The Pistons beat the Hornets

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Published: March 16, 2008

Ron is busy today, so I get to bring you the recap.  At least he says he's busy.  He always sticks me with games we lose, the psychic bastard.

I'm not that upset about this loss.  It was a blowout, sure, but there were enough positives here that I don't feel bad.  Here's my observations:

  • The key to the game was ENTIRELY long distance shooting. It was a 21-point game, but the Pistons hit a season high 14 three pointers.  If they hit anything like their normal shooting percentage, they'd be missing 12 points.  If Pargo, Peterson and Julian hit their usual percentage, we'd have another 9 points and suddenly we're right there.  The Pistons didn't even do anything unusual to our three point shooters.  They tracked Peja on the outside, but left the rest to shoot, and we just missed the shots.  That allowed Detroit to pack in the defense in the second half and kill our forays to the hoop.
  • To stay on that thought, Jarvis Hayes killed us.  About half his shots were undefended due to great screens by the Pistons, but he still hit another 3 with a hand in his face.  29 points for a guy averaging 7.5.  Just killer.
  • Our greatest strength has been the discipline of our team.  And once again we outrebounded them by 3, only had 10 turnovers, and only gave 17 fouls.  Normally that means we win, but Detroit displayed that same discipline, and coupled it with good shooting.
  • I love Jason Maxiell.  Like I said in the preview – an energy power forward with a mean streak.  Just a great piece of the bench.
  • This is the first time I can think of where I found Peja's defense to be a real problem.  Tayshaun, McDyess and Maxiell were punishing him early in the post, so we had to double.  That freed shooters in the corner – which killed us since they were on fire.  Still, Peja had it going from inside and out and got himself 9 rebounds, leading the Hornets in both points and rebounds.
  • I love Julian.  The giraffe calf missed his perimeter shots tonight, but that's okay.  He was pure energy, akwardness and length.  You can tell he's still trying to figure out the best action to take at times, but when he's got that figured out he's going to be a monster.  And he's effective at 3 positions. Honestly, I get giddy thinking next year of a possible lineup of Chandler – West – Stojakovic – Wright – Paul.  Imagine the disruption caused by Paul and Wright in the backcourt.  And the oops?
  • I won't knock Ely.  He had some lame moments – like when Chandler was standing wide open screaming for the ball and he decided to take a contested fade away and get fouled so he could miss two free throws.  Still, he played with more energy than I've ever seen from him – and even went to the floor after a loose ball.  His rebounding was alright and his shot was falling.
  • Paul was clearly moving at half speed.  While he still ran the half-court offense with precision, we never saw him explode down the court on a break, and his ability to take over the game by getting to the basket was not there.  Still, how many teams wouldn't love to get 14 points and assists from their point guard.
  • Mo Pete started strong and finished horrible.  I was extremely pleased with his defense on Hamilton all game though.  He fought through screens non-stop.  Just wish he'd re-find that corner three.
  • Something is wrong with Bowen.  He's given us nothing the past few games he's played.  3 uncontested rebounds I can't even remember tonight.
  • Bonzi played tough.  He's a good backup, and does more for us than Bobby did.  The trade is good so far.
  • Pargo is again in a slump.  This month, even with a nasty 9-18 game in Atlanta, he's shooting 30% from the field, 24% from 3PT for 7.6 points.  To compound the problem, he's only managing 2 assists in 22 minutes a game during that stretch.  After a strong January and February, he's back to his November-December numbers.  If it continues, I'm sure Byron will try Mike James again in a few games.  He always gives them a chance to work out their problems.

We have a three game homestand starting tomorrow against Chicago.  Then we get the craaazzy Rockets and deadly Celtics.  I hope West is back by Wednesday.  We need him.

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