Returning Pistons Rusty Against Raptors

Since veteran DBB'ers are probably still easing into the change, I'll follow the traditional DBB recap format, with a dosage of the old MTSM bullet points after the jump.  

What Happened

The Pistons lost their seventh straight game despite the return of Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, and Ben Gordon.  They were clearly rusty in the first half, but prevented a repeat of Wednesday night thanks to a strong second half.  

The Good

Win or lose, it feels very good to have the aforementioned three back in the lineup.  As for the game itself, the Pistons battled back from a 19-point deficit in the second half and pulled to as close as one.  Being on the road and having the bad taste of Wednesday's franchise low scoring game still lingering, it was very encouraging to see them not give up and get back into it.

The Bad

Aside from the entire first half, BG and Rip had the most trouble dusting of the cobwebs -- they shot a combined 10-35 (29%).

The MVP

Even though it's debatable whether he's capable of being a starting PF, Jonas Jerebko had 14 points on 6-10 shooting, hustled down seven rebounds, and hit big baskets (dunks & threes) to help chip away at the 19-point deficit.  

The Terry Mills Unsung Hero

Tayshaun Prince definitely seemed to be the least involved of the three returning players, but he was sneakily the most effective.  He was 4-8 shooting (nine points) and had three rebounds.  He also hit big shots during the Pistons comeback attempt that fell short.  He was a team best +6, as well. 

The Takeaway

The Pistons are finally healthy and, despite the poor shooting from Hamilton and Gordon, they outscored a hot Raptors squad by 12 in the second half.  I'd like to think the Pistons are on the up and up.

  • On a day when the Pistons struggled mightily in the first half, and five Pistons were in double-figures, Stuckey managed to have a pretty good game.  He had 14 points on 6-14 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds, and assisted five.  His assist numbers will benefit from the return of Rip, BG, and Tay -- especially Rip running around those back screens for open looks.  There are still too many instances of Stuckey driving wildly through the lane and throwing up prayers.  
  • Here's one that turned out alright:
     
  • Ben Wallace was a rebound away from a double-double.  Surprisingly, he was the hot hand late in the game keeping the Pistons in it.  The go-to play?  Rip driving, drawing defenders, and trusting to dish it to an open Ben Wallace.
  • Austin Daye's minutes were affected most from the return of Rip, BG, and Tay.  He was averaging 20+ minutes over the past five games, but saw just three SECONDS on Sunday.  Kwame Brown (DNP) and Jason Maxiell (four minutes) also saw significantly less time.  
  • The Pistons' roster was apparently not at full strength on Sunday.  DaJuan Summers did not play due to a strained left knee (or at least that's how it was listed in the box score).   
  • Also, maybe Charlie Villanueva should sit the next few out to rest his shins? It's now been four games in a row he hasn't reached double-digits in scoring and hasn't made more than two field goals.  His shooting percentage has been bad in five straight.  He's a far bigger liability than a help right now.  
  • Box score
  • Highlights: 
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