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Game Review: Are the Detroit Pistons making a playoff push?


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With the Pistons’ 107-85 win over the Timberwolves and Knicks’ loss to the Bulls last night, Detroit is tied for 11th in the East. A win today over the Magic – don’t the Pistons beat them every time? – would move Detroit into 10th. Then, the Pistons could catch Milwaukee by…

OK, enough.

The Pistons are still an extreme long shot to make the playoffs. They’re seven games out with 30 games left. (Although, if you’re looking on the bright side, they’re also seven games back from the sixth seed).

And last night’s win was against Minnesota – one of the league’s worst teams.

But, man, the Pistons looked good last night. This is what they were supposed to be before injuries crippled their season: a team with more offensive weapons than opponents could handle and enough defense to get by.

Eight Pistons scored at least eight points, and all 12 players scored.

Detroit made more than 53 percent of its shots for just the fourth time this season.

The Pistons had a season-high 37 assists (37!), and led by Will Bynum’s 14 (14!), five players had at least three assists.

Detroit repeatedly spaced the floor well and made the extra pass. I’m not sure if this was one good game or evidence everyone is finally on the same page.

So, for a second, let’s assume the playoffs are out of reach. At this point, would you be happy with the Pistons playing like a low-seed playoff team the rest of the season? I think I’d consider that a success.

Don’t overlook Jerebko

Seriously, don’t.

From Howlin’ T-Wolf’s game preview:

"Listen, Jerekbo is a great rookie on a bad team. I truly do like him and I think he could develop into a good forward in this league. But to think he even has a shot against Jefferson’s strength down in the post is preposterous.Advantage: Minnesota"

Result: Jerebko made his first six shots in the game’s first nine minutes and finished with 21 points. Al Jefferson (who was mostly matched up with Ben Wallace) scored 14 points.

Nets Are Scoring before New Jersey played Detroit on Feb. 6”

"It is funny, I gave Yi the advantage before the last game because I didn’t really know Jonas or his game.  After watching the Pistons game, I still don’t really know his game.Advantage:  Yi"

Result: Jerebko made all nine of his shots, scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made two steals. Yi Jianlian shot 1-for-7.

So, to whoever will write the game preview for Orlando Magic Daily today, Jerebko is no good. Rashard Lewis will own him.

Tayshaun Prince trade watch

Tayshaun Prince’s rejuvenation continued last night with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and game-best plus-34 in 31 minutes. He might just have some trade value after all.

On the downside, the Jazz beats the Rockets last night. I guess I was holding a faint hope Utah would get blown out twice this week and consider trading Carlos Boozer.

Still, I’m getting a little sick of Prince and wouldn’t mind seeing him shipped. From Vince Goodwill of The Detroit News:

"When asked if he wanted to stay with the team that drafted him, Prince replied tersely."How long have I been here?" he asked."Quite a while," the reporter replied."OK," he said, then walked out."

Random thought

If a team needs to intentionally miss a free throw at the end of a game, I think Charlie Villanueva might be the best in the NBA at it.

It’s not that he’s a bad free-throw shooter, but his missed jumpers put a hurt on the rim. That rebound would come flying off and give the shooting team a great chance to rebound the intentional miss.

More coverage

Check out Howlin’ T-Wolf’s recap.