Davis returns and takes down Pistons

Davis returned, played 42 minutes, and put up 39 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 8 blocked shots.  He had 1 turnover, and 1 personal foul.  He was phenomenal, was all over the court, was contesting everything, and made Monroe’s life miserable in the post.  Better yet, he showed no ill effects to his shoulder.  Excellent.

HOWEVER (and I apologize if you came here for a glowing recap full of paeans of joy about Davis.)

Davis’ return also was the return of iso-ball, and when Davis wasn’t hitting huge shots, it was painful to watch.  The team kept running plays whose primary option was Davis – and since Davis is amazing, he would get the ball about half the time and score.   The other half the time?  They’d be against a short shot clock or try to run another play for Davis.  The Pelicans ended the game with 12 threes taken – well below what they’d been doing with Davis out – and there were two – and I’m not kidding – two – plays run to get shots for Eric Gordon on the perimeter.  That’s right, two plays run for one of the most effective catch and shoot players in the league.  Not a single time did we see the ball swing on the perimeter, ending in an open shot for Cunningham, Gordon or Pondexter.  Instead, every play was a penetrate and kick at best – with only a couple clever ball reversals for open looks.

I know Davis coming back was a huge psychological boost and that he was pumped to be out there and wanted the ball.  I get it.  I just hope that in the next few games, we can get doses of Davis the focal point as well as the intelligent system basketball we saw with him out.  That team would be hella dangerous.


  • Enough of my buzzkill.  Did you freaking see Davis out there?  HOLY CRAP.  He was stuffing everyone and everything, moving faster than everyone, and drilled two monster jumpers to keep the Pelicans ahead at the end.  He did it all.  This game also illustrated the strength and power Davis has gained over the past two years.  Monroe and Drummond are both physical beasts – and Davis was absorbing contact from them that used to cut his ability to move and leap.  Now, he could take it and still get off his feet to contest shots and rebound.  He’s developing fast.
  • OAAA continue to impress me as a two headed center.  A combined 12 points, 22 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover and 5 fouls against a powerful Piston front line.  Can’t complain here.
  • Jodie Meeks torched Evans, so the Pelicans tried Gordon on him.  Jodie Meeks torched Gordon so they tried Cole on him.  The Pistons countered by bringing back Jackson to draw Cole away.  The Pelicans responded by putting Pondexter on Meeks.  Meeks guarded by Gordon and Evans? 6-8 and a pair of free throws.  Meeks against the other two?  2-6.
  • Number one reason to not use Evans as your lead ball handler:  He never starts his attack before 12 seconds have ticked off the shot clock.  This isn’t terrible if you’re running a high pick and roll – if you are trying other things, like a post up or a series of pin downs, it’s too much time wasted.  Cole and Gordon are much quicker at getting the offense initiated.
  • Babbitt and Cunningham felt the pinch to their minutes with Davis’ return.  Ajinca held strong, keeping 23 minutes – about what he got with Davis out.
  • How many times have you seen a game with three players with 13, 11 and 11 rebounds respectively(Davis, Asik, Ajinca) – and those guys aren’t even the top two rebounders in the game?

Next game is Friday against Boston!  Hopefully the wins will keep coming!

6 responses to “Davis returns and takes down Pistons”

  1. No need for an apology…I watched the exact same thing you did.  AD was awesome, but he did take 30 shots and it had a noticeable effect on the rest of the team, with the exception of Tyreke since as point he is always going to have the ball in his hands anyway. When Gordon missed the 3 in the 4th I told me seatmate it had probably been an hour since his last 3pt attempt (which he drained).  It was disheartening to witness the difference…about 10 less assists tonight compared to what we had been doing on average during our 5-game run…really mixed emotions because at the same time it was great to see AD back and playing so well. I just do not like watching 3-4 guys on one side of the court standing around and getting mentally out of the game.  Is that how it has to be with a superstar? I don’t remember seeing this at any time with the Spurs, for instance.  Guys are moving, coming of picks curling to the goal, etc. I think these effects caused us to play worse overall and give Detroit a shot to win even until the very end. How do we get the best of both worlds? Must I really invoke the words I read all the time on local blogs: Fire Monty?

  2. Besides Davis, the biggest thing tonight was Ajinca playing significant minutes, especially in the 4th Quarter, even with Davis back.  He and Asik do make a great C combination.  Next most significant thing?  Who had the highest +/- tonight?  Ajinca (+14), Cole (+13), and Cunningham (+11), and their minutes were 23, 27, and 19 respectively.  That say a lot about our bench (bring them back) and their style of play, especially when you contrast it to the Davis and Evans hero ball from the 1st team.

  3. I noticed the return of iso-ball too but I agree with Schwan.. a lot of that is on tyreke. he took too long to initiate the offense. you can’t blame AD for takin 30 shots when he gets the ball with like 8 seconds left. he can get his shot off on anyone especially against someone with no hops like Monroe so he had to feel like he had the best shot available most of the time. plus the team was probably trying to get him back in game form for this playoff push. hopefully we can get back to team ball with AD still being the beast that he is
    also, a lot of his shots came off his usual hustle plays. It’s not like he was out there playin selfishly

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