For a Detroit Pistons team so desperate for frontcourt help, tonight's game against the Pacers was a rare showing of dominance. Greg Monroe recorded 19 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and a block, while Jonas Jerebko put up 20 points and 12 rebounds with stellar shooting from downtown. To call such a combined effort "rare" is an understatement, as such an occurrence has happened three times in Detroit Pistons franchise history.
After poring over the box score tonight, post New Year's celebration, I wondered how rare it is for Detroit to have a pair of frontcourt players that both put up at least 19 and 11. There's no easy way to answer such a question, so I dug through a lot of data on the Pistons history. After plenty of research, I found that only two other players in Pistons history have put up at least 19 points and 11 rebounds in a single game-- Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn. Twice in their careers, Laimbeer and Mahorn did what Jonas and Greg did tonight.
On December 8th, 1987, Rick Mahorn put up 20 points and 20 rebounds next to Bill Laimbeer, who scored 30 points and 14 rebounds. Over a month later, on January 22nd, 1988, Mahorn put up 19 points and 12 rebounds while Laimbeer recorded 21 and 14. And for the third time in franchise history, Monroe and Jerebko joined these Pistons greats with one of the three most collectively dominant frontcourt games Detroit fans have ever seen.
In short, this type of game doesn't happen every day. It's been nearly 24 years since the last time a pair of Pistons put up 19 and 11 or more from the starting frontcourt. For a team that so direly needs help up front, this is a welcome sign that all of us should celebrate. Hey, it's not like you're busy celebrating anything else...
Oh yeah, Happy New Year!!