A ten point first quarter. Turn overs. Bad shot choices. Lots of missed shots (48 to be exact).
Not quite grandma's recipe for success. Throw in three missing players and a still-hobbling Ben Gordon, and I think that creates tonight's frustrating dish.
Oh, but they battled. They fought to the very end, cutting a late 13-point deficit to five, before losing by seven. And maybe, with all things considered, a seven point loss isn't so bad; maybe it's something positive to takeaway. I just don't know how thick my patience is with the late flashes and glimmers of hope, only to wind up with a loss. It could be just me, but I like winning. It's almost like clockwork in these types of losses with this group of hard working Pistons. They blow it in one quarter, get down big, and make the proverbial "too little, too late" comeback. It's beginning to mean nothing to me, is all I'm saying.
Anyway, the Pistons fell for the seventh straight time at the United Center and it was a collective effort. If I told you Chris Wilcox was the brightest spot for the Pistons tonight, you probably don't need to ask who won. The Pistons haven't won at the United Center since December 3, 2005. (I will say, Ben Gordon put in a gutsy effort on a bum ankle, though. He finished with a team-high 18 points on 6-16 shooting. You could tell that he wanted to have a big game, but his ankle probably prevented that from happening).
The Pistons shot 39% and that's with a late surge. Rodney Stuckey did his best to contribute to those numbers, putting up far too many contested shots in the lane and finishing 4-16 from the field.
The Bulls could have made this game a lot easier on themselves. However, they turned it over 18 times and had their momentary lapses on the glass, allowing 17 offensive rebounds. They were able to make up for it, though, by shooting around 50% all game.
Detroit falls to 6-12 and Chicago improves to 7-9. Detroit will return home for a pair of games this weekend.
More thoughts and 'ish after the jump.
- Stuckey is a box score All-star. Every time I watch him struggle, I think about the tough love I'm going to dish out to him, and that's because I think he could be amazing if he wasn't so stubborn. Then I go look at the box score for stats and what I thought was a bad game doesn't look all that bad. For example, tonight, he was a fine 9-11 from the line and had four assists to go along with his 17 points. Four turnovers and his shooting percentage doesn't look good, but overall it looks more than respectable for an "off" game. As Madpoopz said, can't he just find a happy medium?
- I have mad hate-respect for Joakim Noah. My puppy dog has a better looking jumper than him and he's always irritated me (maybe it's the hair?), but the man can clean up on the glass. He had 14 rebounds tonight and came into the game averaging over 12 per game.
- Scoring only 10 points in a quarter is unacceptable.
- Jonas Jerebko continues to show that he is tireless. He runs around at times like a chicken with his head cut-off, yet might very well have the highest basketball IQ on the floor at times. Maybe his brains are in his...
- Wilcox gets 17 minutes and produces. He was 4-5 (had a last second alley oop rightfully taken away from him, as well) and had nine points with four rebounds. He looks strong on both ends.
- Tonight may have been the official demise of Chucky Atkins as a starter. It was a glorious two game ride. He looked poor and selfishly put up two line-drive, 3-point, clank jobs in a row, which got him a nice cold seat. He finished 1-4 from downtown (1-6 overall).
- Box score
- Bulls recap.
- Highlights? Yeah, they're not up yet.