What should have been expected -- the Pistons picked up a win against the Nets at home.
Neither was particularly pretty, but the Pistons handed the Nets their second loss in the past five days adding to what seems like will be a record breaking season of futility for the Nets. After last night's loss, the Nets are now 4-46, tying the '92-93 Mavs and '72-73 76ers for the worst 50-game start in all of sports.
The Pistons started the game en fuego, shooting nearly 70% with a little over five minutes left in the first half, thanks in large part to hitting their first eight shots in the 2nd quarter -- six being threes. That helped the Pistons build a nine-point first half lead.
Unfortunately, as has been the story all year, the defense wasn't very good. The Nets' 60 TS% helped them stay in the game in the second half, and even take a brief lead at one point. But following the same science that says hot air rises to the top, suck seeps to the bottom. And the Nets suck more than the Pistons.
Jonas Jerebko. He scored 20 points on 9-9 (!) shooting while grabbing seven rebounds in just 24 minutes.
The ball movement, leading to 29 assists. 11 came from Rodney Stuckey, the same number of assists that led to 22 of the Pistons' 36 points scored in the paint. Detroit's 9-8 this season when they have 20 or more assists and are 4-2 when having greater than 25. That should be a key to every single game, though it kind of goes without saying.
Surely the Pistons aren't paying Ben Gordon $10 million this season to take five shots. He was 1-5 for five points and had two turnovers in 22 minutes of action.
Tayshaun Prince isn't doing much to help his 'value' before the deadline. He was also 1-5 until that basket in the final minute.
Also, I'll cut and paste Watson's from the last Nets game: "Austin Daye must have gotten lost at Somerset Mall -- it's the only reason why I can justify giving the kid a DNP-CD." Seriously, how does Daye not see a single minute in two games against the worst team in NBA history?
The Who Unsung Heroes:
This is in honor of their performance during tonight's Super Bowl, or my difficulty choosing just one unsung hero.
Jason Maxiell made himself a nice case during the final quarter, when he scored nine of his 13 points. 13 points (on 6-8 shooting) and six rebounds in 24 minutes are numbers we could get used to seeing from him.
Charlie Villanueva was a catalyst to the Pistons strong start, hitting all four of his three point tries. Some may have been quick to forget that he didn't play Friday night and played through the sore back last night. He only saw 16+ minutes and had 12 points, two rebounds, and two blocks.
Ben Wallace. The 35-year old didn't play his youthful clamp down defense, but he still grabbed 10 boards, had nine points, and blocked four shots. He also hit BOTH free throws when the Pistons were only up one with five minutes left.
And then there is Rodney Stuckey who played like a true point guard. He only scored 10 points on 4-13 shooting, but he made his statement taking care of the rock with 11 assists and only one turnover. He supplemented his double-double with three steals, as well.
The season is a wash and if Dumars is trying to trade Rip and Tayshaun (which is up in the air at this point given his latest statements), they didn't do a whole lot to improve their stock. There's a chance Maxiell could help a contender and if that's the case, he definitely impressed (beyond his four turnovers). But what else can you takeaway from a game in which the Pistons made the lowly Nets look relatively good and their major trading chips didn't play all that well? A win -- and when we haven't seen many this year we can at least try to revel in that much.