loyer Jonas Jerebko Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Rodney Stuckey Sacramento Kings THN-SAC Will Bynum

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