Jonas Jerebko started his second game in a row for the Pistons and got the assignment to guard the Turkish NT-player Turkoglu as I thought before the game. The Pistons started the game excellent and Jonas was really active on both ends of the floor. Pistons quick guards and special Ben Gordon just sliced the defense of the Toronto players and got easy buckets. Detroit was up 28-24 after the first quarter after letting the Raptors get started in the end of the quarter. The Raptors flow continued in the second quarter which was where the game turned around. The ten point margin was kept throughout the third quarter and at one point they were down 17 points. But they came back out of the hole, and at one point in the fourth quarter of the game they were back in the lead. But Toronto took back the momentum and won the game, 110-99.
On the Pistons homepage Jonas gets a lot of credits for his defense on Turkoglu and his game in general. I think Jonas did a very good in his 1-1 defense on him. The big problem was the big-big P&R, with Turkoglu and Bosh, that the Raptors used in the second quarter more and more on the top of key. The Pistons tried to hedge and recover but were late to many times giving Bosh easy dunks in the paint. This really hurt their defense and was a big part of letting them score more than 40 points in the second quarter. I know the rules are different in the NBA with the defensive 3-second rule in the paint but it still feels like they should have been able to have better rotations on the P&R situation for example.
I was hoping they would start switching on that screen on the top to let Jonas pick up Bosh and the big man of Pistons handle Turkoglu. After halftime the Pistons came out and did this. They got some trouble with handling Turkoglu out on the floor but they got rid of the open points in the paint. Jonas had only three rebounds, I believe they missed at least one in the stats, but that’s not most important. Jonas is so active on every rebound or loose ball and the “hands on the ball making your team-mate get the rebound” is not counted in the stats.
Jonas first points of the game came on a put-back and that’s so significant for his game. He crashed the board and with his long arms his first two points in the NBA was a fact. He gathered 8 points after nailing an open three pointer, another 2-pointer in the paint and 1/2 on the free throws. In the second half he had a huge two hand block and I think he had his second block in the same defensive possession. Jerebko played 25 minutes but I think if he wouldn’t had got in foul trouble in the second half after some bad calls he would have played even more, and the Pistons would have needed that!
One thing i hope to see more is that the guards of the Pistons passes the ball to the open players when they penetrate. Ben Gordon, Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey can all beat their defenders 1-1 but they don’t pass the ball when help is coming. Ben had some nice runners which he dropped tonight but I would like to see more of the penetrate and dish game. That would give them more open shots and create more spacing in the offense. Toronto plays much more like that, but I guess thats part of all their European players making them play a more European style of basketball.
On Friday Jerebko and his team head down to Orlando. They beat them the other night and Jonas started and defended Vince Carter. Will we see a replay of that?