Not many fans at the game, but Zac Efron has to count for nothing. He said so long to the Hairspray and put on a hat. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
After the Pistons lost by 14 to the 8-13 Rockets on Tuesday night, it was probably going to take a miracle of good basketball for this Pistons team to steal one against a top defensive team in New Orleans less than 24 hours later. Unfortunately, the Pistons lost their only miracle in the preseason against Miami.
Detroit didn't stand a chance coming in and they played the role throughout this one. But the scoreboard wasn't always as suggestive of that during the game. Despite the fact it felt like a 20-point deficit for about 45 minutes (Pistons actually led 4-0 a minute in!), the game didn't really get out of hand until the middle of the third quarter when the Hornets somehow racked up 14 unanswered points in all of 2:49, quickly turning a six-point lead into the aforementioned 20. After that, the score never got closer than 13, the Pistons trailed by as many as 25 and I developed an inveterate headache.
These "groovy stats" brought to you by our very own Toledo Joe tell a whole lot:
Detroit as a whole shot 37.5% from the field and 55.6% for FTs. Pistons not named Gordon or Maxiell shot a combined total of 18-62 (29%). Tayshaun, T-Mac, Monroe, Daye, and CV shot a combined 5-31 (16%).
And we got out-assisted 29-15. High on the Pistons for assists: T-Mac with 3.
And there's zero legitimate excuses for the lack of assists tonight. Chris Paul was putting on a clinic for the Pistons, but they could not seem to duplicate it on the other side of the court. In the end, Paul wound up with 14 assists; yes, that's just one less than the entire Pistons team.
With the loss the Pistons fall to 7-16 and are currently on pace for about 25 wins. I remain firm in my stance that this team is talented enough to win more than they did a year ago and can compete for a playoff spot, but I'm getting clowned on a nightly basis. In fact, last night I had a revelation -- watching this team is a lot like being in a Chinese Water Torture cell (although I'll concede that each Lions' loss would probably be a better comparison). How much more can we really take before we're compelled to put on James Blunt's "You're Beautiful"?
More, I hope, because I've got just that after the jump:
- The Pistons outrebounded the Hornets (44-40), despite missing seven more shots. How!? The Pistons actually had 14 offensive rebounds to the Hornets' one. You think rebounding is important to winning games? The Pistons are 2-6 this season when outrebounding their opponent, a worse winning percentage than when being outrebounded (5-10). I think that's called pareidolia.
- Charlie Villanueva was back after tending to a "personal matter," but only played 10 minutes and shot 0-5. Not sure what the personal matter was, but he was not the same player tonight as he's been all year. Let's hope he gets out of the funk soon.
- Speaking of funks, Ben Gordon emerged from his, scoring 19 points on 8-13 shooting. As the esteemed Dan Feldman of PistonPowered points out, though, 13 of those points came with the Pistons down at least 14.
- Rodney Stuckey had his second straight game with more turnovers than assists (3:2) and his third in the last five games. He went 14 games to start the season before having his first game with more turnovers than assists.
- Who is this Will Bynum guy that I see stole 3 minutes from somebody? Oh, I'm just kidding. He did have two assists.
- Speaking of 3 minutes, Chris Wilcox made the most of his, scoring a basket and grabbing two offensive rebounds.
- Pistons took a season-high 20 three-pointers and made just four. They took 20 on the 5th against the Cavs, but they made nine that night. A nice chunk of tonight's misses came from Austin Daye's 0-4.
- Austin Daye was 1-9 in all in 20 minutes.
- Greg Monroe, who hails from New Orleans, saw his five consecutive games of 24+ minutes come to an end with just 22 minutes. Hopefully he didn't have a lot of family amongst the 10,000 fans in attendance because he didn't have his best performance of the season. He was just 1-5 shooting, but he did have six rebounds. two steals and a block.
- The Pistons shot 11-14 (79%) on cuts and transition plays. I'll put money on it that most, if not all, of their assists came on those plays. More. More. MORE!
- The Pistons were 3-23 (13%) on boring old spot up plays. Less. Less. LESS! (The Hornets were 8-15 on these).
- This was the 4th game this season the Pistons have scored less than 80 points. The Pistons scored less than 80 all of four games last season (two in the 70s and two in the 60s). Remember when the Pistons had a pretty damn good chance to win even the games they scored less than 80? Yeah, in 2004 they were 7-10 scoring under 80. In the last five years they're 0-21. In 2004-2005, the Pistons won a game 64-62. Memories.
- Box score
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