The Pistons fell to the Charlotte Hornets 109-106 via a Malik Monk buzzer beater on Friday evening. If you are looking for one play or one sequence that did Detroit in, you aren’t going to find it here. This is basketball — and as we all know, the game is comprised of dozens and dozens of plays that help shake out the final result. I will be showing you some of those dozens and dozens of plays and then you can call me whiny.
The below will mostly be about defense, or the lack thereof that Detroit displayed against the Hornets.
A little background: Detroit’s defense is ranked 27th in the NBA as of Nov. 16. The top 10 defensive teams in the NBA are all, gasp, really good. You have the Lakers, the Bucks, the Heat, the Nuggets, the Raptors, the Celtics, the Jazz, etc. You also have the Orlando Magic. They’re 4th in defense, but are just 5-7 at the time of this writing. (You guessed it — their offense is truly bad, and that’s why they are struggling with a sub .500 record.)
Detroit’s defense was truly bad in many spots against the Hornets. It certainly looked 27th in the NBA worthy.
Devonte’ Graham is the new young and fresh stud on the block for the Hornets. He fakes taking the screen from Marvin Williams and just straight line attacks. So we know Charlotte wants a two-for-one just from looking at the time left before the end of the quarter. What’s the defense doing?
Rose is a turnstile; we know this. Markieff is in bad defensive position and doesn’t seem the slightest bit interested on this possession. Thon Maker is guarding Cody Zeller way too tight right on the 3-point line — I mean, Zeller is a sub 30% 3-point shooter for his career (on 61 attempts). Funny enough, Zeller drilled a triple at the end of the third quarter and is shooting 34.8% this season (8-of-23).
Point being, this is just too easy of a bucket.
Miles Bridges only made three field goals and this dunk was by far the simplest.
Rose is guarding no one and doing nothing helpful. And he got in the way of Langston, so Rozier could have gone to the cup unmolested if he wanted. Andre is running to get to Biyombo, but his back is turned just enough, or for just long enough, so that it’s too late when he realizes Bridges has the ball. Luke is suppose to be where he is at, looking out for Graham spread in the corner.
Bruce and Luke are absolved from wrongdoing, as they are where they should be. Galloway, Andre and Markieff are a comedy of errors here. I don’t think Galloway expects Monk to have this burst and go all the way. Andre has a bad habit of not being aware of what’s coming behind him. Here it seems he knows what’s coming, but Zeller is much quicker in getting position and then Andre is screwed from Zeller’s wise, legal shield.
Markieff could have stopped ball? I’m thinking of checking up on Cody Martin’s 3-point shooting for this season, but nah. You’d rather give a perimeter shot to him than a waltz in by Monk.
Ooof. At least Blake tried to stop ball. And look at Zeller beating the opposing big down the floor and running a bit of interference.
This team is clueless or just disinterested in getting back and playing any thing close to help defense. Is giving up easy transition lay-ins a part of the strategy? Look at Zeller again.
Here’s the game winner from Malik Monk. Andre saw it coming at the last second and contested well.
You know, sometimes guys just make tough plays. This is the NBA after all. Props to Monk.
In the Detroit-Charlotte game recap, I wrote that I would highlight a Markieff running floater, if you can even call it that. Here is the work of art. Have some awareness, Markieff. You have Andre in the paint and you have Luke on the wing. You even had Langston chilling behind the long line. There was tons of time left on the shot clock.
May I remind everyone what I complained about in the recap — Luke shot the ball five times in 37 minutes. Morris shot the ball nine times in 18 minutes. Some of that is lack of smart coaching. Some of that is lack of awareness from Luke’s teammates. Sure, Luke is to blame a bit too. And give Charlotte their due credit as well.
Enough nitpicking and negativity for you? How about I’ll take a look at some of the maddening turnovers Detroit made?
Nope, I’ll just leave it at that.
Simply, Detroit didn’t do enough of the little things that help push you over the edge in close games and keep you from being at the mercy of the other team.