Well, there really weren't a whole lot of positives to take from this game, as the Grizzlies were playing catch-up from the opening tip it seemed.
Rudy Gay managed to salvage what was shaping up to be a very poor showing by hitting 5 of his last 6 shots after starting 3/11 from the floor. He played with great energy on both ends of the court, although he might want to read a scouting report on Tayshaun Prince, who is, in fact, left-handed. It was good to see him continue to be aggressive even when things weren't really coming easily to him.
Kyle Lowry got plenty of minutes to showcase his ability to be the primary point guard, but didn't display that he was ready for that task. Too often, he was out of control with the ball in his hands and he did little to dissuade Chauncey Billups from doing whatever he wanted, as the All-Star PG went off for a season high with 28 points and 14 assists. Kyle might become the complementary player to Michael Conley that everyone hopes, but he is still a long way off from that goal.
Pau Gasol had a good all-around game with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, but as per his M.O. never looked to assert himself with the ball in his hands. If you read my earlier post, none of this is really news to you.
Hakim Warrick had a second strong outing, posting 17 points and 6 rebounds. For the first time this season that I can recall, Hak looked like a player who belonged on this Memphis team and could fit in for the future. If Stro continues to be bitten by the illness/injury bug or underperform like he did tonight, the Hak could find himself in Memphis for the long-term as a valuable role player off the bench.
Like I said above, there was nothing substantial to be taken from this game, as the Pistons were able to coast for long periods after building a 20+ point lead in the first half, but at least the Grizzlies didn't fold up the tents and go home. It's a minor amount of solace to take, but when you're on a 5 game losing streak, you take what you can get.
If there is nothing else to take out of this game it was that the Grizzlies picked up their first technical foul of the season for something other than illegal defense. Iavaroni picked up the T with less than a minute to go in the game. That ties Memphis with Utah for the fewest in the league. Nice to see that someone on the team finally had enough with the lopsided referee calls. Getting one a little earlier may have awakened the refs to the idea that Memphis deserves a fair shake.
Memphis looked tired again. No reason for it since they haven't played since Saturday night but the team was flat for most of the first quarter.
Hakim Warrick scored well and showed some life but his defense was worse than Gasol's tonight as well. Stro seemed to get banged on his knee opening up playing time for Hakim. Something tells me that we will be seeing more of Hak off the bench even with the bad defense.
Gasol led the team in assists, was second in rebounds and scoring. Not a bad game but allowing Maxiel to go 7-8 from the field was pretty pathetic. Zero blocks from Gasol pretty much tells you all you need to know. Kyle Lowry had more blocks than Darko and Pau combined and he only had 1. Speaking of Darko he started on fire but the lack of playing time due to injury really showed later in the game as he all but disappeared. He finished with 12 pts but only 3 boards in 25 minutes.
The Grizzlies backcourt was toasted. Billups set a season high in points, Rip Hamilton was 11-16 for the game. Defense was pretty poor all around. Great effort off the bench from Navarro, Lowry and Hak made the game look closer than it was. Everytime the Grizzlies made a run Detroit had an answer.
Three more days off will hopefully get the Grizz back in shape and focused on playing defense.