Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight shine, but Pistons lose on the road to Hornets


I’m no fan of tanking. But, as I wrote earlier, I am a fan of a non-playoff team like the Pistons trying really hard and losing, especially when that loss is to a team like New Orleans, who could move in front of the Pistons in the standings this season and improve Detroit’s lottery odds. Grades are below. Unfortunately, our recap generator isn’t working properly, so you’ll have to live without the graphics tonight. Box score is here.

Jason Maxiell was active, he picked up a couple of blocks and he had a big 3-point play in the fourth quarter to keep the Pistons close. Maxiell shot well, including from the perimeter, something he just hasn’t done a lot of since early on in the season. – B

Greg Monroe played about as well as anyone playing in front of his hometown crowd could want to. His scoring and rebounding were impressive, but he also was really active in the passing game, frequently finding Piston cutters with nice passes. – A

Jose Calderon ran the offense well and has 29 assists with just three turnovers in his last two games. Greivis Vasquez lit him up defensively, but Calderon did put up a fight. Vasquez hit a tough, contested runner late in the game to seal it for the Hornets. Calderon did just about everything he could do on that play and several others. Vasquez is just one of those players who excels at making weird looking shots (as anyone who watched him closely in college surely remembers). – B-

Brandon Knight has been exception in both games since returning from injury. He and Calderon seem to be quickly developing some chemistry together and Knight has confidently looked for his shot. He played good defense against Eric Gordon tonight too. – A

Kyle Singler was Kyle Singler — active, hit open jumpers and moved without the ball. He was the recipient of one of those nice Monroe dishes after a good cut towards the basket by Singler. – B-

Charlie Villanueva missed his only two shot attempts and didn’t do anything else to justify his existence on the court tonight. – F

Jonas Jerebko was active and, like Singler and Slava Kravtsov, provided a nice target for Monroe by moving without the ball. – B-

Slava Kravtsov didn’t do much, but he did find himself open for a nice cut to the basket and dunk in the first half. – D

Will Bynum wasn’t awful tonight, but he also wasn’t the dynamic presence the Pistons really needed off the bench either. He’s obviously not going to be much help defensively, but he also wasn’t very aggressive offensively. – C-

I was tempted to give Rodney Stuckey an ‘F’ simply for forcing an awful three with less than 10 seconds left and the Pistons down three. Yeah, he had the ball, yeah, time was running down, but he had much more time to get a better shot than that. But that would be unfair, considering Stuckey had an OK all-around game off the bench. – C+

Tonight was pretty much a similar weakness with Lawrence Frank getting exposed. The Pistons played tough and competitively on the road, but the Hornets seemed to make better use of halftime to make a few adjustments that helped the team win. – C