Sunday, 7 December 2008

Analysis:Pistons at Knicks

Today's game wasn't easy for pistons fans to watch. The side has so many flaws that add up to make a scenario I can only describe as disgusting. Serious problems need to be addressed if the pistons want anything other than cap space at the end of the season.

The pistons Iverson certainly isn't Allen Iverson. It leads me to believe the trade was solely for the purpose of salary, and not to give us the go-to scorer we have so desperately needed in the past. Today was a prime example of when Iverson should be set free, the start of the 4th quarter and the pistons are down double digits. The whole game we have lacked any form of production offensively and this should be the perfect situation for Iverson to take over. Instead Iverson happily passes the ball off whenever it enters his hands. Curry needs to find the purpose of him being here and use him effectively.

I have big beef with Michael Curry, who has not only failed to supply the defense he promised at the start of the year, but runs repetitively unproductive offensive plays, such as the ongoing baseline screens for Hamilton, started with him stationary, rather than allowing him to stay constantly moving, something that has irritated defenses for years. People are blaming Rip's noticable decline on the loss of Billups, but I point the finger at Curry, who hasn't been able to initiate Hamilton effectively with or without Iverson.

One repeating play Curry ran was a baseline screen, then a screen and roll on the ball. This was ran for Hamilton, Iverson, Bynum, Stuckey and Prince, inconsistent with the recipient of the screen and inconsistent with the point guard. All of the above players ran the point at some stage throughout the game, sometimes rotating to a different player each possession on three consecutive plays. A consistent point guard rotation is quite clearly needed if this team wants the success it's had in the past.

Rasheed Wallace, please get in the paint. A star big-man should bang down low for rebounds and dominate the paint, rather than hover around the three point line, hoisting up shot after contested shot without hesitation. I've said before, he can be a cancer to this team and although a dangerous weapon when playing to his potential, his negatives have simply too much effect on the team.

The Knicks killed us from downtown, not only due to bad perimeter defense, but also the lack of solid interior defense, players in the post often demanding double teams only to kick it out for impeccable New York ball movement to find the open man. Alot of the double teams can be blamed on D'antoni recognising Richardson's clear height advantage against Detroit's Dwarves in their backcourt. I know I may be placing a lot of the blame on Curry, but he was plain out-coached today.

Chris Duhon and David Lee ran the pick and roll perfectly, capitalising on every way the pistons attempted to deal with the play. Not only could they not contain Lee on the pick and roll, he also tore down 19 rebounds, making it more evident than ever how much Antonio McDyess is missed.

Like any other pistons fan, I was overly disappointed with this loss. Problems are clearly evident and if Detroit doesn't return to winning ways soon, fingers are going to be pointed. I have lost a lot of faith in Curry since October, who promised defense in the preseason but has only delivered ineffective offense and poor management of rotation.

A video to cheer up all pistons fans:

Live Game Notes: Pistons at Knicks

The 8-11 New York Knicks host a struggling 10-8 Pistons for the midday Sunday tip-off. Detroit is hoping for a win coming off a humiliating home loss to Philadelphia, while the Knicks look for a win at the garden to end their three game losing streak.

1st quarter:
  • Pistons wins the tip. Iverson passes to Hamilton only to turn it over out of bounds. Excellent start.
  • Lee's open 12 footer goes in and out
  • Hamilton is at the point, to Iverson to Wallace who misses in post
  • Quentin Richardson finds himself wide open, makes the 3
  • Hamilton drives, misses the layup, Harrington hits a 3 at the other end
  • Iverson runs a pick and roll with Wallace, misses the mid-range jumper
  • Duhon and Lee run a successful pick and roll, as Lee gets fouled at the rim
  • Prince is at the point for this possession, Hamilton runs off a low screen from Wallace, uses the switch then passes back to Prince who misses the corner three. Pointless offense.
  • Kwame Brown with a highlight block!
  • The pistons scoring troubles continue with Rip called for a charge on the fast break
  • Lee gives Richardson a ball screen, he bricks a three. Iverson dribbles inside, takes it back out, the ball ends up with Sheed, who bricks a three.
  • Kwame grabs a rebound, Rip drives and misses an off-balance shot. Credit to the New York defense.
  • Lee rebounds, accurate full court pass and the knicks score on the fast break
  • Detroit take a deeply needed timeout
  • Out the timeout AI uses a Wallace ball screen, dishes to Prince who bricks a jumper
  • Hamilton curls off a baseline screen, nice bounce pass to Rasheed who rolls to the basket
  • Wilson Chandler nothing but net on the three. Wallace takes another three, misses again
  • Prince falls over getting back leaving Chandler to drain the open shot. Knicks up 15-2
  • Hamilton clears out a Harrington but the refs say nothing, Prince nails a jumpshot
  • Hamilton finally finds sucess on a baseline screen from Wallace with a layup
  • Prince and Johnson run a pick and roll from the top, cause a switch, Lee plays great defense on Tay and forces a missed, contested shot
  • Duhon penetrates, pivots twice in the paint and makes a gorgeous scoop shot
  • Stuckey gets blocked at the basket, Lee misses a contested hook at the other end
  • Tayshaun Prince runs off a hamiltonesque baseline screen, gets the and-one in the paint
    Stuckey now at the point, the same baseline screens are repeated again, for both Hamilton and Prince, the ball gets to Johnson who barely hits the rim from mid-range
  • Wilson Chandler hits a nice off-balance shot over two defenders
  • Curry runs a high pick and roll resulting in a Prince miss
  • Chandler misses a 3, Stuckey drains from mid-range at the other end
  • David Lee already has 7 rebounds
  • More fast break points for the Knicks
  • Hamilton gets lucky on a long contested two
  • New York call a timeout up by 26-12. So far the pistons are playing just plain ugly
  • Stuckey the point guard now, a baseline screen for Rip, Maxiell then commits an illegal ball screen
  • Duhon and Lee run the pick and roll again, it works perfectly until Prince rejects him at the rim.
  • The quarter ends and Detroit have been completely outplayed by the Knicks. Their offense is unproductive and defense is below par

    2nd quarter:
  • Will Bynum plays great defense on Chris Duhon and forces a miss.
  • Tim Thomas drives for the three-point play
  • Good ball rotation from Detroit gives it to Bynum in the corner, to drive baseline and get the and-one. Bynum is playing like he wants it, and seems to be the only piston doing so
  • Harrington drives and makes a lefty layup
  • Curry now has Bynum at point guard, who gives it to iverson, AI dribbles out an unneccessary amount of the shotclock then gives it back to Bynum, who carries goin one on one, Detroit's 6th turnover already
  • Jeffries passes out the post to Duhon, nails the three
  • Bynum - Prince pick and roll, pass deflected out of bounds, more careless play
  • Richardson receives it in the post, spins his man and gets an easy layup
  • AI misses a reverse layup, a crazy full court pass is picked off, Bynum then drives for a nice layup, only to have it wipe off as Maxiell's called for offensive goaltending
  • Timeout, New York up 39-18. The pistons are awful at both ends of the court
  • Jeffries takes Iverson in the post, offensive foul
  • The pistons run a messy offense, Afflalo picks it up and drains the mid-range
  • Iverson is point guard now, Bynum curls off a baseline screen, another failed offense for coach Curry
  • Bynum drives, dishes to the open prince who makes the corner 3
  • Iverson's height is exploited by Richardson again, the double team comes and mechanicly efficient perimeter rotation finds an open Harrington who drains the three
  • Richarson exploits Bynum's lack of height this time, drawing the foul
  • Detroit timeout. 5:25 left, knicks up 46-24. It's rather humiliating for the pistons
  • An overhead shot of Donny Walsh in the crowd reminds me of alien.
  • Duhon and Lee run a pick and roll again, ball goes inside then back out, great perimeter rotation again ends in Richardson hitting a three
  • Sloppy piston play, down by 23
  • Duhon rebounds, to Lee, Lee to Richardson, knicks score a layup within 4 seconds of rebounding
  • AI drives and scores
  • Hamilton gets a technical
    Half time New York 65-43 Detroit

The first half was just plain ugly for pistons, they couldn't defend the Duhon-Lee pick and roll, D'antoni is clearly outcoaching Curry, who's simple and uneffective offense isn't producing a all.

3rd quarter:

  • Four minutes into the 3rd Detroit has cut the lead to 17
    Iverson off a screeen, drives and scores
    Prince steals and perhaps this shift in momentum can give Detroit a chance in the game.
  • Sheed misses a 3. PLEASE get into the paint.
  • Richardson exploits the Iverson mismatch in the post. The knicks are back in control again
  • I've lost interest in this game now, the pistons are being outplayed at both ends by the New York Knicks, and can't do anything about it
    Tim Thomas tries to post up Priince who rejects his jumpshot. Finally pistons fans have a reason to smile.
  • Sheed finally gets it in post and hits a fadeaway. Even though it went in, I still can't help get annoyed by Wallace. His go-to post move is a long fadeaway, and he constantly seems to be allergic to the paint
  • Stuckey looks to be hit, technical on Sheed
    Wilson Chandler scores on Hamilton, knicks up 17
    Stuckey at the point now, AI misses an off-balance three
  • Duhon drains a shot in AI's face. Ouch
  • Great ball rotation again by the knicks, ends in an easy dunk. this is painful to watch as a pistons fan
  • Iverson takes it one on one at the end of the shotclock, scores.
  • end of the 3rd, kicks up 81-63

4th quarter:

  • The pistons have no source of offense, but isn't this the excact reason they aquired Iverson? Trading for a go-to scorer then not letting him take over in crunch time defeats the entire objective of the trade.
  • Hermann drives and scores at the bucket
  • Afflalo scores and it's a 14 point game
  • Hamilton pushed Jeffries, picks up a 2nd tec. and he's gone. this game is begging for an Iverson takeover, PLEASE show us why we got you.
  • Hermann drives and gets the foul. Sometimes it seems he is the only guy on the roster bringing energy on a nightly basis
  • AI plays good, solid defense, denies Duhon the basket then strips him when he posts up
    Prince drives for the and-one in the paint. Is there a speck of hope for detroit?
  • Chandler misses off-balance, Hermann misses a wide open 3, offensive rebound. Iverson then misses and moans instead of geting on with it.
  • Charge on the knicks, 82-72 to New York, 9 minutes to go
    Iverson misses but Amir Johnson's tip falls
    Just when the pistons are given hope, Chandler scores the three point play.
  • Iverson goes off the dribble and passes out. Honestly, he looks too pass-happy. selfishness didn't bother you for the last 12 years, why change now when its needed?
  • Hermann misses a 3, down 11 now
  • Iverson now at point guard, splits 2 defenders and draws a foul
  • The Pistons play 24 seconds of solid defense only for the knicks to get an offensive rebound, Lee layup. Painful.
  • Afflalo in the corner, 4 point play!
  • New York are only up by 7. Chandler tries to take Hermann, who's an underated defender, causing a turnover
  • Timeout New York, 6 minutes to go
    AI the point guard, ball to Prince in the post, makes the hook shot in the paint
  • Excellent defense by Detroit, particularly Hermann, causes a shotclock violation.
  • Rasheed takes another 3! misses again!
    Richardson goes into the low post where he's used his size mismatch all day, draws the foul off Afflalo and gets the bucket
  • AI heads to the line, makes the pair and it's a 5 point game
    Richardson in the post again but a questionable travel is called. The pistons have a chance!
    Sweet AI crossover, only for him to miss an 18 footer
  • Duhon drives, finds Chandler in the corner, nails vital corner 3, bang!
  • Timeout pistons, 3:30 to go and down by 8
    AI drives off a screen, pass to prince who scores
  • Duhon-Lee pick and roll, the knicks score again
  • Hermann misses a driving scoop shot. Detroit play great D and cause another miss
  • Afflalo drives, scores at the rim. 6 point game!
  • Duhon penetrates, hits Chandler who misses a contested 3. Pronce misses a 3 then Duhon slows play down.
  • Duhon drives, pass to Lee, to Harrington, money on the 3! Dagger!
  • Knicks up 9, timeout Detroit, 1:21 to go
  • Sheed misses a 3! Afflalo misses 3, knicks finally rebound.
    duhon bounce passes out of a trap in the corner, Lee layup and game over.
    Duhon hits a 3 to nail in the coffin.

Ouch. More on this later.

Chiming in as the world passes by

I've been busy lately. The last game I took the time to sit down and watch, tip to buzzer was almost a month ago, so I have no first person opinions to share on the current happenings of the league.

The weekly shriek was a way for me to keep in touch with the league if I couldn't see any games for myself. Clearly this failed, so I'm abandoning this chain of posts and deleting the previous, giving this site a new look (I know it's not really a 'new look', I just wanted a reason to post a Michael Jackson picture).
I wanted to closely monitor the post-trade pistons, but the last game I watched was Iverson's Detroit debut. I'm doing live play by play game notes on the Pistons-Knicks game later today, and should hopefully give me an idea of how things are going in motown (apparently not very well).

This season I hoped to observe the MVP race closer than I have in the past. Respect to guys like Garnett, Williams, Duncan and Billups, but it's rather safe to say the top six candidates are LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, then Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade. These six go head to head with another sixteen times this month, and I intend to see all sixteen of these games to getter a better grasp of who's legit.
Finally, I have a uniquely awful plan of an annual 'Race to the DPOY' post. More on this later.