Khris Middleton takes advantage of chance at extended minutes in loss to Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks102FinalRecap | Box Score99Detroit Pistons
Jason Maxiell, PF 34 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-6 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -1Jason Maxiell had his second straight good game, hopefully a sign that he’ll end the season strong. He would’ve shot 50 percent in this game if not for a missed open dunk in the first half that he went up for and didn’t look to completely have his feet under him. Maxiell has been a lightning rod for criticism this season, mostly because nearly everyone wanted to see more of Andre Drummond. But it’s not his fault Maxiell has been asked to play a role as a starter that he’s not really equipped to play. Like I said, he deserves a strong finish to the season as he enters free agency. He’s worked hard the last two seasons to get himself in shape and get a chance at another NBA contract.
Greg Monroe, C 34 MIN | 5-13 FG | 4-5 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | 0Monroe didn’t shoot well and didn’t defend well, but he was effective on the glass and he did a nice job creating shots for others. The saddest, “I miss Drummond” moment came in the second half when Will Bynum tossed up a short lob in traffic to a cutting Monroe — a play we’ve seen plenty between Bynum and Drummond. The differences between Monroe and Drummond were abundantly clear there as Monroe couldn’t get to a ball Drummond would’ve undoubtedly reached above everyone for and finished.
Jose Calderon, PG 35 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +5Calderon’s seven assists and no turnovers were nice, and he helped on the glass with six rebounds from the point guard spot, but he didn’t shoot well and he didn’t defend well.
Brandon Knight, PG 32 MIN | 9-17 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | -1Brandon Knight was aggressive, frequently taking defenders off the dribble. But more importantly, he was purposeful in his movements. He rarely forced his way inside, he took good shots, he finished well and he took care of the ball with only one turnover. Any game where the Pistons backcourt has just one turnover combined is an impressive performance.
Kyle Singler, SG 28 MIN | 3-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -4Singler shot poorly, but in what is becoming a broke record, did enough other things well to justify minutes. He played passing lanes well, picking up three steals, and he did a great job at the end of the third quarter drawing a foul on Vince Carter as Singler was just shooting a desperation heave in the final seconds. It was a boneheaded play by Carter, but Singler also deserves credit for selling it well, considering officials tend to let contact go on shots like that.
Charlie Villanueva, PF 14 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +6Villanueva, along with Khris Middleton, helped the Pistons erase a double-digit deficit in the second half. He also had a great look at a three that would’ve tied the game in the final seconds, but he appeared to rush the release some, so that’ll knock him from an A to an A- tonight.
Jonas Jerebko, PF 14 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -11Like Singler, Jerebko shot really poorly, but he wasn’t a total loss on the court because he was active in other areas, particularly rebounding. Jerebko also made an open three, something that will undoubtedly get him on the court more if he can do it consistently.
Khris Middleton, SF 20 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +1Remember earlier today when Dan posted about Middleton’s shot getting rave reviews, but his pro and college percentages never really matching the hype? Well, tonight Middleton had the production to match his mechanics. With Rodney Stuckey playing awful, Middleton took advantage of increased minutes and teamed with Villanueva to shoot the Pistons back into a game that looked over at one point in the second half.
Will Bynum, PG 16 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -1Bynum had his second straight bad game. As nice as his block on an O.J. Mayo jumper was in the second half, his poor shooting and four turnovers make it impossible for me to give him anything higher.
Rodney Stuckey, PG 13 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | -9There’s not much to say about Stuckey’s performance. He wasn’t aggressive, he’s now 0-for-11 shooting over his last three games and he lost his rotation spot, at least for this game, to a second round rookie who has barely played this season.
Brian Hill

Brian Hill is in a tough situation, and it’s hard to evaluate him as a result. But tonight he made a couple of decisions that stood out — first and foremost, he benched Stuckey. Secondly, he drew up a play for the final shot that resulted in a nice open look for Villanueva. For an assistant coach stepping in on the fly, those two things are enough to give him an A for the night, even in a loss.