Detroit Pistons Need Better Effort From Rodney Stuckey

Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

It would be too early for Detroit Pistons fans to give up on their team despite a 105-96 loss to the Houston Rockets in the NBA season opener.

After all, one game down and 81 to go.

But yet, being down on the team may not be too premature.

James Harden had an incredible 44 minutes of action and 14-of-25 shooting for 37 points. But the Pistons still need defensively to make sure they don’t get burned by one guy on offense. He’s not the only dangerous player they’ll see.

The offense wasn’t really clicking either. The Pistons’ two starting guards of Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight combined for 6-of-25 in shooting from the floor. But they did combine for 10 assists and only had two turnovers between them.

Kyle Singler had a good rookie debut shooting 4-of-5 from the floor including 2-of-2 in 4-pointers.

The Pistons were outrebounded 45-36.

Still, it was OK for three quarters with the Pistons holding a 79-72 lead. But the Rockets exploded for a 33-15 advantage in the fourth. Obviously, coach Lawrence Frank needs to come up with a better fourth-quarter strategy, especially against players like Harden.

“You can live with (James) Harden going big because at one point prior to him hitting those two threes, they were 3-of-10 from three,” said Frank. “Then all of a sudden we give (Jeremy) Lin those two threes because we adjusted our coverage with Harden a little bit to make him a passer, but we just have to be more precise with our angles, the timing of our bumps, and how we close out. The damage in the fourth quarter wasn’t really precipitated by Harden as it was by others.”

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