Rodney Stuckey is just the symptom, but something good is happening with the Detroit Pistons. They’re 13-26 after a 4-20 start under Lawrence Frank, and their 88-85 win in overtime over the Los Angeles Lakers, with Rodney Stuckey coming off the bench to score 34 points was probably their biggest win of the season in terms of impact.
A full house in the Palace is quite a rarity this season, packing their home arena for only the third time this season. The Lakers, coming off their win over the Miami Heat, do that to your gate total. But the Lakers’ road woes continued, dropping to 6-13 away from the Staples center, as Kobe Bryant, despite hitting a game tying shot to send the game into overtime, proofed once again that he shouldn’t be carrying this offense on his own.
He took 26 shots, making only 8 of them. This actually came after three straight wins in which Bryant’s shot selection was much better. He did take 23-24 shots a game, but made around 50% of them and made the right decisions. This time, they just didn’t drop. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol might have been more useful if they would have seen more passes instead of fighting for offensive rebounds.
Bynum finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds. Pau Gasol with 20-10. You can’t ask for more from their twin towers, but the rest of the team was more than way off. Derek Fisher finished with 2 points and Metta World Peace finished with 4, making us understand that his Miami Heat game was more like a one time thing, and he isn’t really back. And I thought seeing the Pistons and being back in the Palace might cheer him up.
Greg Monroe struggled under the baskets, finishing with only 2 points but 15 rebounds, 7 of them offensively. Brandon Knight was even worse, not scoring a single point. There was no real team play, set up plays and such for the Pistons. Just Rodney Stuckey getting really really hot. The Pistons’ bench came through. While the Lakers’ sorry crew scored nine points, the Pistons got 15 from Ben Gordon and 10 from Jonas Jerebko.
They scored only 9 points in the third quarter, but the Lakers aren’t an offensive juggernaut this season. There’s no real point guard to push this team and capitalize on their defense which creates plenty of stops (Piston shot below 40%) but doesn’t create turnovers and easy point. Each basket is a struggle, inside through Bynum and Gasol digging in, or Bryant and his fadeaways.
Don’t get carried away with the Pistons and their future. Stuckey goes off like this once every 5 games. The rest is pretty bleak, but they have gotten some sort of a roll going on, despite Tayshaun Prince looking like, well, he made the wrong decision by resigning for a team with no real future at the moment. The Lakers? It was one of those games showing THEY got carried away by actually thinking their win over the Miami Heat meant they’re that good. A road game against one of the weaker teams in the East brought them back to reality.