Detroit Pistons – Beating the NBA Champions Despite the Same Old Problems

Josh Smith Dunk

When the Detroit Pistons signed Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith over the summer, they knew two very talented players were coming, but also flawed in ways that could really hurt their desire to finally make it back to the NBA playoffs. Despite the both of them making the same mistakes they always do, a lethargic Miami Heat team enabled them to come away with a rare road win in the AmericanAirlines Arena.

Josh Smith did finish with 15 points, most of them coming from some quite pleasing to see dunks, but he finished with 7-of-21 from the field. Somewhere in his head there seems to be a voice telling him that he’s an incredible shooter, even though he’s simply a super athletic power forward that can guard perimeter players, nothing more.

Brandon Jennings has been telling anyone that wants to hear that he’s lost confidence in his shooting, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying, or needlessly dribbling out possessions before he’s either trapped or simply makes the wrong decisions. The 107-97 win over the Miami Heat was some sort of vindication for him after not living up to his promise to beat the Heat in the playoffs (getting swept while he had an awful series. He scored 15 points on a surprising 5-of-9 from the field, not to mention a dagger-to-the-heart three pointer just as the Heat were coming back in the fourth (trimming the lead down to three points).

And there were the usual rebounding problems for the Miami Heat. Against a team like the Pistons, without Dwyane Wade, getting his periodical sit down to give his knee some rest, it’s disastrous. Chris Bosh was fighting windmills, Chris Andersen didn’t get enough minutes (only 16) and Greg Oden is still nowhere to be seen. The Pistons won the rebounding battle 46-34, with Andre Drummond picking 18 despite playing for only 23 minutes.

The biggest contribution came from the bench, as Rodney Stuckey continues his excellent season, scoring 16 points and easily getting to the line time after time (8-of-8) while Kyle Singler added 18. The Miami Heat had LeBron James on a selfish day lead the team along with Michael Beasley, both scoring 23 points, but the rest of the team only shot 37.3% from the field.

The Miami Heat had a 10-game winning streak end for them. Not the end of the world, but showed just how fragile they can be this season, even at home, when Dwyane Wade isn’t playing. For the Detroit Pistons, it was more confirmation of what works (points in the paint with 60) and what doesn’t. If only someone would tell Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings to stay away from their problematic area, we might see them having wins like this one on a more regular basis.