Too much Carmelo Anthony, too many New York Knick three-pointers, and way too many Pistons turnovers set the table on for a 121-100 blowout loss for the visiting Pistons at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon. Brandon Knight played an aggressive game offensively scoring a team-high 21 points to go along with his five assists, Greg Monroe had 12 points, and Kyle Singler scored 16 points. The Pistons starters were effective, and worked to get a 20 point halftime deficit down to eight points midway through the third quarter. But in the end, down eight points in the third quarter was as close as the Pistons were going to get. The lead was too much and the Knicks played too well for the Pistons to steal a win.
Scoring 10 of the Knicks first 16 points, Carmelo Anthony had 21 points in the first half alone; Anthony scored 29 points for the game. But as the Pistons attempted to adjust, making it tough on Carmelo Anthony by doubling, Anthony did something that he's not normally known for: he passed to the open man.
Falling victim to Knicks head coach Mike Woodson's "next best option" philosophy, the Pistons were unable to keep track of the Knicks shooters as Anthony and Raymond Felton attacked the lane, drawing the attention of the Pistons defense. Knicks long-range shooters Steve Novak, Rasheed Wallace, J.R. Smith, and even Jason Kidd seemingly could not miss from beyond the arch on Sunday as the four players combined for 11 of the Knicks 17 three-point makes.
The Pistons defended the paint well, holding the Knicks to only 24 points in the paint. But the Knicks' 48.1-percent shooting percentage, including a 51.5-percent mark from three-point land, tells the story. The Knicks scored 76 points off of jump shots alone, and 20 Pistons turnovers leading to 33 Knicks points helped New York's shooters set-up in transition for high-percentage shots. But really, the Knicks were flat-out, red hot.
After the game, Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank was quick to point out his team's turnovers. Frank also commented on the Knicks stellar shooting, but put a lot of the blame for the open looks on the Pistons inability to defend the high pick and roll the Knicks used to open up their long range shooters.
"Our inability to defend the ball in pick and roll shots," Frank answered when asked what he saw. "Those (open shots) are what we call dare shots."
Deep threes can be called dare shots, but the Pistons inability to recognize which Knicks shooters they were 'daring' is what did the Pistons in on Sunday afternoon. Not every team is going to shoot over 50-percent from three point range, but every team is going to take the open shot off a pick and roll. Until the Pistons can become a complete defensive team, the losses should could continue to come at a hard and few rate. They've got the Portland Trailblazers on Monday, a team that loves to use the high pick and roll with rookie point guard Damian Lillard. Let's hope the Pistons can figure out their pick and roll defense overnight.
, Detroit Pistons