Come one, come all to a beautiful show. It's going to be awesome, and some other stuff. Dee dee dee dee doo dee dee dee doo dee dee doo dee. Heh heh. Some other basketball stuff!
Fans paid the ticket toll for the home opener and the Cleveland Cavs got into the Detroit Pistons' soul. The Pistons were caught with their pants down and, if it weren't for a few pleasant performances from young players, this game would've been completely unwatchable.
Cleveland shot 57-percent from the field all night, outrebounded the Pistons 40-26, and ran away with the game in the second quarter when they outscored Detroit 26-15 (16-6 in the final five minutes). The Pistons started with a 9-2 run in the third, pulling within four points, but it was countered with a 10-2 Cavs run. Goodnight.
But there was another good Knight (oh, puns are fun), as the future of the Pistons provided the lone bright spot(s) in an otherwise embarrassing loss. Rookie Brandon Knight shot a career best 10-of-13 (3-of-5 from downtown) for 23 points, adding a team-high six assists (opposite just two turnovers), two steals, and a rebound in 28-plus minutes of his second professional regular season game. Ben Gordon was 9-of-19 (4-of-9 from beyond the arc) for a game-high 25 points while adding four assists (opposite two turnovers). Greg Monroe was 5-of-10 shooting for 10 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds (although he turned it over five times).
The Cavs were led by Samardo Samuels, who scored 17 points. Ramon Sessions added 16 (on 4-of-11 shooting), six assists, and seven rebounds in 28 minutes.
Join me after the jump for more.
- As MFMP pointed out in the comments of the Game Thread, Knight's 10-of-13 shooting was a career best, both collegiately and professionally. Keep in mind, though, that 77-percent shooting is ABSURDLY good, (especially for someone who attempts five threes), and probably a career game for many. To put this performance somewhat in perspective, here's a list of some of the NBA's best shooters, past and present, and when they reached a 77-percent or better shooting performance during their careers (when attempting a minimum of 10 shots):
-- Dirk Nowitzki (game 39 of rookie season)
-- Dwyane Wade (game 50 of rookie season, but he did not attempt any threes)
-- Larry Bird (game 65 of rookie season)
-- Kobe Bryant (game 65 of rookie season)
-- Reggie Miller (game 12 of second season)
-- Jeff Hornacek (game 81 of second season)
-- Michael Jordan (third season)
-- Steve Nash (fourth season)
-- Ray Allen (fourth season)
-- Chauncey Billups (eighth season)
-- Isiah Thomas (NEVER)
- Best part about Knight in the early going appears to be his attitude. By most accounts, he works his ass off and is wicked sma't. Get this: after his career game, all he was worried about was improving upon his TWO measly turnovers.
- (Russel Westbrook was 0-for-13 for the Thunder tonight).
- Austin Daye was completely invisible for the second straight game after a strong preseason. He was 0-for-5 shooting with three turnovers.
- Monroe was credited with five turnovers, but a couple of those were not his fault. One was Tayshaun Prince's, who had three other turnovers to his name, not counting a few dreadful shots.
- Jerebko had a bad shooting line, but I thought he was great hustling for loose balls and being aggressive. He was second on the team in rebounds, and I'd say he earned his six rebounds more than Monroe earned his seven.
- I really wish Prince was not a Piston anymore. I'm fine with Stuckey and I think there are legitimate explanations for his re-signing, but I really can't fathom Prince still being apart of this team. It makes zero sense.
- Having said that, Stuckey was meh after having a fine first game. He scored 11 on 12 shots and, as PP notes, he only got to the line twice.
- Vernon Macklin saw some mop-up minutes and scored his first professional basket on a slam dunk shot (via a no-look pass from Knight)
- Pistons attempted 11 more field goals than the Cavs despite getting outrebounded, but the Cavs attempted 11 more free throws and made more field goals in less attempts.
- DBB alum Boney points out that Lawrence Frank is 0-19 in his last 19 games as a head coach.
- Box Score
- Gores seemed to enjoy the "entertainment" of the game despite the loss:
- Make no mistake: Gores wants to win. He's willing to be patient, though:
- Before the game, Stuckey got on the mic and thanked the fans for showing up to support the team (it was reported a sellout). Stuckey also promised a "new era" of Pistons basketball.
- Pistons, 0-2, travel to Boston to play the 0-3 Celtics on Friday.
"Tonight is about celebrating Detroit and its comeback," Gores vowed, shortly before tip-off. "That's what we're doing: We're coming back. And we all feel it in our hearts. I know I do.
"This has been on my mind for a long time. I feel I have been trained for this my whole life. I grew up in sports. I grew up in Michigan. I feel like I am so ready for this challenge to help Detroit come back.
"I'm going to be patient as long as there's progress being made," said Gores, who delivered a similar message when he spoke to the team at practice Tuesday. "Winning is an important part of this, but I need to win the right way. The right way is hard work, respect each other, do the right thing every day.
"Don't worry about the results. Do the right thing every day."