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Worn Out: Bobcats 88, Pistons 76

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The Pistons were never really in this one. Aside from the four point lead they held six minutes into the game, they played the majority of the game like they just loss four games in a row today and were running it back against a fresh five in a game of pick-up basketball.

In pick up basketball, you generally see a lot of one-on-one, no ball movement basketball and that's exactly what the Pistons lazy offense consisted of tonight. I said in the pre-game that the Pistons magic number for assists should be 20, because it has typically translated into wins, or games they actually have a good shot in. Tonight they dished out just 12 and had virtually no shot of beating these Bobcats.

After falling behind by 21 points early in the third, the Pistons battled back to pull to within 10 at one point, but in the second half there were too many buckets beings traded back and forth as opposed to sustained runs (despite having plenty of opportunities) for the Pistons to make up lost ground.

The most puke inducing sequence of futility for the Pistons was around the four minute mark in the fourth when they trailed by a baker's dozen and looked like they might have one last ditch effort remaining in their withered systems. Here's how it played out: Stuckey missed an ugly runner, Wilcox turned it over because he hung on to the rim while trying to tip what looked to be an easy rebound, Stuckey missed two free throws badly, Bynum short armed a three, and Jerebko got blocked. This was all before Charlotte finally made a basket to increase the lead to 14. It wasn't a real mess until Bynum followed that up by missing two free throws.

Gerald Wallace was dominant all game long for the Bobcats, finishing with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocked shots. An extra kick in Charlie Villanueva's injured shin was former Piston, Nazr Mohammed, scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds off the bench.

Stuckey led the Pistons with 20 points on 9-20 shooting.

More after the jump:

  • Charlie V. may just want to sit the next few out. I admire his toughness for wanting to help the team, especially with all the other injuries, but he's probably hurting it more than not. He was 2-8 tonight, had three turnovers, and countless times he was invisible on defense (more so than usual).
  • Combined 5-24 night from the rookies, Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers, and Jonas Jerebko. They did combine for 18 rebounds, though... in a little over 68 minutes of play.
  • Wilcox is probably the freshest Piston on the roster and it showed. He was the only Piston in positives for plus/minus and he was a perfect 4-4 from the field. He finished with eight points and five rebounds in just 15 minutes. Solid game from him.
  • Ben Gordon was listed as active before the game, and dressed, but right before tip-off they decided he would miss his 8th straight game.
  • REMINDER: In the morning, Motown String Music will be no more and this will be Detroit Bad Boys. The features here at SB Nation do not change, just the name and URL of the Pistons blog. We will be having some new faces around these parts, but don't be shy. They're good people because they're one of us -- die-hard Pistons fans.
  • Box score