Mikhail Prokhorov probably had something to do with this: Celtics 86, Pistons 82

This loss hurt feelings. I spent my 15-minute car ride home from school trying to come up with the perfect analogy for it and the best I could come up with was [drum roll] you're looking at that Katy Perry tickle me elmo gif, everything's going so great, you're happy for 45 seconds minutes and then -- out of nowhere -- your wife/girlfriend/dog walks in to the room and ruins everything. Naturally, you freak out and try to X it out, but you're so wigged out you keep missing. Devastating all around.

Okay, whatever, not a very good analogy.

HAVING SAID THAT, in all seriousness, this loss to the Celtics mimicked four of the first five losses of the season. The Pistons played well enough all game to pull it off in the end, but late-game futility (from just about everyone, coach included) resulted in yet another heart breaker.

The Pistons led by eight with seven minutes left in the game and by four, 82-78, with 2:43 left, but missed their final seven shots and ultimately lost 86-82.

The seven missed shots? Three 25-foot jumpers, an 18-foot jumper, an 11-foot leaner, and two layups. The disappointment in that duff finish is increased when you consider that the Pistons executed to perfection two pick-and-rolls to Greg Monroe, with a Hack-a-Shaq in between, on the preceding possessions.

For some reason, after Monroe's second consecutive pick-and-roll finish, the same Hack-a-Shaq strategy was not used despite there still being more than two minutes remaining. Instead, Kevin Garnett put in an easy layup. The Pistons probably should've called another timeout at that point, but opted to look completely lost on the ensuing possession before Charlie Villanueva was forced to chuck up a desperation three with the shot clock winding down.

After a steal, the Pistons had a great opportunity to push the lead back to at least four, but McGrady decided to settle for a (wide open) three-pointer with 21 seconds left on the shot clock. I defended the shot selection in the comments, but, upon further review, it wasn't the smartest decision given the team's poor shooting from beyond the arc (this game), CV's clanked three on the previous possession and a chance to run the game clock down to a minute.

After a Celtics timeout, Paul Pierce hit a predictable game-tying jumper. The Pistons followed that up with another ill-advised, off-balance jumper from T-Mac, which couldn't have been the game plan during the timeout they just had, right?

Anyway, the Pistons were able to force a Boston miss on defense, but failed to box out the pesky Rajon Rondo. At that point, the C's opted for another timeout to set up the even more predictable Shuttlesworth dagger.

During the Pistons subsequent full timeout, the dagger was temporarily removed by the refs and correctly called a two-pointer. Kuester drew up a fine play that gave Stuckey a wide open 11-footer, which he turned into a leaning gun (sans the "and he got it" from Blaha).

One minor cynical thought that crossed my mind after I saw it was Stuckey who attempted the 11-foot leaner in front of the rim: I couldn't remember ever seeing Stuckey hitting that shot before, much less while leaning. I took it to the internetz and looked it up to be sure and, sure enough, shots from that distance in front of the rim are Stuckey's worst (32%) that's not a 3-pointer (according to last year's stats because I can't find NBA Hot Spots for this season. HoopData has him at 34% shooting this year from 11-15 feet, but that's from all 11-15-foot locations on the floor). I guess I shouldn't expect the man making millions to know his players that well, though. I digress.

Pistons had one last chance, thanks to a missed KG free throw, but Ben Gordon baked me up some steamy crow by taking his rare late-game opportunity to provide some heroics and completely missing a layup with the Pistons down three.

Re-insert dagger.

  • Old Shaq played like the Shaq of old - 12 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks. Very active (or laziness on the Pistons part), as he had 5 offensive rebounds. He also nearly killed a cameraman.
  • Moose held his own against KG and Shaq - 13 points (on 5-5 shooting), 9 rebounds, and a steal.
  • As someone pointed out in the comments, Stuckey started 5-7 shooting and finished 5-14. You know who hits that open 11-foot leaner? Rip. Just kidding (but seriously... just kidding).
  • No Rip again.
  • After seeing at least 10 minutes in his last 10 games, Austin Daye only played 9 minutes tonight. 2-4 shooting and a block.
  • Box score
  • Roll call (great showing, DBB) -PS-, garrettelliott, V., Mike Payne, heWizard, Kevin Sawyer, Mac-, hbcase2, JumpingBlob, Trout Jefferson, Laughton, MrHappyMushroom, Biz Markie Moon, OK from J, Kriz, bugman222, Shinons, hoopaddict08, brgulker, aussiepiston, b23, curlyfries, Uncommon Sense, Danny D, Teal Stallion, need4detroit, TDP, Roll The Dyess, Wheaties, freywagg, Pentatonic, gordbrown, Gabe F-B, kenshi, Trysdor, RoscoeJacksonJr, Ra's Head, Other Matt, Taiwanese Tora, joejoejoe, Packey, tads, Fadel, Quick Darshan, thesiberian, Rodney Stuckey

    Total Users: 46
    Total Posts: 788
    Total Threads: 1

    Name # of Posts
    Trout Jefferson 63
    heWizard 57
    Kriz 50
    brgulker 48
    -PS- 40
    kenshi 40
    Shinons 38
    Laughton 32
    bugman222 30
    Danny D 30
    garrettelliott 30
    Mike Payne 30
    Uncommon Sense 26
    Roll The Dyess 25
    Mac- 23
    Other Matt 20
    tads 17
    Wheaties 16
    TDP 13
    Gabe F-B 13
    aussiepiston 13
    need4detroit 12
    RoscoeJacksonJr 12
    Taiwanese Tora 12
    Pentatonic 11
    Fadel 10
    Packey 9
    Ra's Head 8
    b23 7
    V. 6
    thesiberian 6
    freywagg 5
    JumpingBlob 5
    MrHappyMushroom 5
    curlyfries 3
    hbcase2 3
    Trysdor 3
    Teal Stallion 3
    OK from J 2
    Quick Darshan 2
    joejoejoe 2
    gordbrown 2
    Rodney Stuckey 2
    Kevin Sawyer 2
    hoopaddict08 1
    Biz Markie Moon 1

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