Houston hangs on at The Palace

by | Jan 26, 2009 | 42 comments

Just when it looked like the Pistons were going to suffer back to back home blowouts something clicked at The Palace. Down 12 early if the first quarter, Jason Maxiell entered the game and sparked a Pistons run in a high scoring first quarter (39 Houston 27 Detroit). Both teams had hot shooting nights, while Houston led most of the way, Detroit made it a game in the mid third quarter but couldn’t force overtime in the fourth.

The Pistons had two chances to send the game into OT after Artest missed a free throw with 10 seconds left. The first on a rushed Rasheed Wallace three pointer and then another from Arron Afflalo. Final score108-105.

Key Points:

  • How is this to start things off, with the loss, the Pistons clinched their first losing month since February 2004.
  • Yes that Dyess foul late in the game was an And 1, had it counted like it should have thing may have ended different.
  • Sluggish right from the opening tip, it took the enthusiasm, athleticism and baby eating to get the Pistons right back into the game.  He played just 18 minutes going 4-for-4 for 8 points, 3 boards and a blocked shot. Babies were had for lunch (via Tate Lowe, team N4S member)
Jason Maxiell
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  • The Rockets led by as much as 15 points, Detroit had the lead just once by one.
  • Houston, who had McGrady and Artest (who got booed every time he touch the ball) back for the first time in a long while didn’t look like they missed a game between them. Artest led Houston with 24 and McGrady put up 15.
  • Houston killed the Pistons from beyond the arc going 12-for-25 (48%).
  • Looks like it took just one game coming off the bench for Richard Hamilton to get things going. Rip led the Pistons with 27 points on 11-for-21 shooting in 31 minutes on the floor.
Rip Hamilton
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  • Rip coming off the bench means 46 Bench points for Detroit.
  • Like it or not, a hot Richard Hamilton left Allen Iverson on the bench for the final minutes of the game. It could mean trouble…can’t make everyone happy.
  • “I just feel like I can offer a little more to the team,” said Iverson, who scored 17 points on 5-for-10 shooting. “I can help us do more to win basketball games. When the opportunity presents itself, I’ll be right here to take on the challenge. I’m going to stay positive, stay focused, keep believing in my teammates when I’m not in the game and keep trusting them when I am in the game.”But Iverson isn’t used to being an afterthought after 13 seasons of what likely will be a Hall of Fame career.“Just when I thought I’d seen it all, something else happens,” Iverson said. “That was just different. Via The Detroit Free Press
  • Iverson scored 17 on 5-for-10 shooting with 8 assists a steal and 2 boards in 34 minutes. Great numbers for a guy who sat in the fourth.
  • With the awful way Detroit took care of the ball in the Dallas game, just 5 turnovers against Houston is promising.
  • Rodney Stuckey was in foul trouble and didn’t even play a minute in the second quarter. Stuckey scored 14 on 7-for-12 shooting, with 8 assists and five boards.
  • Liked what Rip and AI did on court together when Stuckey was out.
  • Why isn’t Herrmann backing up Tayshaun at all? Small ball when Tay was resting.
  • Amirzing block that led to an AI Alley Oop for Rasheed. When is the last time you can say you saw Sheed jump like this?
Video Courtesy of The NBA, The Detroit Pistons and ESPN
  • First quarter blues, Detroit has to start coming out of the gate strong to contend throughout the game.“It’s been I don’t know how many games now where we’ve had rough first quarters,” Prince said, when asked if there was confusion about assignments at the start of games. “At some point you have to put all that aside and not worry about the X’s and O’s and just do what you have to do defensively as far as taking a challenge. I don’t think we are doing that in the first quarters.” Via The Detroit News
  • Tay was missing last night, in his 30 minutes he had 6 points, 2 boards and five assists and a blocked shot.  Not the numbers we have been used to from Prince when he’s play his position. He had a rough time on the defensive end too. But they all do, so it’s tough to focus on Prince in that department.
  • Anybody pay attention to the Houston and Pistons huddle that ESPN aired? MC sounded like he was rambling, while Adelman had a plan of action. I know it’s just on huddle out of plenty but it just didn’t make me feel any better about what has been going on.
  • Sheedtastic night for Rasheed, who the Pistons really needed to start playing well. He was jawing with the Houston bench and Luis Scola claiming “he can’t check me”, and he couldn’t. A double-double for Sheed with 22 points, 11 boards adding 2 assists and a blocked shot in 39 minutes. If the Pistons could get just half of the passion out of him as he had in the Rockets game things would be very different.
Rasheed Wallace
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  • ESPN Highlights of the Game.
  • Hey Allen why aren’t the Pistons getting it done?  ” Have you talked to MC yet?” Allen Iverson asked, referring to coach Michael Curry. “He should have the answers. He knows better than me why we’re not getting it done.” Via The Detroit News
  • Putting the game aside, these comments by Allen Iverson after yesterday’s loss are a bit disturbing. He looked happy cheering his team on as they mounted their comeback in the fourth quarter, but he’s clearly upset with not being on the floor. This could mean more trouble for the Pistons.
  • “Small Ball” is now Weee-troit Basketball – When I read that over at Detroit Bad Boys.com I just about fell on the floor. At this point, we have to laugh about it because it’s so bad. Thanks for putting a smile on our faces Matt!
  • It however is NOT funny when Pistons fans check the news every morning to see if Coach Curry has been fired yet.
  • I will announce the winners of the Suite night contest later today.


  1. VJ

    The first losing month since February of 04? Also the last time WE WON A CHAMPIONSHIP!

  2. Nate

    Yea, I knew Iverson could not be as thrilled as he looked last night sitting on the bench the entire 4th quarter cheering on his team. He’s an all-star who’s used to having the ball in his hands when it counts. Words between him and Curry are becoming inevitable soon.

    Now I’m no huge AI fan, but to me it seems he should be in the game in the 4th. We gave up Chauncey for him, yet we won’t even use him in crunch time? He’s shown twice he can hit the big shot. If we’re not, if we go with Rip and Stuckey in the 4th, then we need to deal AI for some post players.

  3. The Fluidics

    I check for Curry to be fired because so far this season, nothing the Pistons do seems to make sense. Firing Curry makes sense.

  4. Max-Aholic

    You can tell Curry was trying to avoid getting called out on the Stuck, Rip, AI lineup again. But then the idiot puts in Afflalo over AI for the final shot. Its still a small lineup moron. We might as well trade AI if we’re going to make him look like a chump. He honestly deserves better than that. Sheeds game was good, he missed that last three but that was obviously a set play. It really should have gone to Tay or Rip we had the time to get a better shot. If Sheed would have made it, Houston would have had plenty of time to win in regulation.

  5. Mark

    Out with MC bring in Laimbeer

  6. GaypeoplemightevenhateAI

    So…Rip did better than AI, and we couldn’t stop them in the first.

    AI starts…

    We can’t stop them in the first…

    AI is benched near the end…

    The game becomes close…


  7. Amer ican Prince

    I’m actually giving credit to Curry for sticking with the guys (mostly) who got him a chance to win by closing the gap, instead of going back to AI. Though Max-aholic, I’m with you Sheed shouldn’t have been taking that shot, Curry should know, Sheed isn’t an offbalace 3 point shooter. The play sucked, but hey I’ll let it go, because this was a good game.

    We have to go smallball sometimes because there’s no backup for Tay, but Curry is putting in Dyess and Sheed with that group so it’s not really small.

    Did you guys notice how we funneled the offense through Sheed and Dyess in the first half and guess what happened. Sheed exploded this game. Everyone keeps saying Sheed is tired or doesn’t care or whatever, but it’s clear, he’s lost like the other guys, still trying to find his role.

    I loved seeing Sheed with that passion
    He can’t check me. Classic Sheed

    Overall these were the kind of games we were expecting when Curry was hired. We were getting lazy half assed games that the Pistons tried to play off as transitional games. But this is a transitional game, that they just lost, cause they are trying to figure things out.

    So I don’t want to hear a lot of crying about this game, cause this was a hard fought game that the Pistons can learn from.

    Dyess And1 in the 4th was good, remember that.

    AI will be fine as long as he doesn’t have to sit out EVERY 4th quarter. He still needs to be out there some games, but I’m satisfied with the rotation in the 4th this game

  8. gMac

    I’m just amazed how fewer and fewer people show up at the palace. Joe’s gonna few the pressure soon (to fire MC)
    Clearly, Pistons fans are all about wining not just for some big name star player. ‘Wink wink ~~ to those millions of stupid AI fans that voted him for the all star game starter’.
    P.S. I don’t hate AI, I just think, it’s a joke for him to be voted to start in the all star game. I know, i know, it’s a popularity contest…

  9. Keith

    Its really hard to give credit to a guy (MC) at this point. I just cant see the silver lining in this one. Kenny Smith pointed it once during Inside the NBA that WE CANT REBOUND.

    Im expecting AI to explode anytime soon. If its frustrating for us fans, how much more for AI? And I hope whatever he’s going to say gets to MC. Talk of FREE AMIR? How about Free AI?

    Till how long can Joe hold on to this.

  10. mac

    Dyess’s and1 in the fourth should’ve counted. We probably would’ve won if it did. I was really impressed how they fought back in the game. They had a bunch of chances to win, mainly the three offensive boards by Houston in the final 2 mins, but we couldn’t get it done. Hopefully we can play as good as we did the last three quarters the next game. Also, I agree with curry putting AI on the bench at the end of the game. Stuck and Rip put us back in the game. However AI definitely should’ve been in for the final shot. Nevertheless it was still a good game.

  11. JACK

    Someone just needs to tell AI to his face that he’s never going to win a championship. Never. Some superstars think it is all about the pieces around them and not them. It’s you, AI. Your game is impossible to sustain a winning team. You will go into the hall of fame. You will have tons of records. And you will have no championships.

    Thank goodness Joe will either trade him within a month or let him walk at the end of the year.

    As for Curry, oh don’t get me started… This man is just not a head coach.

  12. steve (the hated)


  13. ALMEI

    OK–I’ve read all these posts and the ones on the game last night. Only two comments on our free throw team shooting–Metah (no you weren’t the only one who caught that, read my post earlier in yesterday’s thread) and Chris. I agree with the majority on you–it was a much better game; but for this game it didn’t matter whether AI played in the 4th or a small line-up or any other personnel moves. 11-20 [55%] on the stripe was the difference. Two things a coach can control–playing team defense and having players drill free throws. Houston was 18-24 for 75%. If we had made 75% (15-20), there is four points and we lost by three. Yes I know made free throws earlier might have made a different selection of plays by both teams and we still might have lost–but who on our team now is a consistent good free throw shooter now that Chauncey is gone? Hamilton–but coming off the bench is going to limit his free throw attempts. BTW–Hamilton 87.5%; the only one at least 80% or above is Affalo at 80%. The team averages 74.3%. That % last name would have at least tied the game. For those curious, Chauncey 90.6%.

  14. steve

    A Lot of us called this from the moment the trade was announced. But most of you dumars cool-aid drinkers defended the trade because “In joe we trust” ahha what fools.

  15. Max-Aholic

    I have a Suite for the Celts game Friday. Unfortunately we’ve had it for awhile but I will be booing when booing is necessary. The fans need to put the pressure on Joe to fire this clown. I belive Joe is in the mid level suite in section 110/111 or its 107/108. Hes in the last suite before the stadium starts to curve. I used to have season tickets for 5 years in 109 and could always look up and see him in the shadows. So if you want to direct a sign to someone, point it to him not the cameras. I wish I could be behind the Pistons bench to heckle Curry the entire game, I’m good at that. I’m afraid Joe is going to stick out the season with this clown. Its the fans responsibility to get him fired. I hate Curry more than the refs.

  16. Ben from Seattle

    I’m not trying to say I saw this coming, but I did have a bad feeling when Flip Saunders got fired.

  17. Clinton

    Curry Was A Bum Player And Now A Bum Coach!

  18. mobius909

    take note that we haven’t picked up any weird techs in a while. that is good news.

    sheed got motivated and it’s been a long time. good news.

    rip took to his role of bench eating well.

    we’re making progress people. we’ll get there…

    it ain’t the all star break yet. there is time. we did win the 04 ship, as mentioned. we needed to hit the bottom of the pool to push off to reach the top. we need to give sheed some defensive help so he can be himself. i suggest moving dyess to the starting lineup, which will increase his and maxx’s minutes, plus maybe give amir some more too.

    the guard situation will work itself out.

  19. Flipwould'vekeptChauncy

    This was the worst we’ve done in 4 years…

    Flip Sanders gave us the best record in the NBA 4 years…

    I believe the Pistons shot themselves in the foot by firing Flip, trading Chauncy, and benching Rip.

    What do we need to do? Get rid of AI, move Stuckey to SG, GET A PERSON WHO CAN SHOOT 3s (Stuckey and AI can’t…Bynum and Rip can), and get a real coach.

  20. mobius909

    r u kidding? stuckey would be a horrible sg, especially since we already have 2 all star sg’s. that just creates an even bigger position problem. if you’re gonna move stuckey to sg, might as well make AI the center.

  21. hoopsdood32

    umm…. please tell mr. curry that there is a man on our bench named Jason Maxiell. once he understands that, please make sure he gets minutes. thank you. xD

  22. hoopsdood32

    and no techs isnt good news, in my opinion.

    Sheed, Rip, and AI should have a couple techs here and there to spark the team and get them in the game. Remember when it was odd to see the Pistons go a game without a tech? That was a good time.

  23. DK

    AI= 1:30 total time in the last 2 games. last to games= losses for the pistons. Hamilton out for 5 games= pistons five game winning streak. Iverson needs more time and more shots and more flexibility to be effective. he scored 17 on 11 fewer shots the hamilton. Hamilton=equals out of control. below average ball handler and passer, cant get his own shots. however he has a nice shot.FREE AI AND MAX LET THEM BOTH LOOSE

  24. nypistonfan

    I agree DK we should free AI and Max and let them loose, but from the bench. We need to start our core group that brought us 6 consectutive trips to the Eastern Conf championship game. Last season, more often than not, we won the game by the end of the first quarter (often a double digit lead). This season, in our first two games we played with that intensity. Last night in the 4th quarter we played like that. We need to get back to that right now. Rip, Tay, Sheed, Dyess and Stuck for Billups and let AI loose off the bench with Kwame, Amir, Jason and Affalo. If we could only convince AI of this everyone wins, he can throw up 25 shots a night and all the piston fans who were fans before AI will stop pointing fingers, he’ll definately score more than 20 a night making him happier and we’ll stop the first quarter bleeding before it happens.

  25. steve the hated

    hey mobius thats what stuckey was his whole life till the pistons…. a 2 guard..get ur facts straight

  26. ray

    Curry really is an idiot for not even playing AI the last play of the game. I can’t take much more of him. He really does fit the image of this team… all talk. The way Sheed always talked about how amazing we are yet we lost to “inferior” teams 3 straight years. When Curry was first asked if he thinks hes ready to coach such an experienced team he said he was surprised he wasn’t hired three years ago. I mistook that for confidence now I realize it was simply another cocky, arrogant answer that Pistons fans have grown accustomed to over the years.

  27. DK

    THE PISTONS DONT NEED STUCKEY TO PLAY THE 2 STOP. it dosnt matter if he has played it. Bottom line the pistons need a good solid rotation. NO MATTER THE MINUTES. It just needs to be the same so that guys can learn there roles. we cant have MAX tearing it up one night then DNP the next. WE NEED A SOLID ROTATION SO THAT GUYS CAN LEARN WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO WIN.

  28. ray

    Same starting 5. Rip, Dice, Max, and Afflalo off the bench. Always keep 2 bigs on the floor. If you have the chance for a game tying three don’t keep the future hall of famer on the bench. Problem solved.

  29. Kyle

    if ai can’t make his free throws or guard his man we have no use for him, 1st or 4th quarter. that game defined allen iverson, had a great offensive game and lets rafer alston light him up to cancel it all out.

    don’t care if he’s a hall of famer, don’t care how much he makes. if he can’t do what is needed of him, rip will.

  30. Shaun

    i heard on the radio that there were rumors about ai going to new york for david lee….I HOPE THAT HAPPENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Jessica

    WOW there are NO piistons fans here….How can you blame the coach only? We need to beliieve in the Piistons and have hope that they can stiill wiin and be the best!!!!! I know I dont wanna see Cleveland beat them NO WAY!!!!!!

  32. Ripper32

    I think that Michael Curry played the game pretty smart this time…for once…However, he missed a bad spot. He should have had Allen Iverson in for atleast a bit of the fourth quarter. He also should have been able to draw out a better play when they needed the three at the end of the game.

  33. DETstuckeyMVP

    i cant wait to see who wins the contest

  34. The Fluidics

    Boo this man. Steve, that is some funny shit.

  35. Whatsittoya

    If Billups was not here to help us win our first 4 games than we would of had a losing record.

  36. Whatsittoya

    I wish that trade for David Lee happens too.

  37. Marc

    I just wish they would play with some intensity against EVERY team. And not just get up for the games against the Celtics, Cavs, Lakers, and Magic. If we did that we would be contending in the East right now. They just don’t look excited to be out there and aren’t having fun playing it seems. I’m thinking we should hire Avery Johnson, bring some defensive intensity back to the team instead of allowing 40 points in the first quarter.

  38. adge

    fire his ass….. he’s not a good coach… maybe he’s a good friend but not as a coach…. im tired of watching this team lose.. im so not used to it.. bring a real coach and see what will happen..

  39. Amer ican Prince

    Jessica that hurt, no pistons fans, Well! The outrages I have suffered today will not be soon forgotten! I will not be forgetting those outrages! No, no! No, they won’t be forgotten! Not the outra… well you get the point.

    I like David Lee, but we wouldn’t be able to trade him for AI. He essentially does what Max does, except more rebounds and less blocks. And we have so many bigs one of them would have to be traded. The thing we need desperately is a SF for Tayshaun, as Houston showed us we can’t rely on the guards to back him up, especially with guys like Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest going off.

  40. Ben from Seattle

    Just an fyi for everyone who wants AI to be traded. By rule, he is not allowed to be traded unless he is waived and then clears waivers. I don’t see any big changes coming until after this season. The solution is going to have to come via coaching.

  41. IstillthinkAIshouldgomakebabieswithamule

    “if ai can’t make his free throws or guard his man we have no use for him, 1st or 4th quarter. that game defined allen iverson, had a great offensive game and lets rafer alston light him up to cancel it all out.

    don’t care if he’s a hall of famer, don’t care how much he makes. if he can’t do what is needed of him, rip will.”


    STOP BABYING AI! He is NOT getting it done out there. He didn’t play the 4th and guess what the score was? 108-105. THREE POINT DIFFERENCE. I’m sorry, but imagine if he had been in instead of Rip? We had a chance with Rip.

    Again, end of this season, bye bye AI. Sadly however, I’m afraid to see what Currey does if he still has the job with Sheed’s contract expiring.

  42. Shaun

    heyy nat what would u do with you website if sheed got traded?


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