The prospective best man, Tom Gores, was in the house, and the Pistons played surprisingly well, but the San Antonio Spurs were 42-8 coming into the game for a reason. As our Pistons jockey George Blaha put it so profoundly, "this team executes you to DEATH." The Pistons eugoogly must have been read at halftime.
The Spurs hit six threes in the final quarter (five assisted) and held the Pistons to 38 points in the second half to stave off a valiant effort by a 19-win Pistons team that trailed by just one at the half. The Spurs are good. But they played similarly well all game (53% shooting with eight turnovers in the first half vs. 55% shooting with six turnovers in the second half). That means they clamped down on defense in the second half and/or the Pistons' game plan changed for the worst.
And I think in the third quarter the Pistons did get away from what made them so successful in the first half against the best team in the NBA -- assisted buckets and not settling for bad jumpers. In the first half they took just 10 jumpers from 18 feet and beyond (and only made two). They also had nine assists, of which six resulted in layups. They matched that first half total of ill-advised jumpers -- and then some -- in the third quarter alone, settling for 14 jumpers of 18 feet and beyond (and only made three). They recorded just three assists in the quarter, none of which were layups. That's a major reason why they shot 7-22 (32%), incredibly lucky the Spurs only increased the lead to five going into the fourth.
In the final quarter, it was all Will Bynum (and a little Austin Daye) for the Pistons -- they scored 19 of the Pistons 23 points. Bynum scored 12 points on seven shots, which was efficient and fun, but i-Bynum mode doesn't win many games. He was Bynumite for the most part, but that won't fly against one of the premiere teams in the league. (Lost in his welcomed effort, were his two forced, missed shots at the end of the third, and a bad turnover, bad shooting foul on Tony Parker late, and wildly missed layup all in the fourth).
Greg Monroe was the Pistons best overall player, dropping in 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds -- a game high. But guess what? He took ONE shot in the second half after scoring 12 points on 4-8 shooting in the first half. ONE freaking shot. He made it, it was a layup, but that's all the Pistons could draw up for him in his nearly 18 minutes of court time in the second half?
The Spurs are, well, the Spurs, but the Pistons didn't give themselves a full 48-minute chance in this one. Maybe I should only credit Popovich for making the right adjustments at half time, but the Pistons were running a different style in the second half, as has been the case for most of the season. Thus, I'm not willing to give all the credit to Pop tonight. He deserves a lot of it, the Spurs are a great team, but the Pistons are a terribly inconsistent team, and it unsettles my stomach.
- Manu freaking Ginobili still haunts the Pistons, specifically in the 4th quarter when he hit two dagger threes in the face of Charlie Villanueva. Wait, why in the Ginobili was CV31 guarding him?!?
- Pistons were 3-11 from downtown while the Spurs were an unbelievable 10-18. Again, 6 of those came in the 4th quarter.
- Stuckey returned from his shoulder injury and scored 10 points off the bench on 4-12 shooting (3 assists and 2 turnovers). He missed two layups in the 4th quarter.
- Tayshaun Prince took roughly 15 terrible shots tonight; he made 5 of them.
- T-Mac was 3-10 shooting, had 3 assists, 1 turnover, and 3 steals.
- Antonio McDyess's last game EVAH at The Palace was one to remember -- he had six points (on four shots) and seven rebounds in 21 minutes. Go get that ring, man.
- That one guy who may or may not be a product of the Spurs' system and technically could be on the Pistons had 18 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes.
- Box score
Roll Call Danny D, bugman222, Packey, curlyfries, freywagg, heWizard, Kriz, Quick Darshan, joejoejoe, alaskanpistonsfan, tads, Biz Markie Moon, Mike Payne, W. Stones, Packfill, Taiwanese Tora, thesiberian, Wheaties, Roll The Dyess, Tenbatsu, Uncommon Sense, Toledo Joe, The Boourns, Trout Jefferson, MrHappyMushroom, dandresden, garrettelliott, Teal Stallion, nels1, RoscoeJacksonJr, Roco, Boney, MSUDersh
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Name # of Posts The Boourns 49 Danny D 38 bugman222 34 Roll The Dyess 31 Packey 26 Quick Darshan 16 heWizard 13 Uncommon Sense 12 Kriz 12 Trout Jefferson 8 garrettelliott 8 Biz Markie Moon 8 Wheaties 6 Taiwanese Tora 6 Mike Payne 6 freywagg 4 tads 4 Tenbatsu 4 RoscoeJacksonJr 3 curlyfries 2 Roco 2 alaskanpistonsfan 2 nels1 1 Teal Stallion 1 MSUDersh 1 Boney 1 thesiberian 1 W. Stones 1 joejoejoe 1 Packfill 1 Toledo Joe 1 MrHappyMushroom 1 dandresden 1