DetroitBadBoys' own Revken was in attendance for last nights game between the Pistons and Grizzlies in Memphis. His in person thoughts are officially our official game recap. Thanks for sharing Revken! -MP
Living in Tennessee, and before that in Virginia, I’ve never been able to see a Pistons game in person. That wasn’t so bad when we’ve had great teams like we did in the late 80s & early 90s, and for much of the last decade. I got to watch plenty of games on TV – especially the playoffs. Now that I live near Nashville, I’m not that far from Memphis, and I decided it would be cool to take in a game if my work and family schedule allowed it. So when the revised schedule came out, and I discovered that the Pistons would be in Memphis the weekend of my birthday, the plan was hatched. I got a couple of tickets through StubHub and made plans for my wife and I to go. She’d never been to a pro game before, so she was excited. I wore my signed Ben Wallace #3 jersey that she bought me for a Christmas gift. She wore her Steve Nash #13. We had a great time, and the game was closely contested until the fourth quarter, when the Grizz pulled away with some tough defense and sharp three-point shooting.
We got some good-natured kidding, but the fans were very polite to us. They’re obviously excited about their team, and they should be. Gasol is strong in the middle, Conley is a capable point guard, they have some good shooters, and most of all they play aggressive defense. They even trapped the Pistons in the back court several times, which impressed me all the more because they had just played a game in Toronto the night before. I would have expected Memphis to tire in the fourth quarter, but they actually stepped up their effort and hit some big shots.
Monroe had his hands full with Gasol – especially in the first quarter. He struggled to defend him and score on him. Prince and Stuckey led the way on offense early on, making some nice shots. The highlight of the game for me was Prince’s alley-oop to Knight for a dunk – we had a beautiful view of the play because our seats were just a few rows up from behind the Pistons’ basket. Seeing Ben Wallace play was the best part of the game. What impressed me most was that he was on the court shooting jumpers well before the game started – that shows what a pro he truly is.
Knight also impressed me – he plays with guts and fire. Several times he pulled down rebounds under the basket – not just the long ones it’s easy for guards to get. Stuckey had some good moments, but he struggled to finish inside against Gasol and Speights. Maxie shot well, but got in foul trouble against the Grizz’ big frontline. Gordon was the most disappointing – he did nothing the first half, and then hurt his ankle early in the second and left the game. It’s hard to understand why he can’t provide a more consistent spark off the bench.
The game program featured an article on Mike Conley entitled "Silencing the Critics." It recounted all the criticism he’s faced from the hometown fans since he was drafted in 2007 after one season at Ohio State. That criticism increased after he signed the big contract extension in 2010, but he earned his money last year and is playing solid this year, too. He leads the NBA in steals with 2.5 a game, and he and Tony Allen may be the best defensive backcourt in the league.
All in all, it’s abundantly clear that we badly need a rebounding & defending big. Looking at the tough schedule we have coming up, the prospects of finding that in the draft may improve. While I hated to see my Pistons lose (a win would have made my birthday much better!), I was pleased with their effort for most of the game, and thrilled to see them play live. I hope to make this an annual adventure.