The Pistons had their chances late against the Bulls on Monday, fighting back from a double-digit fourth quarter deficit to pull within just two points with 2:26 remaining. Of course, a horrible decision by Josh Smith to launch an ill-advised three a couple of possessions later doomed Detroit’s chances, and once Jimmy Butler knocked down a three of his own, the game was effectively sealed in Chicago’s favor.
But while the late scramble was admirable, Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy lamented the way his team fell behind big early, with a dismal first half performance that saw Detroit allow 60 points on 52.9 percent shooting over the game’s first two periods.
From David Mayo of MLive.com:
“We didn’t guard anybody,” Van Gundy said. “They had 60 points, they had 12 fast-break points, at halftime. We didn’t guard anybody. We didn’t compete.”
Greg Monroe said he believed the Pistons lost focus defensively because of offensive frustration.
“We let our offense dictate our defense during that stretch, and some shots didn’t fall during that stretch, and I think that carried over to the defensive end,” Monroe said after a 16-point, 10-rebound game.
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Despite Smith’s late-game miscue and 8-of-19 shooting, Van Gundy was pleased with his overall effort on both ends of the floor. Perhaps more disturbing was the way the Bulls’ big men, specifically Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah, dominated Detroit’s tandem of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummund in the paint and on the glass for the bulk of the contest.