Game 18: Cavs at Pistons
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Pistons are last in the NBA in attendance. The Cavs got to see that up close and personal on Monday. Their announced attendance was 11,352. One operative said there were about 3,000 in the seats.
For some reason, the fans are turned off by this Pistons' team. I don't know why. I kind of like it. They went with a big lineup for much of the second half with 6-11 giants Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. I'd consider putting them together in the starting lineup. Throwing in the long-armed Jason Maxiell, who had five blocks, the Pistons recorded a season-high 13 swats on the night.
The Cavs were already short-handed in the backcourt with starters Dion Waiters (sprained left ankle) and Kyrie Irving (hairline fracture of his left index finger) out of the lineup.
Coach Byron Scott shifted Alonzo Gee from small forward to shooting guard. He responded with one of his worse games of the season. He had six points and shot 2 of 10 from the field, 0 of 3 from the 3-point arc.
His other move was to insert Omri Casspi into the starting lineup at small forward. That worked a little better, as he had 10 points and four rebounds. He had trouble hanging with Kyle Singler, who had 15 points and six rebounds. The rookie from Duke is giving Coach Lawrence Frank good minutes.
The Cavs were atrocious in the first half when the Pistons stormed out to a 56-39 lead.
One thing they did do was play hard. Of course, that should be there almost every night. And, lately, it has.
Once they get Irving and Waiters back, they should be much better. Irving is still a couple weeks away. There's an outside shot that Waiters plays on Wednesday, but I'd say the weekend is a safer bet.
UP NEXT: The Cavs host Chicago at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
SF Omri Casspi (6-9, 225) vs. Tayshaun Prince (6-9, 215)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Jason Maxiell (6-7, 260)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Greg Monroe (6-11, 250)
SG Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Kyle Singler (6-8, 230)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Brandon Knight (6-3, 187)
Cavs – F Kevin Jones, G Dion Waiters
Pistons - C Viacheslav Kravtsov, F Khris Middleton
Rodney Mott, Sir Allen Conner, Sean Corbin