The Detroit Pistons fell behind early behind an early scoring barrage led by Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks were able to keep a comfortable cushion throughout the night, beating Detroit 121-100.
Anthony scored 29 points, including 21 first-half points on 8-11 shooting. But he wasn't the only player that made the Pistons pay -- the Knicks knocked down 17 3-pointers (shooting 51 percent from downtown). Anthony and Steve Novak had five apiece and Rahseed Wallace had three, including a couple in garbage time.
The notable developments for the Pistons were few and far between but by far the most interesting/frightening was the early emergence of Charlie Villanueva off the Pistons bench and a late-game ankle tweak from Rodney Stuckey.
Villanueva played for Jonas Jerebko, who got a DNP. There is no word on him being hurt so it seems likely the struggling Jerebko was bench due to his recent play.
It will be interesting to find out if Jerekbo was bench just to clear his head or if this is something that could last for the foreseeable future.
Villanueva made off for lost time after finally seeing the the floor, chucking up shots with little hesitation. CV had 17 points and four rebounds and took 15 shots in just 19 minutes of playing time. He launched some 3s, and converted some back-down opportunities from the post. Time will tell if Charlie "earned" more minutes with his play today.
Stuckey was again a nonfactor in this game. He had more turnovers (three) than points (two) in 13 minutes of action and seemed to sprain his ankle in the fourth quarter.
Even though the score was never close the Pistons largely did what they wanted to do on the offensive end. The Knicks were just too talented and converted everything they wanted to.
Brandon Knight had perhaps his strongest offensive performance of the season. He scored 21 points on 8-13 shooting, looking to drive the lane and score inside and shoot the 3 when he was open. He also had five assists.
Greg Monroe had 30 minutes, largely because the game was so out of reach in the second half. He was able to score 12 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds. Monroe played out of the high post most of the game and was able to find cutters going to the basket and also use his quick first step to get to the hoop. It also forced Tyson Chandler out of the painted area and opened things up for the Pistons. For the game Detroit had 46 points in the paint, thanks largely to Monroe and Knight.
Andre Drummond, meanwhile couldn't get much going offensively but he was again a difference-maker on the defensive end. Drummond had 11 rebound in 19 minutes of play but scored only two points.
Kyle Singler, meanwhile, contributed nicely with 16 points on 5-7 shooting and did all the little things he needed to get open, cut to the basket and make shots when his teammates gave him opportunities.