So we sort of stumble back into this one, somehow, with random people who had already failed in the first half. And then the coach refuses to return the franchise center sitting on 21pts 14rebs, and we die under a blizzard of Jimmer Fredette and Travis Outlaw hero ball while Aaron Brooks races around like a chicken with his head cut off. Funny how that didn't work out for us.
Unnecessary loss. Like many of them have been, we did this to ourselves. So onto the grades.
On an early back to back day going to forego any half assed theme and just put up the highlights loss or not:
Stats: 28min 10pts (4-9, 2-5, 0-0) 1reb 6ast 1stl 0blk 2TO
Salmons ( B- ) -- started off the game playing well, hitting two threes in the early going, and again being our best and most willing passer (I would go so far as to argue that John Salmons, noted career long blackhole, has been the real key to the team's ball movement this season by reinventing himself). When things began to fall apart in the late first respnded with a dumb 1 on 1 midrange force, but was back to passing ways by the time he returned late in the half. Lost effectiveness and minutes as the second half wore on. Began to have problems with Prince's size, necessitating the appearance of JJ and Outlaw to counter the Pistons' length, as well as trouble staying in front of small Pistons guards when they went to a two PG set, and was not part of the random crew that brought us back in the 4th.
Stats: 33min 15pts (6-10, 0-0, 4-6) 6reb 1ast 0stl 1blk 0TO
Thompson ( B- ) -- mostly outworked by Maxiel early, and in the early second a bit overwhelmed in there against both Monroe an Drummond. And yet stayed efficient, kept garbaging away, and in the 4th quarter comeback played an important role doing the little things, cleaning up messes. Not much on the glass on the night however, and he missed a key one in the final 2 minutes on a missed Monroe FT, letting Maxiel beat him to the spot and being forced to foul again.
Stats: 36min 21pts (10-21, 0-0, 1-2) 14reb 2ast 3stl 0blk 2TO
Cousins ( A- ) -- nice strong game out of DeMarcus -- too bad his coach wouldn't let him close it. Was physical and inside oriented all night long, and rarely out of control. Was more unselfish than the 2 assists would indicate too, and added a nice little screen to let IT get to the rim as he was making the game easier, not harder. Even the defense was better. Watching him in their he was active on the backline stepping up and showing, finding guys to box out etc. Added one of his steals up top and full court gallpos the other way. Really began to dominate inside in the the latter stages of the first half, and keptright on rolling into the third with a serious of dunks. Should be noted even most of his misses were good shots and things that rolled off. And he gathered a fair number of them up and went back up finishing them. The 5 fouls is also a bit of an illusion in this one, as he showed good patience and smarts to avoid fouls most of the night and most of the fugly forces. Foul trouble was never a limiting factor. Smart was, and then Drummond was, as the big kid began to become a real impediment in there as the game went along, and like many long shotblockers DeMarcus began to struggle against him. Was nonetheless sitting on 21pts 14rebs with 9 minutes to go in the game...and then sat out until 1:30 seconds were left, and we needed a defensive rebound on a FT (after we had missed one afew seconds earlier). That's coaching for you.
Stats: 24min 5pts (1-5, 1-3, 2-2) 1reb 2ast 3stl 0blk 1TO
Garcia ( D ) -- hit a three off the good ball movement early, but it would be his only FG of the night. By the latter stages of the half the shots were coming out of rhythm, and that carried over ino the third, when Kyle Singler woke up briefly to outroleplayer him. Singler's own nothing game is all that buoys this grade.
Stats: 26min 12pts (4-10, 2-5, 2-2) 2reb 2ast 1stl 0blk 4TO
Thomas ( C ) -- able to score esily, and be scored over easily, in a first quarter shootout with Brandon Knight. Was bombing threes. Too many loose turnovers however, and as this one went along they, along with the defense, began to define this one for him. Had 10 of his 12 points in the first quarter, but while he quit scoring, they didn't quit scoring on him. When he returned in the second showed limited control, was taking shots when he should have passed, setting up the wrong people when he did pass. Kept getting scraped far too easily on little screens freeing Bynum to take unimpeded runs at our rim again and again. Highlight of his game may actually have been an unfortunate incident near the end of the half when he got thugged by Charlie Villanueva of all people (about right for Villanueva to suddenly go from softie to thug on a 5'9" guy). It was a cheap shot, and Isaiah popped up and jumped right in his face as the scrum ensued. Thing was, on replay it looked liek he damn near threw a punch at Charlie. As in possibly half tried to and may have just missed. Hopefully its interpreted just as a wild arm motion or that's an automatic suspension. Returend for the third and was still ineffective, elading to Brooks to eventually take over and run the team through the 4th. .