Will Bynum and Brandon Jennings duel for John Loyer’s affection in loss to Suns

Detroit Pistons 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Phoenix Suns
Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-7 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -1

Monroe’s shooting percentage isn’t great, but he offensively rebounded three of his own misses and tried to putback two of them, converting one. It’s a good way to make it seem as if he were sucking up possessions when he really wasn’t. All things considered, Monroe defended pretty well, too.

Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 43 MIN | 7-19 FG | 0-8 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -2

0-for-8 from the free-throw line? Are you freaking kidding me? Smith once shot 0-for-7 from the stripe with the Hawks, but he upped the ante tonight. Only one other player in the last three years has shot so many free throws in a game and missed them all, and I don’t need to tell you whom it was. Andre Drummond went 0-for-8 from the stripe against Atlanta last month. But Smith missing so many free throws means something different than when Drummond does it. For Drummond, it’s a structural issue. For Smith, it symbolizes his unfocused game. Beyond the free throws, Smith shot 3-for-13 outside the paint, turned the ball over thrice and repeatedly gave the man he was guarding too much space on the perimeter. The last one isn’t completely Smith’s fault – playing small forward, or even power against these Suns, doesn’t suit him – but with a little more defensive discipline, he could have performed better. It’s a minor miracle Smith somehow salvaged a passable grade, a product of playing hard with his athleticism even while he’s playing without focus.

Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 34 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -3

Singler defended with energy. He also missed a dunk and a layup.

Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 36 MIN | 5-7 FG | 3-7 FT | 16 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -7

Great to have Drummond back in the lineup. He just quietly went about his business, scoring inside and rebounding everywhere. He must make more of a defensive impact, though.

Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 14 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -11

The Suns successfully channeled Jennings’ dribble into the mid-range, forcing him to make quick decisions from no-man’s land. Guess how that went. Jennings missed both his shots and committed two turnovers with no assists before John Loyer pulled him for Will Bynum, the Pistons’ first sub. Maybe it was because Jennings had two fouls, and maybe Jennings was hooked again two minutes into the second half because he’d committed four fouls. But considering Jennings didn’t return for the game’s final 22 minutes, it really seems Loyer just trusts Bynum more.

Jonas Jerebko, PF Shot Chart 9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-3 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -2

Jerebko has looked a lot more athletic lately, especially when he finished a twisting layup while being fouled on a fastbreak. He also had two steals while the Suns were pushing the ball, not an easy task. He missed two 3-pointers, but both were wide open and good looks.

Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 8 PTS | +1

Loyer gives Bynum a much longer leash than Jennings gets. The Pistons’ offense had many more quality possessions with Bynum, rather than Jennings, running the show. But there were also a lot more negative possessions. Overall, the Pistons’ had a lowly offensive rating of 80.6 while Bynum played. Bynum also gave plenty of room to operate to Eric Bledsoe, who scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the second half.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 9 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -2

Caldwell-Pope hit a confident runner in the lane and a garbage basket late, but his defense wasn’t his sharpest.

Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 31 MIN | 10-19 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | -3

With 8:33 left in the game, Stuckey made a 3-pointer. That put the Pistons up four and gave Stuckey 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including 2-for-2 on 3-points. From there, Stuckey missed all five of his shots and got hit for a double technical with Goran Dragic while Detroit blew its lead.

John Loyer

Loyer chose to ride with Bynum rather than Jennings. In the end, it might have cost the Pistons a win.* I commend Loyer for both.

*We know the Pistons the Pistons lost with Bynum getting his most playing time in the last 31 games. Who’s to say what would have happened if Loyer went back to Jennings?

I want competitive games and losses. Loyer had the Pistons positioned to seize both.

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Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Eric Bledsoe Greg Monroe John Loyer Jonas Jerebko Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Phoenix Suns Rodney Stuckey THN-PHO

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