What a game. While the Pistons gave up another quarter-and-a-half of bad basketball to their competitor, they chose the right quarters to dominate-- the first and the last. Detroit did tonight what the Going To Work Pistons did in the last decade, they moved the ball well and fought hard on the defensive end to squeak out a win. But what was special about tonight's game is that the Pistons showed a new level of chemistry, nay, cohesion--that Pistons fans haven't seen in a long time.
Tonight, the Pistons passed 27 assists to their teammates, a number the team has only eclipsed five times this season and last. They did so with only 11 turnovers, both of which are far better than the season averages Golden State has forced their opponents to in their 4-1 campaign (now 4-2). Most importantly, the Pistons matched one of the league's premier rebounding teams on the glass with 46 rebounds led by Charlie Villanueva.
Rarely in Pistons history has a two game win streak been cause for celebration, but tonight is one to get excited about. Why? The Pistons fielded a fully healthy team that played up to their potential against what has become at truly tough team. Let's go player-by-player, yeah?
- Richard Hamilton: 27 and 5 on 59% shooting is reason alone to celebrate. Hamilton historically starts slow, and if he's found his comfort zone tonight, his game and his prospects on the trade wire are looking up. Somewhere in the cosmos, Elton Brand and Richard Hamilton are crossing horizons.
- Rodney Stuckey: 21 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds is a point of continuation to what has been a stellar season for Stuckey. More of this please.
- Charlie Villanueva: 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and solid defense. So far this season, CV31 has given his doubters little reason to complain, save for those who still hold a begrudged opinion of Rasheed Wallace's offense.
- Ben Gordon: Tonight Gordon showed that in spite of his hot hand, he can at times defer to those that are hotter. He recorded 6 assists tonight on as many field goal attempts, making this game more pure than most point guards record each season.
- Greg Monroe: His 7 points and 3 rebounds may seem rather pedestrian, but his presence on the court reminds me of an aging center that dominated the league in a Pistons uniform last season. Monroe may not be the defensive stud that Ben Wallace is, but the comparison begins and ends with what Monroe does on the court that isn't reflected in the stat column. He's working toward a mid-season start for sure.
As a long-standing Dumars pessimist (you know, post-Iverson), I have to admit that I can begin to see what he had in mind with the 2009-10 Pistons roster. Tonight, the team was healthy and, well, firing on all cylinders (I promised myself I'd never say that). This Pistons team is an improvement on last season's team healthy or not, but tonight they began to establish the chemistry and cross-court poise that a team needs to stay above .500, let alone hit the playoffs. It's far too soon to suggest that tonight's game could establish a routine, but it's safe to assume that tonight reflects one of the better representations of this new roster. They've got a long way to go, but tonight could be the first capitalized word of a brighter sentence about the state of this team.
There's your rainbows, anyway. It's not often that Pistons fans get to see this team at or near its best, and they did tonight. But this roster still has a long ways to go. On the bright side, Greg Monroe is showing promise, Austin Daye is figuring things out and Rodney Stuckey is continuing one hell of a start.
Kudos to the Pistons for visiting DetroitBadBoys and reading our pregame writeup. Their ball movement, perimeter defense and their forcing of foul trouble played right into our playbook. Hopefully this means Charlie will listen to our suggestions on how to handle Kevin Garnett in the coming game against Boston...
Oh, and here's that Roll Call thingy y'all seem to dig so much:
Roll Call: The Boourns, Danny D, bugman222, heWizard, TDP, don'tworryaboutit, Boney, MFCasey, mr.michael, Fadel, mcflies, Taiwanese Tora, defense_first, Mike Payne, Kriz, tads, mannie32, Bryan_, Quick Darshan, Trout Jefferson, -PS-, garrettelliott, Sean W, TripOG, 13194013, Biz Markie Moon, Packey, Widjayaman, real Rob G, OK from J, Thom_not_Tom
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