Scouting the Pistons: Spurs have too many options for Detroit to defend

After having a rare two-days off during this compressed NBA season, the San Antonio Spurs (19-9) return to action on their annual RodeoGM Road Trip (3-0) as the Spurs take their league leading seven-game winning streak into the Motor City of Detroit, Michigan.

The Spurs welcomed back injured guard Manu Ginobili to the lineup in a victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday, and the Spurs continued to make their road record (6-8) look more respectable with the victory. In their last 10 games, the Spurs are 8-2.

Case No. 29: Detroit Pistons (8-21)

Home: 6-9. Last 10 games: 4-6. The Pistons are trying to rebound after suffering a loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Commendable areas for the Pistons

Free Throw shooting percentage: The only noticeable statistic about the Pistons is that they’re ranked 6th in the league with a 77.8 free throw shooting percentage.

Deficient areas for the Pistons

As is the case with most lower tier Eastern conference teams, the Pistons are ranked at the bottom in most categories both offensively and defensively.

  • 30th Blocks                                        
  • 29th Rebounds                                   
  • 29th Defensive Rebounds                    
  • 28th Points per game                          
  • 27th Field Goals Made                         
  • 27th Three point attempts                   
  • 26th Field Goal Attempts                     
  • 25th Three point makes                      
  • 25th Field Goal Percentage                  
  • 6th Turnovers                                     

As you can see, most of those statistics revolve around key areas: shooting, rebounding, defending the paint, and taking care of the ball. The Pistons aren’t very good at those key areas, which explains why they’ve only won eight games thus far.

Pistons’ Top Guns

Greg Monroe – 16.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 12.8 FGA for 53% FG

Monroe is a solid big man for the future of the Pistons. He could have a tough night however defending a youthful looking Tim Duncan. Duncan is averaging 17.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game in the month of February. Even more bad news for the Pistons frontline, Duncan averages 20.5 points after two days of rest.

Ben Gordon – 13.9 points, 11.4 FGA for 44% FG

Gordon’s in for a long night, as he’ll not only have to score over Danny Green, but Kawhi Leonard as well.

Rodney Stuckey – 13 points, 9.9 FGA for 41% FG, 5.2 FTA

Stuckey vs. Tony Parker (25.7 points, 6.7 assists in February) is an interesting matchup. The reason is because Stuckey likes to drive to the basket as he averages 5.2 free throw attempts per game, the most of any Piston player. Parker hasn’t faced a “bull” type point guard who constantly drives to the rim since Russell Westbrook and Tyreke Evans.

Brandon Knight – 12.1 points, 11.5 FGA for 40% FG

Tayshaun Prince – 12 points, 12.5 FGA for 41% FG

Either Prince had a lot of loyalty, was looking to get paid, or wanted to shoot 12.5 shots per game, but I’m still clueless as to why he resigned with the Pistons in the summer instead of heading for a contender?

Jonas Jerebko – 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8.1 FGA for 47% FG

Jerebko, get ready to meet a Tiago Splitter who is eating up second units in the paint with 11 points per game in the month of February.

Game Expectation

Though there are some good matchups like Parker-Stuckey, Duncan-Monroe, the Spurs still look like they have way too much fire power withtheir depth for the Pistons to keep up offensively. Gary Neal is averaging 11.3 points per game and shooting 52% from behind the arc in the month of February and then when you throw in a Manu Ginobili who is still getting adjusted with the team, it looks like a high mountain the Pistons will need to climb to stay competitive in this one.

Paul Garcia

About Paul Garcia

Paul is a San Antonio Spurs credentialed media member for Project Spurs. He covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX, and the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals. Paul has been featured on WOAI, Fox 29, and numerous nationwide radio shows.

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