A week ago, the godfather Henry Abbott recounted the origin of the “No Layups” defensive philosophy as told by Dean Oliver. To no one’s surprise, this type of physical and pain-inducing defense was a reaction to the Bad Boy Pistons of legend.
Today’s Pistons have a much taken this defensive philosophy, turned it on its head, and have made it a mainstay in their offensive lexicon. That Pistons’ team- yep, the one that sports Brandon Knight and Charlie Villanueva’s layup missing abilities- just narrowly missed out on beating the Celtics on their home floor.
At one point, the Celtics lead the Pistons by 18. The Pistons, however, were able to erase that after a third quarter that saw Doc Rivers completely over extend his starters and give Chris Wilcox two stints of playing time. TWO! All while super-sub Shavlik Randolph sat uncomfortably on the bench (even he must have been thinking, “really?!” after Wilcox continued to let up offensive rebounds and points at the rim).
When discussing tonight’s win, it’s also important to put it in it’s proper context. And that includes mentioning that Jonas Jerebko was defending Paul Pierce late into the fourth quarter and Charlie Villanueva played 23 minutes and took 17 shots (last weekend I was discussing the Dominican Republic National team with my friend Jhonny- a native of La Romana- and he emphatically talked about how terrible Villanueva is. You would think a country with such a low basketball profile would at least think somewhat highly of a countryman being in the NBA).
Luckily, Jeff Green was there to make us all feel a little better with thoughts of a fully healthy Celtics team with a fully engaged Jeff Green. Dude played like a flat out superstar tonight.
Grades and more on the way!