Currently viewing the tag: "coach kuester"

LaMarcus Aldridge is in a tough situation. He plays in the Western Conference that is full of young, talented big men who all deserve to be on the All Star team. LaMarcus hasn’t openly complained about being one of the bigger snubs out West but last night, he proved to the Piston faithful that he was indeed worth of All Star consideration in the tough Western Conference.

Aldridge killed the Pistons on the pick and roll, all night. Chris Wilcox got used and abused the final 2 minutes of the game – by committing 2 costly fouls to give the Blazers 4 points and also by turning the ball over with a 3 second violation. Coach Kuester is also partially to blame for reportedly drawing up the final play as an iso for Ben Gordon, but for not calling a 2nd option which caused Austin Daye to shoot an off balanced 3 point shot that would’ve tied up the game.

The player of the night has to be Will Bynum who ended up with a stat sheet filling night – 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Bynum singlehandedly brought the Pistons back from down 7 points at the start of the 4th quarter to within 1 with 1 minute left in the game. When Coach Kuester subbed out Bynum for Stuckey at the end of the game, you could feel all the momentum being sucked out of the arena. This is one of the tougher losses the Pistons have had in a season full of tough losses – let’s look at the highlights:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge scored 36 points on 12-17 from the field and 12-13 from the free throw line.  A knock on Aldridge has always been his toughness in the paint, as he is definitely a finesse big rather than a bruiser.  While he did torch the Pistons in the paint with points, he lived up to his soft nature by only pulling down 4 rebounds.
  • Coach Kuester has taken one of Richard Hamilton’s bad habits (poorly timed technical fouls) and started use it for himself.  Coach Kuester got called for a technical foul with the score 86-84 about halfway through the 4th quarter.
  • One of the craziest contracts signed this offseason was by Blazers guard Wesley Matthews – 5 yrs, $34m – who contributed 26 points and lead his team with 7 rebounds
  • Detroit won the rebounding battle in a game where both teams shot above 50% – 32-25
  • Ben Wallace is slowing down – Wallace only played 18 minutes last night and grabbed 8 rebounds.
  • Portland was able to go with a smaller lineup because of the matchups in the post with Ben Wallace and Greg Monroe.  Aldridge held Monroe to only 9 points in 34 minutes, which were a Pistons team high.
  • Detroit’s bench outscored the starters 57-43
  • I’m surprised no one on the Blazers hurt their knees in the game – Greg Oden, Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby all were out with knee injuries.
  • Jason Maxiell and DaJuan Summers were DNP-CD, while Richard Hamilton was out with a sore groin.
  • Detroit had only 1 starter play more than 30 minutes, Portland had 4.
  • Were those boos I heard when Coach K pulled Bynum for Stuckey in the 4th quarter?
  • Play of the night: Jumpball between 2 of the NBA’s shortest players in Will Bynum and Patty Mills.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day – hopefully you get to spend it with a loved one or family.  Tonight, the Pistons will face off against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2nd game of a 3 game homestand.

Greg Monroe won the matchup of the night by scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Derrick Favors, the first big man taken in the 2010 NBA Draft.  The rest of the Pistons took advantage of a very bad Nets team by getting off to good starts of both halves on their way to a 92-82 win.  The loss gives the Nets 24 road losses to go with 3 road wins, and it moves the Pistons to 2 games over .500 at home, 13-11.

The Pistons backcourt had issues keeping track of Anthony Morrow, he went off for 22 points and was 1 of only 2 Nets players to score in double figures on the night.  Former centerpiece of the Jason Kidd trade Devin Harris contributed 13 assists in the losing effort.

Let’s look at some highlights:

  • Tayshaun Prince had the most complete stat line of the night as he finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
  • New Jersey’s “putback king” Kris Humphries scored 6 points and had 9 rebounds off the bench for the Nets in the loss.
  • CV still isn’t right after his ankle tweak from a couple games ago – he only played 10 minutes and contributed 1 foul, and 1 turnover.
  • The player of the night had to be Greg Monroe – it didn’t matter who he was matched up against, he outhustled (5 offensive rebounds), he d’d up (2 blocks), and moved his feet (only 2 fouls in 42 minutes).
  • Rodney Stuckey missed the game due to his right shoulder injury – get well soon, Stuck.
  • Richard Hamilton was deactivated :(
  • Johan Petro played well off the bench – 6 points and 6 rebounds with 1 block in 10 minutes.  I wouldn’t mind him being on the team if the Carmelo trade were still to happen.
  • Hopefully with his night tonight, Greg Monroe has cemented it in to Coach Kuester’s head that he needs to start 100% of the time whether Ben Wallace is healthy or not.

Highlights of the game via NBA.com

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Now that’s a Bynumite killer crossover! (via NBA.com)

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Tune in tonight as the Pistons take on Scott Skiles and the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee.

This was a tough loss for the Pistons.  Detroit was up by 4 going into the 4th quarter against one of the league’s best teams in Miami.  Austin Daye, Ben Gordon and Greg Monroe started in place of Chris Wilcox (LeBron started at the 4 with Chris Bosh out), Ben Wallace (out for personal reasons) and Rodney Stuckey (out with a shoulder injury).

Austin Daye held his own against LeBron James, about as much as a 210lb guy can expect to do.  Coach Kuester shortened up the rotation by not going to Jason Maxiell or DaJuan Summers even though he was without 2 key rotation guys.

Let’s look at some of the highlights:

  • Austin Daye got the first true test of his young NBA career, and didn’t do too bad.  He started matched up against LeBron James and stayed there the better part of the night and finished with 19 points and 9 rebounds.
  • Detroit lost this game because of their poor shooting – 38% from the field and by their ability to not get to the free throw line – 11 attempts.
  • Each team had a combined 15 turnovers.
  • Perpetual pest Eddie House took advantage of Detroit’s help D by scoring 15 points off the bench on mostly wide open looks.
  • Chris Wilcox finished the night with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.  His value has certainly gone up in the last few weeks since he’s been seeing more time on the floor.
  • Tracy McGrady finished with 10 assists and 14 points – on top of a good defensive effort to keep the Heat’s Mike Miller from beating them on the perimeter.
  • CV was cold from the floor all night, shooting 2 of 10 from the field and scoring only 6 points on the night.
  • LeBron James took over in spurts and reminded us Pistons fans that he’s still capable of leading a team of no-names by scoring 39 points on 15 of 25 shooting.
  • Greg Monroe with a near double-double on the night – 9 points and 8 rebounds.
  • This road loss put Detroit at 5-20 on the season on the road.

The Pistons go up against the New York Knicks on Sunday, at Madison Square Garden.  Hopefully Ben Wallace will be back and able to start against Amare Stoudemire and the Knicks.

Another game, another way to lose in embarrassing fashion.  The best player on the floor, Blake Griffin, had his way with the Pistons early and often.  Even when the Pistons decided to foul him hard, it wasn’t enough.  I believe during the last podcast that Natalie and I discussed the worst losses of the season and well, I think we spoke to soon.. or at least I did.

Embarrassing…lackadasical…half assed…etc… The Pistons got beat by a team who had not yet won a road game.  The Pistons got beat by the Clippers 109-89.

  • Ok so let me get this straight – Ben Gordon plays 18 minutes against the Raptors and 22 minutes against the Hawks before playing 31 against the Clippers last night.  If you’re not blaming the Coach at this point, you can hop on the bandwagon with me.  Hey Kuester, nice rotations you have in place.
  • Ben Gordon

    Photo/Getty Images Editing Need4Sheed.com

  • Hey Rodney Stuckey, you don’t have a good enough jumpshot to shoot your way (2-11 from the field) out of a cold slump.  Pass the ball.
  • All of the starters were horrible last night.
  • Brian Cook, possibly the worst “power forward” in the NBA, scored 12 points and had 7 rebounds for the Clippers.
  • Pistons Interim Head Coach Assistant Coach Brian Hill received a technical foul, his 2nd of the season.
  • Charlie Villanueva was the only Piston to show up last night – and he tried to lay what lumber he could on Blake Griffin, but we know how good Griffin is and we know how poor Charlie’s defense is.
  • If the Wizards can find someone to take Gilbert Arenas and his awful contract , why can’t Dumars find anyone to take Richard Hamilton?  (Please don’t tell me Arenas is better than Hamilton at this point in his career.  Arenas is extremely overrated right now)
  • I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that Ben Gordon would’ve signed here last offseason if he knew he was going to play 27 minutes a night for a team where he’s the best shooter.  $10.8 million dollars this season for a guy who goes from playing 18 minutes to 31 minutes over the course of 3 games.
  • Blake Griffin had 24 points (on several dunks and a highlight reel worthy 360 degree layup) and 17 rebounds.
  • 16,000 fans attended the game last night – the Michigan economy is too bad to make Pistons’ fans have to pay to see this team give half assed effort… If I went to the game, I’d demand a refund on the grounds of the NBA is supposed to be entertainment, and I was not entertained.
  • DaJuan Summers broke a sweat in an actual game situation!  Summers played 7 minutes and had 2 points.

Ugh.  The Pistons are now 8-19 with a 6-7 record at home.  C’monnnnnnnnnnnnnn lottery balls!

As always, you can follow Natalie and I on twitter.  Leave your thoughts on this game in the comments.

43 point 2nd quarters don’t happen often for any NBA team, and when they do they often lead to convincing wins.

When you’re ahead by 25 points mid-way through the 3rd quarter, you assume you’re going to win.  The other team usually throws in the towel and plays their bench.  It’s a time where Darko Milicic used to see playing time for this team, back in the 2004 championship season.

No lead is safe with this Pistons’ team.  I can break out the thesaurus all I want to look for ways to describe last night’s 120-116 loss to the Raptors… but I’ll put it this way:  I’ve never been more embarrassed to be a Piston fan in my life, until last night.

Now that that’s out of the way, how about some highlights?:

  • Hey Coach Kuester, what’s the point of starting Jason Maxiell if he’s only going to play 9 minutes?
  • Oh and while I have your attention Coach – why does Ben Gordon only play 18 minutes last night?
  • Ben Wallace with a career night: 23 points (including a 3 pointer!!!) to go along with 14 rebounds.
  • Rodney Stuckey is improving, albeit slower than we’d all like to see, he poured in 23 points on 8-17 shooting with a career high 12 assists.
  • Jerryd Bayless wins the nightly “Guy you never heard of before, but the Pistons made him look good” award – 31 points on 10-12 shooting (nice defense Stuck).
  • Why is Ben Wallace playing 39 minutes when Greg Monroe is available?
  • Richard Hamilton – 32 minutes.  Ben Gordon – 18 minutes.  Something’s wrong with this picture.
  • Question for Mr. Dumars: Are we rebuilding or trying to win now?  Austin Daye – 4 minutes, Greg Monroe – 24 minutes, Charlie V – 22 minutes.
  • Tracy McGrady, who has been playing good as the Pistons’ backup PG only played 9 minutes.
  • Leandro Barbosa with 22 points in only 27 minutes.
  • Does this Dunk from Will Bynum make you feel better?  I didn’t for me after this one.
  • 13,000+ fans saw this game live and in person – do they get refunds?  That’s dedication if you ask me.  Pistons v. Raptors on a Saturday date night?
  • No surprise here: Richard Hamilton with a team worst -12 +/-
  • I would bet one of my paychecks that Austin Daye would score more than 12 points in the 37 minutes that Tay got.
  • Assistant Coach Brian Hill is a well respected coach in the league, and has coached a few successful NBA teams in his career.  (hint hint)

Not much else I can say.  There is absolutely no excuse for this to happen.  It happened earlier this season when the Pistons lost a double digit lead to the Bulls in Chicago.  These 2nd half collapses are becoming a habit for this team.

Awful.

Obama Sheed

SheedBama - Need4Sheed.com

Site Manager Natalie, N4S Commenters, Friends of N4S, and fellow Pistons Nation followers:

Our Mission Statement declares that from time to time, the content providers of this site shall give to Pistons Nation, information about the state of our basketball team.  For 4 seasons, our content providers have fulfilled this duty.  They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility.  And they have done so in the midst of turmoil and depression; at moments of great concern and great struggle.

It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that the team’s progress was inevitable.  That the Pistons were always destined to be among the best NBA franchises in the league.  But when the Pistons dealt away Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, 50 win seasons were very much in doubt.  When the free agency period crashed with the signings of $11 million and $7 million dollar per year bench warmers, the future was anything but certain.  These are times that are testing the strength of our fandom, and the strength of Pistons Nation.  And despite all of our disagreements and opinions; our harsh words and our fears; we must fight through the negativity and push through knowing that better days are ahead.

Over the summer, I took this position during an offseason that saw the Pistons win 27 games the previous season, a salary cap situation that included what are assumed to be untradeable contracts, a roster that has 4 small forwards and no post scoring big men, and a team that is up for sale.  Experts from across the NBA blogosphere warned that if Joe Dumars did not wise up, this team would be headed towards a new “Teal era”.  5 months later my friends, we are on our way to another disappointing season.

The devastation of questionable moves remains.  They are an eyesore to a fanbase that has seen this team have success in the early part of this decade, and to the nerds who bury their noses in stat books and “per 36″ stat projections for players who play 15 minutes a night.  This team is no better than is was at the end of last season, except for the health of the individuals on the roster.  Add to this the fact that the team still remains up for sale, and while rumors still fly about whether Mike Illitch will become owner or not, the team is stuck in neutral without an identity while we draw ever closer to the February trading deadline.

This unsettled ownership situation has also compounded the burden of improving the roster through trades and player acquisition.  Without an owner in place, front office executives are afraid to make moves, to take on salary that could potentially put them in a bad situation once new ownership takes over.

I know about the anxieties that are out there, right now.  They are not new to 75% of the NBA team fanbases, but they are very new for us.  These struggles are the reason I offered to help contribute to this site.  These struggles are what I’ve witnessed during the years of the “Teal era”.  I read about them now on opposing team’s blogs and game threads, the fans of opposing teams who troll our Pistons’ sites now, even though they couldn’t beat the Pistons during their great run from 2001-2008, now brag and boast because they beat the Detroit Pistons.  The toughest to read are those written by people who I have called out previously for “bad shtick”, because now their voices are louder than ever.

We face big and difficult challenges.  This is our rock bottom, folks.  At the quarter mark of the season we are on pace for roughly 27-28 wins if the team keeps pace.  The team has shown flashes of brilliance sometimes, and they’ve shown absolutely no effort other times.  I still believe.  Change can happen.

I believe that with the right changes, this team can turn it around and become a playoff team next year (if not sooner).  The team has the pieces in place, with players like Ben Gordon, Austin Daye, Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey, etc who can shoulder the burden of carrying this team into the next generation.  The team is built on the strength of the unit as a whole, not as individuals.

It is time for this team to stop playing as individuals, and to come together as one.  Moves need to be made but more importantly, the team needs to be sold so the front office is stabilized.  We need to be patient, as a fanbase.  Improvements will happen.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts on how the season is going.  The team has been a disappointment so far but, anyone who expected them to win 15 of their first 20 games and is now criticizing them for not accomplishing it, is likely more of a problem than the team.  The team is behind pace for my 30+ win prediction, but they are who I thought they were.  The roster is unbalanced, the coaching staff seems to be missing the point of having young players on the team during a rebuilding period, and the front office can’t make any moves.

The state of the team is: not good, with a few players performing above expectations while most are performing below.  The team may or may not need a new coach.  Until the talent improves, there is no way in telling what Coach Kuester can actually do to help this team succeed.

In closing, I want to preach patience.  Sure, things could be better but they could definitely be worse.  I appreciate how civil everyone has been in the game threads, game recaps, and during the live chats.  These are trying times for us, as Pistons fans.  We will once again rise up, and fire up that bandwagon again (for all the ass cats).  I promise you.

Just a reminder: If you have an account on twitter, you can follow my nonsense here and you can follow Natalie’s “PG” rated ranting here

The Detroit Pistons took their “talent” to South Beach and got whooped up in quite possibly the most disheartening loss of the season. No effort, absolutely no effort.

My bad, Greg Monroe had his best game as a Piston. He showed effort. On to the highlights eh?

Greg Monroe vs The Heat

Photo/Getty Images editing Need4Sheed.com

  • Juwan Howard had more points (12) than any of the Pistons’ starters.
  • Greg Monroe lead all Pistons in points (15) and rebounds (8) in 31 minutes.
  • Hey guys, nice effort.  No… really.
  • Richard Hamilton isn’t going anywhere, according to a AOL Fanhouse report.  If this is true, I’d like to see him to and sit on the bench some more after watching him struggle his way through a 3-11 shooting performance.
  • All jokes aside – the Miami “Big 3″ combined for 50 of the Heat’s 97 total points.
  • Oh hey, Eddie House had more points (10) than any of the Pistons’ starters, so there’s that.
  • It was nice of the Pistons interior defense to not hit or foul LeBron James too hard, so he wouldn’t be hurt for tonight’s game in Cleveland.
  • Hey Coach Kuester, get a rotation and stick with it.  I prefer it included more Austin Daye and less old guys since, well you know, the old guys are helping the team lose.

Have some lowlights:

Low-lights via NBA.com

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Sorry for the negativity, it was an awful game.  I started and stopped putting this together 4 separate times. Oh and…

LeBron James is still a jerk.  Tonight we are all Cleveland fans.

0 and 5.  Zero and Five.  Winless.  Awful.  Outcoached.  Outplayed.

Rodney Stuckey

Photo/Getty Images

Whatever the adjective, this team went from bad to worse in a stretch of 4 games.  Finger pointing from the players and coaches on “who is doing what wrong and why” or “who isn’t doing what they’re supposed to do”, and whatever else that goes on when we try to deflect blame on to another when we fall short as individuals.

Plain and simple:  No one is doing their jobs right now.  Players play, Coaches coach.  The team is getting it’s butt kicked in both aspects of the game and something needs to change.  The talent is there, the coaches have experience, what’s the problem?

The team is hamstrung, and until a change happens, this is what we’re going to be stuck with.  When I say a “change”, I don’t mean necessarily a trade or a new coach, etc.  When I say “change”, I mean the players need to start playing up to their talent level and the coaches need to put the right systems and lineups in place to put the players in the best chance to succeed.

As I’ve said before, this team has talent.  It may be the “sum of it’s parts” talent and not “superstar” talent, but as we’ve seen in the past the “sum of it’s parts” has success when all players buy in.

To review this season so far:

Game 1: Detroit loses to the New Jersey Nets after leading late into the second half, in New Jersey.  You can accept a loss like this occasionally because it is a road game.  What’s unacceptable is that the lane was open all night for penetration.

Game 2: Detroit loses to the Oklahoma City Thunder in their home opener on a last second layup by Jeff Green.  This game was back and forth all night with one of the Western Conference’s upstart teams.  This game was a very winnable game and in my opinion was the best defensive showing on Kevin Durant all season.

Game 3: Detroit loses to the Chicago Bulls in the Bulls home opener after losing a 19 point lead in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  This was the start of the downward trend that has shown for the last 3 games.  Coaches have put players in a situation where they can’t succeed, players aren’t hitting shots, players are hesitant, etc.  This was the worst second half defensive game of the season.

Game 4: Detroit loses to the Boston Celtics in Detroit.  The Celtics dominated the Pistons in all aspect of the game.  At the end of the game Coach Kuester remarks the team needs leaders, Tayshaun Prince says it starts with the Coach and the fingers start to point.

Game 5: Detroit loses to the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta.  Close game throughout, but this game was not without it’s own drama.  Ben Gordon had a big night but Rodney Stuckey was benched after reportedly not responding to Coach Kuester’s calls to him during a stoppage in play.

In Game 6  and 7 the Pistons play the Charlotte Bobcats and Golden State Warriors before hitting the road for their first West Coast swing of the season where it looks like those 4 games (Warriors, Clippers, Kings, and Trail Blazers) are going to be tough for this team to win.  I believe the first win comes against the Bobcats because the Bobcats are a team that is kind of stuck in neutral like the Pistons are.  They’re in between rosters right now, and looking to make a move to improve their team.

Of course, I thought they should’ve won the Thunder, Nets, Bulls and Hawks games this season too.  So Pistons fans… what’s wrong with this team?  Who does the blame fall on?  Coaches?  Joe Dumars?  Players?  All of the above?

In a game where the final score was not as bad it could’ve been, the Boston Celtics beat the Detroit Pistons 109 – 86 in a game that proved exactly where the Pistons are right now as a team.

This is a mediocre team right now that is lacking heart and drive to fight through some early season adversity to get to their first win.  The roster, as Nat and I have been saying all offseason, is unbalanced and full of talent but none of them have stepped up and taken the leadership role that’s required of a good team.  I could rail on all day about this but, I’ll re-cap the game:

  • Rajon Rondo was the best player on the court tonight and proved it by toying with the Pistons defense to the tune of 17 assists in 36 minutes of play.  Sure, he’s the point guard for the Celtics so he’s the main distributor BUT, his 0 turnovers proved not only did the Pistons not play defense but that he was making all the right moves.
  • Charlie Villanueva finally earned the right to talk tough about his opponent as he pulled down 7 rebounds to go with his 17 points off  the bench.
  • Rodney Stuckey, who had been playing so well coming into the game, reverted back to his 2009 form by not being able to finish at the rim or hit a jumpshot consistently as he finished 6-15 from the field and had 15 points to go with only 3 assists.
Rodney Stuckey

Photo/AP

  • As Nat mentioned, KG and Charlie Villanueva got into it a little bit last night, and both received technical fouls in the 4th quarter.  You can see the re-cap of what Charlie says happened here.
  • Since we’re talking about technical fouls, a member of “Team Boney” in one of the Need4Sheed Fantasy Basketball leagues received one last night.  Glen Davis was called for a technical foul in the 1st quarter after being called for fouling Ben Gordon.
  • This team is getting good at finger pointing.  Coach Kuester says someone needs to step up, Tayshaun says someone needs to coach better, I say be a man and do your job.
  • As much as I hate to say it, I think I’d take Rondo over any PG in the league right now.  Sure he’s playing with good talent around him but he’s made up for his other shortcomings by becoming a better floor leader and forcing those around him to be better.  (Even though he does look like Earthworm Jim)
  • One good thing to come out of last night’s game was the fact that Greg Monroe got some decent playing time for the first time in his young career.  He did not score a basket, but he had 10 rebounds in 18 minutes of action.

So, the re-cap is short I know it is.  I don’t think any of us want to watch a replay of last night’s game, let alone discuss it in great detail.  I’m sure I’ll be railed against for thinking Rondo is a good point guard and people will try to tell me it’s because he’s playing with good players, which to an extent is true.

The fun doesn’t stop tonight either because after last night’s debacle in Detroit, the Pistons get to travel to Atlanta to play against a Hawks team that has started off the season 3-0 under new coach Larry Drew.  The Pistons will likely be without Richard Hamilton, Will Bynum and now Tracy McGrady who came down clutching his knee last night.