This one seemed ugly from the beginning. The Pistons were outclassed in every phase of the game as the Boston Celtics torched the winless Pistons in a 109-86 drubbing at the Palace of Auburn Hills. And really, Detroit might as well have lost by 40 — they were clearly overmatched any time Boston’s key players wanted to enforce their will, they were able to.
While the first three losses of the season might have seemed encouraging to the glass half full set, there is not much positive to take away from this game. The Pistons weren’t able to keep the Celtics out of the paint, and weren’t able to contain any of Boston’s main weapons. The Celtics starters shot a combined 31-54 (57 percent) and Rajon Rando was able to continue his torrid pace by dealing 17 assists without a turnover. He also nabbed four steals on the night.
The Pistons gave up the paint, didn’t contest on jump shots and had poor rotations throughout the night. They played lethargic and it is not a good sign that I am already worried they might be ready to tune out yet another head coach. I know many fans, including me, get frustrated that he seems to have a short leash with the young guys, but as long as he asks a lot of the veterans, I think it’s worth it. On a bad team, the most valuable asset is demanding accountability. Once the inmates run the asylum, it’s all over for you. Just ask Rick Carlisle. Or Flip Saunders. Or Michael Curry.
The biggest disappointment of the night was probably the play of Rodney Stuckey. With Richard Hamilton and Will Bynum out with injuries, and knee trouble forcing Tracy McGrady to sit after just eight minutes of play, it was a night when a lot was being placed on Stuckey’s shoulders and instead of rising to the occassion, he reverted back to a lot of bad habits. He was only 6 of 15 shooting and had as many assists (3) as turnovers.
The only positive thing I can say on the night is that Greg Monroe and Austin Daye were able to see a big chunk of minutes thanks to the blowout, and both players might have earned a stay of execution from the roster. While Monroe was O-6 from the field and displayed a plethora of rookie mistakes, he also hustled and didn’t back down on defense. He was able to grab 10 rebounds in just 18 minutes of action and also chipped in two assists, including a nifty one to a cutting Rodney Sutckey after a long rebound. Daye scored 16 points on 7-14 shooting and also grabbed six boards in 26 minutes of action.
Elsewhere on the Pistons, Ben Gordon contributed another efficient game, shooting 6 of 10, but he fouled out before the midpoint of the fourth quarter. Villanueva shot 7 of 13 and had seven rebounds. And lastly, and certainly least, Tayshaun Prince, who looked like someone kicked his puppy before the game, played a surly 32 minutes and managed to have more turnovers (2) than rebounds (1). He looks like a player who has checked out. Maybe he read my post and thinks he’s Atlanta-bound?
The Pistons now have nine healthy bodies, including a not 100 percent Charlie Villanueva, and have a quick turnaround, playing tomorrow at Atlanta.