... tastes a lot better with the Pistons beating Sacramento 110-106 at home for the second straight victory. After losing the first half 59-70 the Pistons came back to win it!
Had another nice performance, 11 points and 7 rebounds and 2 assists. The assists may not catch your attention, but he got them when he was playing in the high post. The Pistons should definitely utilize his skill set better. He is going to be a very special player in this league. He won't be a star, possibly not even an All-Star, I expect him to be underrated pretty much his entire career. He might top out at 15 PPG and 9RPG, he wil contribute in other ways though and that is fine with me. I'd see him as a Power Forward, not a Center, we do not have Centers, so I will have to live with that.
Here's how we used him in the third quarter.
He gets the ball in the high post and just holds on to the ball. Detroit did a real nice job moving off the ball the entire game. THey got high quality looks and converted them most of the time. In this case, Stuckey sets a screen for Tay on the right wing. Tay's left-handed and a lot of defenders are going to be caught off-guard by that because their instincts are not used to it as much as they are used to right-handed ball players.
Stuckey is very strong so he can get Tay open with the screen. It is a rather unorthodox play since you would expect the big guy setting the screen for the little guy. Prince has the ability to dribble and drive, therefore the Pistons can make this play the other way around. In my opinion, Kuester should look more for unorthodox plays like this. Defenses will have problems with Detroit if the execution is right. I will come back to that later though.
Monroe makes eye-contact with Prince, passes the ball to him and Prince goes up for the and-one dunking. Great Play!
Next trip down, Stuckey takes an ill-advised jumper and Monroe gets the rebound.
There is not a lot of analyzing to be done in this one, it is just a perfect example of why I like Greg Monroe so much. He is well positioned to get the offensive board. A player with little confidence would look for passing the ball out to the perimeter. A selfish big man, like, let's say Al Jefferson would wait for the cutters to clear and go one-on-one. Monroe is a passing big man though, so he looks for Stuckey as Stuck is cutting hard to the basket. He passes him the ball and we get another lay-up.
I think all that Monroe has to do is improve his midrange jumper so he can knock it down from 18-feet. He can put the ball down and drive. He needs to improve his athleticism as well, but it is not as easy as improving your jumpshot. He would be really tough to guard if he had that jumper. The defender would have to respect his shot, his drive and his passing. Talking about a triple-threat here, son!
The Pistons won the third quarter 23-10. They improved their effort on the defensive end and kept on executing nicely offensively. They did not get rattled because of a few bad calls at the beginning of the fourth quarter and just kept on playing. Talking about keeping on playing. The Kings knocked down a lot of shots in the first half. Teams will go on spurts and even great defense cannot stop that. The Pistons kept on guarding them and in the second half Detroit got the results!
We have great roll players. Austin Daye is playing well. He will never be a great one-on-one defender but he is trying hard and I think is team defense has greatly improved. He is shutting down passing lanes and contesting shots, I do not expect a lot more from him right now.
Wilcox is a deserving starter. He might have fouled out, his energy until then was great. His sixth foul was kind of stupid. He missed a wide open dunk, hustled back and then fouled hard. I like the effort when you have 3 fouls, you have to be smarter with five!
Every time I see Charlie Villanueva I think he should be a Top 20 scorer in this league. He has the skill set! He can go into the post, he can shoot, he even has a floater. He needs to be more assertive, because the potential is there. I'd like to see him in the post-up a lot more, then again, I would have liked Sheed there too...
Will Bynum had a Bynumite performance. He scored 20 points off the bench along with a 5 of 9 shooting night and he was really clutch in the fourth quarter. I especially liked his defense down the stretch and how he orchestrated the fast-break opportunities for the Pistons. Dribbling a little is the only criticism I could find for him.
T-Mac left the game early and did not return. It was probably a precautious action by Kuester. McGrady played 35 minutes the other night and we all know his history. Rip Hamilton still did not get to play, so I guess we have seen the last of Rip in a Detroit jersey, unless Gordon and T-Mac get injured at the same time. During the game I saw Tay talking to Rip more than a couple of times, it's got to be hard for Tay seeing his buddy in this situation. Prince played very well and it did not appear to affect his game.
Next up is Dallas on Monday. Let's build some momentum!