Little ball movement, unforced turnovers, and poor transition defense was what doomed the Pistons in their loss to Memphis on Friday. Anxious to get back on the court and right the ship on Saturday night, the Pistons were expected to cut back on the mistakes against the Dallas Mavericks. They did just that…at least for a half. Up by 11 points in the closing minutes of the first half, the Pistons were controlling the ball, the pace and seemingly the game. Then the second half started and a quiet O.J. Mayo began making a whole lot of noise for the Mavericks. Leading all scorers with 27 points, all but three coming in the second half, O.J. Mayo and the Dallas Mavericks sent the Pistons away with a 77-92 loss.
The normally dependable anchor on the block, Pistons center Greg Monroe got off to a shaky start that set the tone for the rest of his night. His first shot was a lay-up blocked by Chris Kaman, the second was a clear 'bunny' miss right at the hoop. From there it didn't get much better for Greg Monroe. Going 4-for-17 from the field with every shot coming in the paint, Monroe couldn't buy a basket. Noticeable frustration on the offensive end leaked into his defense, as Monroe was caught a number of times with his back turned to the Dallas fast break; a break that yielded 35 points for Dallas.
"I (have) got to convert those," Greg Monroe said about his at-the-rim misses. "Me not converting those shots is unacceptable."
To be fair, Monroe wasn't the only Piston having trouble putting the ball in the hoop. Pistons fans still having nightmares of the dreadful eight-point third quarter in Orlando on November 21st, must have been in a cold sweat as the Pistons came out of Saturday's half-time break with an 11-point, eight turnover third quarter. The Pistons were outscored 29-50 in the second half, but it wasn't because the Pistons weren't getting quality shots off. In fact, the Pistons had more than 20 shot attempts in the paint in the second half. The Dallas defense was tough near the rim, but as a whole the Pistons were struggling to make the baskets that are supposed to be automatic for NBA talent.
"Did you see the types of shots we were getting?" Lawrence Frank rhetorically asked the media in the post-game locker room. "We missed 29 shots within two feet of the basket. We got to make those shots."
Frank went on to point out the poor defensive effort in transition, and the heavy turnover numbers as the cause of the team's second-half meltdowns; the Pistons had 16 turnovers on the night. The loss pins the Pistons with a 1-10 road record for the season. The team returns to the Palace for a Monday night match-up with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and will stay at home for two games after as they wait for the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls to roll into town. The Pistons have played well at home this season with a 4-3 record, and with each of the next three games posing favorable match-ups for the team, Pistons fans should expect to come out of the three-game home stand with at least two wins.
Tags: Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, NBA
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