Hopefully, this is the bottom. The Detroit Pistons dropped a game they had control of to the NBA-worst Milwaukee Bucks,104-101, after an inexplicable and familiar collapse in the fourth quarter.
And if this isn't the bottom then the only thing that could possibly be worse is either, 1. Another team mutiny against its coach, or 2. Selling out the future for a slightly less painful present (aka trading Greg Monroe).
Who Stood Out
The Pistons were led by Greg Monroe, who was able to take advantage of a Bucks team missing defensive big man Larry Sanders due to illness. The smaller front line of Ekpe Udoh and John Henson couldn't handle Monroe's quick first step or crafty post moves. Monroe had 10 points and four boards through the first quarter. Through three quarters, he had 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Unfortunately, shortly into the fourth quarter he made the grave sin of getting badly burned down the floor by Miroslav Radujica, who went in for an easy and emphatic jam. Coach Maurice Cheeks was obviously miffed, and all the good Monroe did for the previous 29 minutes on the floor were forgotten.
The rest of the way, the power forward spot was manned by Josh Smith, who had eight points on 2-for-10 shooting, several bad long jump shots and only six rebounds in 34 minutes.
Monroe sat down at the 7:05 mark with his team nursing a 92-91 lead. And the Pistons would score nine points the rest of the way. Their only made baskets consisted of an Andre Drummond tip-in off of a bad Brandon Jennings jumper (natch) and a Rodney Stuckey 17-foot jumper.
The offense was simply non-existent.
Without Monroe on the floor, and with Josh Smith and Drummond ineffective on offense all night, the Pistons, inevitably, relied heavily on its backcourt, going with a three-guard lineup of Jennings, Stuckey and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Those three combined to go 2-for-13 for eight points in the fourth quarter.
Winning basketball it ain't.
And Monroe had to watch the entire thing unfold from a seat on the bench, probably wondering what he has to do be on the floor when it matters most. Apparently, the answer is play mistake-free basketball while his teammates are allowed to bumble and stumble their way to another loss.
- Jennings was putting together another quality, in-your-face game against his former team ... for three quarters. Then the Jennings fourth quarter happened. Jennings had 30 points and four assists, and only two of those points and none of the assists came in the final frame.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a great all around game ... for three quarters. KCP had 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and no turnovers through three, but was a complete non-factor in the fourth.
- Andre Drummond seemed disinterested at times but still notched a double-double. Finishing with 11 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
- Rodney Stuckey scored 23 with many high degree of difficulty baskets. Keep upping that trade value, Stuck!
- The Bucks were led by the resurgent Caron Butler. On Caron Butler bobble head night no less. Butler scored 30 points and abused absolutely every player that tried to guard him, especially Kyle Singler.
- Milwaukee played with more energy the whole game, even when they were down by double digits. They had more assists (29-21), more rebounds (45-40) and more blocks (7-4).
- Former Piston Brandon Knight was extremely Brandon Knight-esque. Inefficient shooting, energy to spare, questionable decisions with the ball, plenty of assists but nearly as many turnovers.
- Roll Call
|27||I Got Munnyz||6|
|47||My center jump higher||1|
|53||Glutton for Punishment (Lionsfan)||1|