Pistons blow 16-point fourth-quarter lead, nine-point lead in final three minutes – and it’s glorious!

Cleveland Cavaliers 97 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +21Monroe was solid, but he got buried on the bench down the stretch.
Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 44 MIN | 11-23 FG | 1-3 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +6Good and bad, Smith stuffed the stat sheet as we all know he can. He spent eight minutes tonight at center, to the Pistons’ detriment both offensively and defensively. But you won’t hear me complaining about Detroit experimenting with lineups or Smith airballing a free throw, which he did.
Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 30 MIN | 7-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +2Singler was excellent as a spot-up shooter, making 4-of-6 3-pointers. His defensive effort was strong, though his defensive execution fell just a tad behind that standard.
Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 26 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-4 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -3The Cavaliers mostly kept Drummond off the offensive glass, limiting his ability to score. In time, Drummond will develop the offensive repertoire to exert his will. At least he hit the defensive glass hard.
Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 41 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 13 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +6The Pistons really moved the ball well, and that started with Jennings. He rarely attacked the rim, but when he’s making his jumpers – 5-of-9 on 3-pointers tonight – that works OK.
Jonas Jerebko, PF Shot Chart 19 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -13Nice rushed hook shot to beat the first-quarter buzzer. Otherwise, meh.
Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -7I always appreciate Bynum’s eagerness to feed Drummond, and he hit the big man with a lob on his first possession. But the Cavaliers overplayed Drummond on subsequent pick-and-rolls, and Bynum had no counter. The Pistons’ offensive rating with him on the court tonight: 47.0.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 13 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -8Caldwell-Pope came out gunning, scoring five quick points after entering the game in the first quarter. Then, he faded into the background.
Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 2-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -9Shot 0-for-6 outside the restricted area, had as many turnovers as assists, earned the right to play the entire fourth quarter.
Dion Waiters
question mark The Palace heckler Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com:

11. The Cavs owe a big part of this victory to the heckler who inspired Jarrett Jack. When Jack entered the game in the fourth quarter, a Pistons fan began shouting how Jack is a terrible shooter and has always been a terrible shooter. Jack looked up and engaged him (the Pistons were shooting free throws), telling him he needed a seat closer to the floor.

12. On the Cavs’ next possession, Deng found Jack at the 3-point line and he made the 3, then immediately turned and looked at the fan. Jack was 3-for-9 through the first three quarters, then shot 4-for-6 in the fourth quarter and scored 11 points.

13. “He got me going,” Jack said of the fan. “I told some of their guys it’s the old dude’s fault I caught fire a little bit. He got my attention and woke me up. Whoever he is, I definitely want to say thanks.”

14. Pistons crowds are always sparse, so hecklers are easy to hear, particularly those sitting close to the court. Plus Jack conceded he hears everything and often engages the fans.

15. “I’m very immature so I respond all the time,” he joked. “It’s always fun. I always interact with the fans but I try not to let it take away from my focus.”

John Loyer
This is how you tank – at least in hindsight. Boy, that big lead had me worried. The Pistons led by 16 points entering the fourth quarter. So far this season, teams with such large advantages entering the fourth quarter had gone 224-1. And the Pistons still led by nine points in the final three minutes. But they blew it. Oh boy, did they blow it. The Pistons surrendered a game-ending 10-0 run as the offense stagnated, possibly because Jennings – who played the entire fourth quarter and 41 minutes overall, his most playing time since Loyer became coach – became fatigued. The Pistons played hard all game, and maybe using Bynum even briefly in the second half would have won Detroit this game. But Loyer stuck with Jennings, a needless test of valor that produced the desired result.The Pistons now have the NBA’s eighth-worst record and a two-game cushion over the ninth-worst Cavaliers. Detroit is now closer to the sixth-worst Lakers than to Cleveland. My hopes are officially up for the Pistons keeping their first-round pick, which goes to the Bobcats unless it falls in the top eight of the draft.

But please stop guarding opponents spotting guarding opponents like this:

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On Cleveland’s next possession, Loyer was headed over the sideline to trap until Cleveland moved the ball to the middle of the floor:

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I’m definitely of the Zach Lowe school on this, though we don’t agree exactly. Although I don’t like it, I have no huge objection to coaches yelling at opposing shooters. But I hate when coaches crowd the sideline – especially when they, as Loyer is prone to doing, reach over it. Until more players follow Jason Kidd’s model, though, I don’t see a good way to stop it. I don’t want to tell coaches they can’t stand, but they ought to stop abusing the privilege.

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Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters Greg Monroe John Loyer Jonas Jerebko Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Rodney Stuckey THN-CLE Will Bynum

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