The Pistons beat the Hornets. Yay, ping pong balls?

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Published: February 4, 2012
New Orleans Hornets 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Detroit Pistons

Trevor Ariza, SF 42 MIN | 9-12 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 26 PTS | -8Ariza did everything he could this game, posting a superstar line and generally playing great defense. I mean, 26 points on 12 shots. Seriously? I just had an efficiencygasm.
Jason Smith, PF 32 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +4Smith literally was TKO’d tonight as he took three heavy blows to the head at different points in the game and didn’t return. He plays with great energy, but he’s still poorly suited to being a starter. Just not productive enough.
Emeka Okafor, C 30 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +3Mek is in there for his defensive impact. Tonight, he was dominated by Greg Monroe. He just couldn’t handle the versatile young sophomore and missed three easy shots at the rim that he should have dunked.
DaJuan Summers, F 8 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -9The Summers experiment should expire. End of bench, sure.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 37 MIN | 5-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 9 AST | 14 PTS | +1Vasquez had one nice scoring stretch at the start of the fourth – but it immediately followed seven straight pick and roll plays where he couldn’t turn the corner against the defense and essentially wasted half the shot clock. He’s a great backup guard, but as a starter he doesn’t have the athletic gifts to be highly effective.
Carl Landry, PF 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -12The only reason I know Landry played is that I yelled at the TV three times as he failed to box out and his man grabbed offensive boards. He also struggled mightily to get position in the post – so the team would wait five seconds for him to try and then have to go elsewhere.  He did leave limping in the second half . . . so maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh.  Sorry, Carl.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 14 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | 0Was playing hard, as usual, and was aggressive, as usual. He’s still half-lost out there though. Jason Smith pushed him to his spot on offense once, and on defense redirected him twice. He also operates much less efficiently without fellow Spanish speaker Vasquez on the floor with him.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 29 MIN | 4-9 FG | 6-8 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +11Even when Aminu puts up good numbers, it always feel like his offensive success is a mistake. I love his athleticism and long armed defense, but I keep finding myself saying he’s got to figure out a couple offensive go to moves or he’s got no chance to stick in this league.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Piston announcers pissed me off by implying Jason Smith intentionally head-butted Jonas Jerebko in the fourth. Give me a break. Watch the tape. Smith likes to lock on to opposing big men, and they frequently wrench free, flinging him around like a ragdoll. He was locked to Monroe, who twisted sharply to make him let go, and he was propelled right into Jerebko. Poor Jason went down like a poleaxed cow, though.
  2. I know some people are upset we couldn’t beat Detroit tonight, but the Hornets are missing both of their guards capable of penetrating – and Detroit was missing two of it’s most shot-happy yet ineffectual players – rookie Knight and Ben Gordon.
  3. I was going to say that Summers crack across Knight’s nose was his worst move of the night, removing the poor-shooting guard from the Pistons line-up. Then I saw Russell, the third stringer they replaced him with since Ben Gordon and Will Bynum were out. That was definitely not an upgrade.
  4. Hornets got beaten on the boards again. Kaman does a lot of things wrong out there, but you can’t deny he helps you win on the glass. I’d still trade him for a cute puppy and some french fries.
  5. Monty needs to quit it with Summers. Guy has poise but makes even more mistakes on defense than on offense. Yeah, he’s playing out of position, but it’s time for Henry to get his turn.

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