Cavaliers too much for Pistons, Brandon Knight – win 105-89

by | Dec 28, 2011 | 32 comments

There were countless things that didn’t happen tonight, that lead to the Pistons getting the beatdown tonight from the Cavaliers.  Poor rotation on defense, guys out of position, offensive sets that were out of sorts, guards firing bullet passes to big men not ready for them, etc.  Tonight’s game was flat out hard to watch.

The lone bright spot for the Pistons was the emergence of 2011 lottery pick Brandon Knight.  Knight enjoyed a bit of a coming out party against his lottery mate, Kyrie Irving, with 23 points on 10/13 shooting including a 3 pointer to close out the 2nd quarter and 10 points in the 3rd quarter.  The kid proved why the Pistons decided to pick him with the #8 overall pick in this past year’s draft, and like George Blaha said, this is the first of many games like this for Knight.

  • Vernon Macklin saw some garbage time minutes, and finished 1/2 from the field with his only basket coming off of a highlight worthy no-look pass from his draftmate, Knight.
  • Jonas Jerebko got outplayed all night by the veteran Antawn Jamison and got outmuscled by Samardo Samuels and Tristan Thompson.
  • Ben Gordon got in kind of a rhythm, finishing with 25 points on 9/19 shooting.
  • Pistons were outrebounded 40-26 on the night.
  • Paint defense is still an issue, and is even more of a concern against a team that doesn’t have much upfront offense like the Cavaliers.  Samardo Samuels and Anderson Varejao got what they wanted by simply cutting to the basket.
  • Cavaliers backup point guard tried to “tit for tat” with Brandon Knight in the game – he ended up with 16 points on 4/11 shooting with 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
  • There were many possessions where the Pistons were taking perimeter shots, with only Greg Monroe near the basket.  This is not how you improve your rebounding totals.
  • Greg Monroe finishes with a better 2nd game – 10 points and 7 boards.
  • Brandon Knight scored 23 of the Pistons 25 points off the bench (the other 2 being from the garbage time dunk, by Macklin).
  • The Pistons lineup is missing Charlie Villanueva (LOL!).
  • Tayshaun Prince ended up with a -15 for the night with Ben Gordon, Ben Wallace, and Jonas Jerebko with a -13.
  • There were several plays that showed why Irving and Knight were so  highly regarded out of college this past draft season.  Knight definitely has a developed 3 point shot, while Irving has the ability to cut to the rim and finish with relative ease.  Now if only both teams can build around their centerpiece point guards, the Pistons and Cavaliers could have quite a point guard rivalry for the next 12 seasons.
  • Lawrence Frank is now 0-19 in his last 19 games as a head coach in the NBA.

Video Highlights via
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This was a tough game to watch, you guys.  Aside from the awesome opening, with the new hype video and the gospel singers, the new cheerleading squad and improved dance team, and the halftime show with Taio Cruz.. this is going to be a long season for Pistons fans.  There were some highlights tonight that I wasn’t expecting: Brandon Knight coming out, and Ben Gordon finding a rhythm.  There is also a lot for this team to work on, but there is nowhere to go but up.

It should be exciting to get in on the ground floor now with a team that appears to finally be putting the right centerpieces in place for another long run.  Lawrence Frank appears to be in full on “teacher” mode right now with guys like Brandon Knight, Austin Daye and Greg Monroe.  So long as they’re willing to be open to the new system, there is no reason to think that this team won’t improve soon off of these 2 season opening losses.


  1. Andy

    ugh this was another frustrating game to watch. before the season opened, i said the first few games were going to be tough. the reason being, we don’t have much connection and chemistry on the court right now. we’re lacking a rebounder and someone who could cool off the opponents who are on fire. we need a new strategy

  2. Richard

    They just need to continue to put in the work.. Also they need to try out macklin more. He is a big body guy that is waiting for his chance. By putting him in with a min something left isn’t enough time. If the team is down by 20 and the team is playing bad what would it hurt. Words for tomorrow is Macklin needs Mins!!

    • Riv

      I agree with you to see what V. Macklin can do with more minutes, but he looked small (not short) next to that beast from Cleveland named Samuels. That kind of player is what we need up front, but that is not going to be available anytime soon. Also, I think Thabeet might be another “Victory Cigar”, which we don’t need either. Making the playoffs might not happen this year but at least the Pistons are going in the right direction and as long as they are, I can give them a chance and see what they can do. I would work with what they have until the right pieces are available. That’s how they became contenders in the past.

  3. Bellllissimo

    2 other notes.
    16 assists for pistons 28 for cleveland
    1 blocked shot for the pistons…by austin daye

    and hey did you see ben gordon break up a ally oop? come on that deserves some props. he was hustling he was doing more than scoring this game.

    flashes are there for this team just need consistency 🙂

    • Andy

      its definitely gonna take some time before the boys can get their systems right. i hope larry finds some chemistry soon

  4. edt

    Nat you might have missed this but Jerebko pulled off his pants on TV to change his shorts (got blood on them). This is begging for a photoshop


    • Natalie Sitto

      LOL…I saw it I was almost directly behind the bench!

  5. Pistons 4 Life

    I have to admit I missed the classic “Final Countdown” intro. That’s been a staple for years, I hope they don’t get rid of it completely. This team needs bigs so bad. Amazingly Dumars is still obsessed with shooting guards and small forwards. Their lack of size is a big part of the rebounding problem. If CV was in there they for sure would have gotten at least 2 more rebounds. 🙂

    Brandon Knight is going to be a special player. From the looks of it he might end up being the best player on the team by the end of the season, if he isn’t already.

    Over all they just played sloppy tonight. You can tell neither team has played a lot of games yet.

  6. edt

    Just realized something terrible.

    Our current team would be vastly improved if we traded our four or five highest paid guys, gordon stuckey prince, charlie and maxiell for Darko who is now making $5 million a year for the Bucks.

    That’s how inefficient our team is. We are spending over $30 million dollars on talent that could be replaced by a human victory cigar and it would be an upgrade.

    Joe Dumars is gonna get fired.

    • Danny Bohnlein

      Perhaps he’s gonna get fired but.. it won’t be for trading 30 million in salaries for a victory cigar making 5 million per year. Luckily the collective bargaining agreement only lets you trade up to 150% of the salaries you give up, which means Milwaukee could only take 7.5 million back in salaries

      Really, the only people not praising the Tayshaun contract are Pistons fans. Daye has shown so far that he’s apparently not the heir apparent at the SF spot. Gordon appears to be hitting a rhythm, finally. It’s blatantly obvious what this team needs…

      Kris Humphries 🙂

      • edt

        You know I liked a lot of the signings in isolation, I think the Prince contract is decent as is the Stuckey contract, I agree Daye needs another year or two, and while Gordon is overpaid for a guard that never plays D, he looked very good tonight. Our problem is we got all wings, we got all stretch 4’s, we got all 6th men, we have all finesse, it’s a taco made all out of corn wrapper and no taco.

        We are obv not getting Humphries. Not expecting this team to trade until just before the all star break

        • Bellllissimo

          pretty much sums up my feeling…this team is a taco made out of corn wrapper. What else is there to say

          and just fyi i wouldnt mind seeing darko again. im just saying. Or carlos delfino 🙂

    • pistonsfan101

      Darko plays for the Wolves

      • edt

        thanks for the correction 🙂

  7. Corey

    I was at the game, one thing that ticked me off more than anything: Turnovers. Greg Monroe, Ben Gordon, and Austin Daye have the worst butterfingers i have ever seen. Greg couldn’t catch/hold on to the ball to save his life, and Gordon and Daye really don’t appear to be good ball handlers at all. They made Varejao look like an allstar. We need a rebounder BAD. Props to Knight, he had it goin on

    • Pistons4ever

      But when it comes to ball-handling, Maxie is even worse ..

  8. Ratski26

    This was a really rough game to watch. Just two really unorganized, untalented teams trying to scrap together something.

    Just sad to see man. I hate seeing my pistons like this.

    On a side note, I really do love seeing Knight doing well. However, I’m not a fan of the under-sized guards that we have. We have a lot of short players, which is okay, but if we ever make it to the playoffs, we’ll get stomped from outside.

    I’d love to see some trades happen. Prince is great, but re-signing him so he could “retire a piston” won’t get us any awards. Should’ve done that with Rip and Chauncy who, let’s face it, deserve that sort of contract offer more than Prince does. Sign players for what they can bring, not what we can give them.

    Also, EWWWWW seeing all those turnovers. Ewwww. Seeing people dive to throw the ball in-bound only to have it stupidly bounce off another player and turn it over anyway.

    Sloppy game. Hopefully we can pull ourselves together and get something that makes our team unique and can help us win games. Bring out the old playbooks.

    • Ratski26

      Sorry to double-post, but I’m afraid of our upcoming schedule. I don’t see us fairing well at all in our next 8 games. I smell going 0-10 to start…

      However I’ll be here in Detroit, waving my piston flag with the best of them.

  9. Tycoon

    Defense sucks. My first impressions with Frank are right that is why I dont like him from the start. Boston is still winless and I sense another blowout as they try to get their first win. 0-10 start? Lets hope not.

    • Ratski26

      I’m trying to be optimistic too, but if we can’t beat a fellow re-building team like the cavs, then I don’t see how we can beat our upcoming opponents.

      Celtics have been a nightmare for us for years now. Rondo will run all over our backcourt and KG will dominate down low.

      Pacers I could see us beating. We have vengeance on our side for the blowout, and we’ve seen them before. And we’re home for it. I predict we’ll either barely win or get blown out again.

      Magic would be nice to win. Pistons aren’t terrible at home, but man…who can stop Howard.

      I’m excited for the Bulls. To see how Detroit welcomes back Rip. However, I can’t see us coming close to winning this one. Rose and Rip are too talented for any of our backcourt guys, Luol Deng has shown he actually is a fantastic player, and Boozer/Noah are great down low. It’ll be…interesting

      I don’t know a lot about the 76ers or Knicks this year. But if we can’t win our games before and get some forward momentum, well these games could be toss-ups. Again, I’m not well informed, but we’ll see.

      Mavs will rebound from there terrible start and hard. We’ll just be another team in their path to catch up.

      Milwaukee is a game I really hope we can win without question. Struggling team meets struggling team. We’ve been good against them in previous years, so here’s hoping we can do it again.

      Re-looking at it…maybe we’ll go 2-8 or 3-7 to start. But hey, I’m open for surprises from our squad.

    • mleusby24

      Cant blame lack of talent on Coaching. If the players stop responding and stop playing hard then you can blame the coach. But this team just Lacks talent, plain and Simple. No excuses. Our Bigs cant post up, Monroe cant hold onto a ball, Charlie V is not going to help anything. WHen your backup at Center is a 37 year old Ben Wallace, you have problems. Frank has them playing hard right now, we just dont have the talent to demostrate it.

  10. papa

    This team looks hopeless at the moment. Knight needs to start thats a given. I don’t know who I want at 2 gaurd, Stuckey gets lost on Defense and misses way too many lay ups. Ben Gordon is flashes of greatness and Thunderous Bangs of horribleness on both ends, can’t dribble or play defense and makes bone head plays…. So I’d pick stuckey. SF, whatever tay just because Daye sucks. PF Jonas is ok, but he gets pushed around and isn’t much of a helpside defender at all, bad at defensive rebounding as well. So, we need to make a move at PF. Center, Monroe. For now, he doesn’t seem strong enough, agile enough, tall enough, athletic enough, and to be a really good Center, you need most of those attributes on your side….

    I’m scared, we need a blockbuster trade.

  11. James (Australia)

    I said before we resigned Rodney Stuckey that I was worried about the level of talent this team had, yet was more excited about this season than the past two seasons. Losing Hamilton, McGrady and (I don’t think this has got enough mention) Wilcox without getting much in return, coupled with Prince’s injury and Villanueva’s suspension and this team just does not have enough talent to compete like previous years. At least, until the team starts to play the way Frank wants them to and Dumars finds a way of upgrading the roster.

    Knight was fantastic tonight–I hope this wasn’t a one-off against Kyrie Irving (and I am looking forward to their duels in the future)–I hope he can keep this up against other point guards as well. Gordon and Monroe were the best outside of Knight, but Monroe really needs some help up front. More time for Macklin anyone? He can’t be any worse than Maxiell.

    Loved the new intro and the bits and pieces Gores had in store for opening night. However, wins will bring back fans more than any gimmick. I think we struggle through to the middle of January (maybe 2-8, 1-9) before we make some strides toward the end of January and finish the month 8-15, 9-14. I’m optimistic even still!

    • Drew

      Monroe had a pretty rough night. Don’t know if you missed that or not.

      • James (Australia)

        …and was still the best Piston along with Gordon outside of Knight.

  12. Andrew

    If we are committed to rebuilding, and we have a few good blocks to rebuild on, why not let them work on that now! Start Knight! Start Daye!
    Knight, Gordon, Daye, Jerebko, Monroe!
    i mean why not give them some experience while they are young. NO point in playing Prince, and Stuckey when they are not doing much anyways. Just saying..anyone agree?

    • Ratski26

      Honestly, this starting lineup looks like we’re throwing money away. We re-signed Stuckey and Price with pretty big contracts only to bench them? Might as well have traded them or signed them for short-term. It’s frustrating the decisions we’ve made with mediocre players we’re content on keeping.

    • Drew

      Start Daye? Noooooo.

      • gtggtg

        Yes, start Daye… as SG.

        Knight, Daye, Prince, Jerebko, Monroe.

        And I want the “Knight and Daye” T-shirt concession….

  13. AustinAllDaye5

    We should have never resigned Tay. Should have let the young lads play this season out, let AD5 run SF. We all know with or without Tay, this team will be one of the bottom 5 teams in the league. So to sum all of this up, we should have saved our money, receive a top 5 draft pick next year (Austin Rivers), and then use that money on a nice free agent. But wait, Joe Dumars doesnt think this way.

    • XstreamINsanity

      You want to draft another Guard? Why not a PF or Center? Going forward, Knight will become the franchise PG, that’s almost a given (just have to stay on low TO). I’d prefer Gordon if he can get back to his old form, but Gordon or Stuckey can start at SG. Daye will take the starting PF in 2 years. Jerebko also has a chance to take the SF position if we brought in someone to help Monroe, or Macklin develops. Monroe will be our starting PF/C, so we need someone to help him. Rivers will do nothing. He can score, granted, but scoring is not the only thing that wins games, DEFENSE wins games more. And from what I’ve seen of Rivers, he wouldn’t be what the team needs.

  14. 20 Chainz

    Monroe cannot do it all alone. The Cavs outrebounded us by too much. We need a big guy who is actually effective, “looking at Maxiell”.


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