Game #4 - Detroit 104, TORONTO 91
|Not as scary as the logo suggests|
Our coaching staff felt the mismatch to try and exploit this game was our rising star Greg Monroe against Andrea Bargnani. Bargs is a fine offensive player but he's soft on D and doesn't hit the boards well. Really outside of Valanciunas there was no inside force to fear and even he's just a rookie. My hat is off to Lawrence Frank for a fine gameplan as we were able to score 64 points in the paint and had an 18-4 advantage in second chance points.
Of course the star of the show was Greg Monroe. Monroe played 41 minutes, scored 39 points on 17/28 shooting with 15 boards and 3 steals. While Monroe did the heavy lifting he was not alone in the efforts. Knight controlled the offensive pace with 10 assists, Drummond had 10 boards and 3 blocks and low and behold Rodney Stuckey showed up for a game and scored 20 points and played some good defense for a change holding DeMar DeRozan to 3/11 shooting and 6 points.
For the Raps, Kyle Lowry lead the way missing a triple double by a single rebound and finishing with 20 poitns, 12 assists and 9 boards while Bargnani contributed 21 points (but only 5 rebounds) and Valanciunas went for 16 and 8.
Up next comes a big test going into Brooklyn and their new arena. The new look Nets are 3-0 and while we are 3-1 two of those wins have been Washington and Toronto so not exactly world beaters.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Game #5 - Detroit 118, BROOKLYN 111
|In the house that Jay Z built|
1Q - 10m : Drummond strips Humphries and then finishes the jam on the break. Next possession offensive rebound and a putback. Man I love this kid.
1Q - 7m : 5 minutes in and the two-fifths of the starting lineup I don't like is back at it. Stuckey bricks a three and turns it over on the following possession while on the other end Tayshaun Prince has opened a drive-thru for Gerald Wallace. An uneasy 14-6 lead for us at this point.
1Q - 6m : Brook Lopez started on the bench with a nagging injury so Humpries has been at center. Drummond swatted one of his attempts but he's also beaten Drummond off the dribble twice now and has 8 points. Time to switch Monroe to C and bring in Jonas.
1Q - 4:30m : Jerebko has an off board and putback and then drive for a dunk in 90 seconds. Love the hustle. Stuckey apparently reads the blog mid quarter and suddenly has 8 points and 4 boards and has held Joe Johnson scoreless and Tayshaun got beat off the bounce yet again so he's going to the pine for now.
1Q - 3m : A bad Stuckey pass leads to a Brooklyn fast break but on the other end Monroe posterizes Gerald Wallace who came to help when he took Hump off the dribble. Monroe with 10 already and a 26-14 Detroit lead.
EO1Q : A sloppy end gives us a 33-22 lead. Brooklyn starters play the entire first and D-Will is 0/6. Jonas has 6 off the bench but Bynum, English and Max have combined for nothing.
2Q - 9m : We've opened a 15 point lead and Avery Johnson couldn't wait to put Johnson, Blatche and Humphries back in. I guess Lopez must be worse off that I assumed. BK hasn't scored for us but has kept D-Will to 0/8 shooting so I won't complain.
2Q - 8m : Monroe with a sweet finish over Blatche and D-Will. Monroe has 18 and Blatche clearly can't stop him.
2Q - 5m : The Nets have gone zone only to see Drummond, Monroe and Knight bury shots on three straight possessions. We lead 52-28 on 61% shooting - BKL shooting 34%
2Q - 4:30m : Humphries scores on Drummond, Drummond bricks an ill-advised jumper against the zone and then Hump does it again on the other end. He has 16 and timeout Pistons so Lawrence can give Andre an earful.
2Q - 3m : Humphries now has 18 and we're going to run a double at him for a bit and see if that slows him up. Who would have thought his best night scoring in his life would not involve Kim Kardashian?
2Q - 1:40m : Two Blatche free throws and we're down to a 13 point lead. BK picked up his 3rd foul and it would be nice if Stuckey, Maggette and Prince could pick up some offense to close out the half.
2Q - :30s : Drummond in to make sure Monroe doesn't pick up a 3rd foul and he shoots a three. Not an "oh the shot clock is at two and I better fire" three - just a "I forgot I'm a 6-11 center with a questionable at best jumper from short range" three. W.T.F. He makes up for it on D with a steal and a jam on the lob on the break. Rookies....
Half - we lead 58-48 but this one should have been over already. Very much like the Charlotte game and it makes me nervous they are this close with Williams playing like crap. Tayshaun has 0 points - I'd like to bring Jerebko out to start the 2nd half but then we would have zero bench scoring.
3Q - 9:40m : Stuckey with his 5th TO, Drummond gets blocked by Brook Lopez who I guess Johnson decided should be on the floor, Lopez hits two Js and Gerald Wallace buries one in Prince's face. 7-0 Brooklyn run and a timeout.
3Q - 6m : Knight with a steal and two buckets and Jerebko off the bench for 6 quick points to get to 18 for the night. Monroe with his first bucket of the half and we're up 70-59. As hard as it is to say but I see no reason why Prince should be starting over Jerebko at this point.
3Q - 5:30m : On cue JJ buries a 3 - 21 points on 9/11 shooting. LOVE that guy.
3Q - 3m : Will Bynum comes in, promptly misses a 3 and is sent right back to the bench. We don't need missed threes by bench players up 11. We need the clock to tick away and the lead to remain about that until the starters come back. This also means Stuckey and his 5 TOs are running the point now.
3Q - :43s : Monroe picks up his 3rd foul and with a 13 point lead Frank inserts Slava Kravtsov for his first regular season action. Seconds later Brook Lopez blows by him for a dunk. Welcome to the NBA Slava! 3rd ends with a 86-77 lead.
4Q - 11:40m : Slava opens the 4th quarter by hammering Kris Humphries and possibly muttering "I must break you" under his breath. Stuckey, Maggette, Prince, Maxiell and Slava on the floor to open quarter. Frank hoping BK, Jonas and Monroe will carry them to the finish and Prince realizes he's quickly been relegated to "the guy that starts and its ok if he blows because we'd rather have someone better come off the bench" status.
4Q - 10:30m : A Mirza Teletovic three cuts it to 5 and brings a timeout and new 5 for the Pistons on the floor. 88-83 Detroit. English with a huge triple out of the timeout.
4Q - 9m : Monroe travels, G-Wallace fills one up and then rejects a Jerebko shot. Nets within 4 now and once again we look like we forget how to play in the 4th.
4Q - 8m : Monroe called for another travel. Frank complains. Blatche called for a travel on next possession. The NBA...where Andre Blatche's best use is for makeup calls. It's FANtastic!
4Q - 6m : Gerald Wallace drills a triple to give him 20. Jerebko answers with a bucket giving him 23. Monroe leads all with 29 and Drummond picks up foul number 5 with 6:13 to go. Lopez hits two free throws and its 100-98 Detroit.
4Q - 5m : Deron Williams hits two free throws giving Brooklyn a 102-100 lead. Williams is 1/10 on the night and we've blown a 20+ point lead now. Good times.
4Q - 3m : Monroe's dunk gives him 32 on the night and tie game.
4Q - 1:30m : Joe Johnson hits two free throws but Andre Drummond hits a prayer with the shot clock at one to tie the game. A Monroe block leads to a Kim English throwdown to give us a 2 point lead.
4Q - 1m : English with a dagger putting us up four. Drummond with a steal and Jerebko finishes with a dunk. 113-107 time out Brooklyn.
Final : Deron bricks a few more, Knight hits a couple FTs, meaningless baskets are traded and its a 118-111 road win. Deron had 17 assists but shot 2/13 for 11 points. Great D by BK tonight and he did the job offensively too with 15 and 8. Jonas finishes with 25, Drummond with 19 and Kim English closes out the game with some huge buckets on his way to 9 points. And not surprisingly Greg Monroe is player of the game with 32/13 with a side of 2 steals and a block. The Moose is a beast!
PLAYER OF THE GAME
We now sit at 4-1 on the season and I think that despite it only being 5 games in we might have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. We have Boston next which will give us our first taste of the better teams in the league so I think that will be a good measuring stick. This team is definitely not without flaws though. Jerebko has easily outplayed Prince and I was not surprised in the least that with Stuckey and Prince on the floor the game slipped away but with English and Jerebko we regained the lead and finished off Brooklyn. I don't know that those guys should start but I think they need to be closing the game out and playing key minutes while I look for a trade for Prince and Stuckey.
One thing I am concerned about is our depth at guard. Will Bynum is just terrible and is pretty much in the realm of Daye and Villanueva as guys I don't want to see on the floor anymore. Problem is he is all we have as a backup PG. Rumor has it though that Jason Kidd isn't too happy in New York. Its crazy that he has a a contract that will last through his 41st birthday but its only $3 million a year. We couldn't give him any more PG time here than New York does but I certainly wouldn't mind him playing 10-15 minutes at the two spot if we decided to go with English. I may make a phone call to the Knicks front office and see what's up.