The winning streak ended at three. Rip had a tummy ache that prevented him from playing, adding him to the already too long injury list of Prince, Gordon, and Bynum. The Pistons allowed 65 points combined in the 2nd and 4th quarters en route to the 99-91 loss.
Ben Wallace. He finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, and he had a handful of tips that resulted in rebounds he wasn't credited with. Not found in the box score was him taking charges, contesting shots, and hitting a fade away jumper from the post position. He and Austin Daye were the only Pistons in the plus for +/-, both finishing at plus-7.
There's plenty of bad to go around. Stuckey had 14 points at the half, but finished with just 22 on 8-26 shooting.
Chucky Atkins finished 1-5 shooting and all shots seemed to come at probably the worst time for him to take shots. For example, with the Pistons trailing early in the fourth and making a mini-run, he took an outlet pass from Stuckey, dribbled the floor, and quickly pulled up for a three with no Pistons under the basket to potentially rebound. He was also minus-15 -- just a point ahead of Charlie Villanueva's minus-16.
Wilcox was 0-4 before injuring his back causing him to miss the entire 2nd half, adding to the team's injury woes.
The team as a whole had just 10 assists and zero three-pointers today. They averaged 22 assists and seven threes per game during the three game winning streak.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Unsung Hero:
Austin Daye. He got the nod in the starting lineup in place of the sick Hamilton and did a job well done. He was 7-14 shooting, six of those misses coming from downtown, finishing with 16 points and 6 rebounds in 32 minutes. He was also a team-high plus-7 with Ben Wallace, which has to say something, right?
When the Pistons don't move the ball around to create better looks and lose the 3-point battle 10-0, they aren't going to win very many games, if any at all. This was a winnable game, even without four of their key players, but the offense resorted to standing around and waiting until the shot clock forced them to shoot. They then let the Knicks pick them apart when Ben Wallace wasn't on the floor.
The Pistons finish the month with six straight at home. They start that stretch with the somewhat struggling Celtics on Wednesday. Make or break time.