Pistons unable to slow the Bulls today at the Palace


Detroit Pistons fell to the Chicago Bulls for the first time this season.

The Pistons were consistent tonight in showing one of their trademark traits this year: being inconsistent. After the best win of the season on Saturday night against the Warriors, the Pistons fell in a very winnable game at home against a team they came into the game having beat twice this season already.

There were many issues that hurt the team today, but two were very evident: lack of effort on the defensive end and a lack of mental toughness. The Pistons allowed a two to one foul ratio and only six free throw attempts through three quarters, to destroy their chances of winning this game. In person, some of the calls seemed bad. It’s difficult to know how bad, since the Palace refuses to offer fans the most basic of arena comforts: instant replays. Regardless, this game was not lost because of poor calls by the officials, but a lack of ability to focus and lock in defensively.

101. 64. 111. 24. Final

C+. Reggie had a nice game offensively, although the shooting percentage was a bit below his average. But he was unable to stop Derrick Rose’s penetration at critical times in the fourth quarter, which kept Detroit from making a serious run. . PG. Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON

KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE. F. Setting aside Pope’s numbers, which were alright, and his impact defensively, getting thrown out was selfish. He has to understand his importance to the team, and he elevated himself over the good of the team tonight. Not to mention the inevitable fine and possible suspension he might receive for his WWE move on the courtside seats on his way out of the arena. . SG. Pistons

C. As a fan, you can’t help but love Stanley. The guy plays hard. But as a fan of basketball, you cringe at times at decisions he makes on the floor. Going one on one with Jimmy Butler is not a good option, Stanley. Poor shooting, aided by poor shot selection, made this a less than stellar game for the rookie.. SF. Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON

SF. Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS. B+.  What is it about the Bulls that makes Marcus Morris so lethal from the mid-range? He hit shot after shot on seemingly low-percentage isolation plays against Jimmy Butler. His defense on Butler was also sound, as the Bulls shooting guard finished shooting 5-13 from the floor. 

 The ultimate clash of two opponents dominating a game with different styles is very much personified in Drummond vs. Gasol. Gasol can’t handle Drummond on the interior, and Drummond certainly can’t stop Gasol on the perimeter. Stan Van Gundy needs to help Drummond, as he’s asking too much for Drummond to hedge the pick and roll and get back to Gasol on the fade with no help whatsoever. . C. Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND. C

ARON BAYNES. B-.  The big man was effective on the offensive end during his time in the game. His post game does not fill the void left by Monroe by any means, but it’s competent a lot of the time, and it was tonight. But 14 minutes with zero rebounds? That’s not ok. . C. Pistons

ANTHONY TOLLIVER. C-.  Quiet night shooting for Tolliver, as he had no points. But he contributed in some other ways. Nothing that made a difference though. . PF. Pistons

A.  Ersan played a great game today. He was assertive. He made shots, and he stepped in for a charge against Butler, as he has shown that he is the master of taking the charge. Too bad Ilyasova’s performance was wasted by the team playing no defense. . PF. Pistons. ERSAN ILYASOVA

SG. Pistons. DARRUN HILLIARD II. D.  Darrun played three minutes at the beginning of the fourth quarter because KCP got tossed. It was a tough situation to be thrown into, and the rookie made that obvious as he did nothing of value in those three minutes. 

PG. Pistons. BRANDON JENNINGS. D.  Bad night for Jennings as the second unit got torched in the second quarter while he was running the show. Missing shots will happen, but missing layups is a tough pill to swallow. 

F.  Stan Van Gundy has no idea how to stop the Rose/Gasol pick and roll. Three games against this team, not even counting two preseason games, and he still has not figured it out. It’s time to adjust the coverage, Stan. Gasol torched the team tonight, again. . Head Coach. Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY