Dwight How U? The Pistons did just fine against the trade demanding big man who calls himself 'Superman.'
Dwight Howard (19 points, seven rebounds, and five steals) fouled out in just under 40 minutes and was outrebounded by each of the two rare frontcourt dominators for the Pistons, Greg Monroe (in 23 minutes) and Jonas Jerebko. By keeping D12 in check, holding the Magic three-point shooters to a modest 8-of-22 night, and shooting well themselves, Detroit put themselves in good position to pick up their second straight win of the season.
After getting beat sore on the boards in the first two games (53-40 and 40-26, respectively), the Pistons have outrebounded their opponents in three straight games. Tonight, they grabbed 39 rebounds to the Magic's 28, thanks in part to Monroe and Jerebko's combined 20.
The two sophomores added 16 points on 16 shots on the offensive side of things. Ben Gordon was the scoring leader, though, finishing with 26 points on 15 shots and also a team-high six assists (and five turnovers).
Detroit shot 50-percent, attempted 12 more freebies than the Magic, and had the overall much cooler game. More coolness after the jump:
- When Greg Monroe was whistled for a couple phantom fouls early in the first quarter, Jason Maxiell and Ben Wallace were summoned to handle Howard. Maxiell played 16 minutes, shot 3-of-4, had two rebounds, a steal, and a block. Wallace played 20 minutes, had five rebounds, five steals (!), and a block. Without these two, who were a big reason why the Pistons dominated the Magic in the past, the Pistons don't win tonight.
- From Langlois' recap:
- Brandon Knight's three assists were wiped out by his turnovers, but he finished with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting.
- Stuckey only hit two shots from the field, but did get to the line 13 times (and hit 10 of those). He finished with 14 points, four assists (two turnovers), and two steals.
- Magic were averaging 97.8 points per game before tonight (or "a hundo" according to Matt Shepard). After five games, the Pistons are 9th in the NBA in points against.
- What comes with outrebounding opponents, typically comes outscoring in the paint. From PistonPowered's recap:
- Magic scored under 20 in three of four quarters and were held to 32 points in the second half. Magic were 5-of-17 with four turnovers in the final quarter.
- Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva played less than a minute combined (49 seconds to be exact). Their trade values have never been lower. Also from the Langlois recap:
- Box score
- Pistons (2-3) take on the Bulls (4-1) at The Palace on Wednesday.
- Roll Call
(as of 12:30 a.m.): The Boourns, bearded thundar, Kriz, -PS-, dandresden, Detroitnr1, Toledo Joe, mcflies, MrHappyMushroom, Shinons*, pgrnpacer, V., Lemins, freywagg, Trout Jefferson, tads, JWurm, Teal Stallion, TDP, Frankdog, Packey, Mike Payne, Thom not Tom Gores, need4detroit, heWizard, Reno09, Danny D, Pentatonic, He-Man, DetroitDonovan, curlyfries, garrettelliott, Taiwanese Tora, joejoejoe, Supa Dupe, mannie32, halfbackattack33, Laughton, Widjayaman, Other Matt, rovitz707, Sean W, JoeDip, 3636, madpoopz, Birdman84, Roco, andyfrombrooklyn, gordbrown
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Name # of Posts bearded thundar 122 Mike Payne 80 Kriz 51 TDP 47 Supa Dupe 46 garrettelliott 45 dandresden 43 Frankdog 36 He-Man 36 Packey 34 The Boourns 31 Shinons* 24 Danny D 23 -PS- 19 V. 17 heWizard 14 MrHappyMushroom 13 Lemins 13 mcflies 11 Other Matt 11 DetroitDonovan 10 need4detroit 10 Thom not Tom Gores 10 rovitz707 10 madpoopz 8 curlyfries 6 JoeDip 5 Reno09 5 tads 5 mannie32 5 freywagg 4 3636 4 Laughton 4 Sean W 2 Birdman84 2 Taiwanese Tora 2 Trout Jefferson 2 Teal Stallion 2 pgrnpacer 2 Pentatonic 2 joejoejoe 2 Detroitnr1 2 Roco 1 andyfrombrooklyn 1 gordbrown 1 Widjayaman 1 Toledo Joe 1 halfbackattack33 1 JWurm 1
"To me, what changed the game was Jason Maxiell and Ben Wallace," [Lawrence] Frank said. "They brought a ruggedness to us, a toughness, a physical inside presence. Those guys – their intensity was great. I really feel between Jason Maxiell and Ben, those guys were really instrumental tonight."
One of Frank’s tenets he’s preached to the team has been protecting the paint on defense and owning it on offense. Against Orlando, they out-scored Orlando 34-30 in the paint. They out-scored Indiana 48-40 in the paint. They out-scored Boston 38-32 in the paint.
Frank, understandably, won’t talk about the reasons why a player isn’t playing. But he’s repeatedly said that performance – including practice performance – will matter most.