A Win Slips Through Charlotte’s Hands

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

The Pistons-Bobcats game was not the most highly anticipated game of the night, but it was closely played and provided some end-of-game controversy.  Let’s take a look at how Detroit and Charlotte ran their crunch time plays.

At the end of regulation with the game tied, Charlotte runs a D.J. Augustin-Bismack Biyombo pick and roll.   Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight trap Augustin as he comes off the screen.  Augustin then swings it to Gerald Henderson on the wing.  Jonas Jerebko doesn’t rotate to cover the rolling Biyombo, who is wide open under the basket.  Especially in a late game situation like this, it would seem more logical to have Jerebko rotate to Biyombo and Monroe cover Mullens on the wing.  Instead, Monroe has to cover a ton of ground to get back to Biyombo.  In the end, none of this matters, as Henderson blows by Tayshaun Prince and takes a contested layup instead of passing to Biyombo.  Video is below.

With five seconds left in overtime, the Bobcats needed a three to tie, but the Detroit timekeeper started the clock before the ball was inbounded.  The refs blew the whistle in the middle of the play, so this gives us an opportunity to see Detroit’s reaction to the same play twice.

On the original play, we see Byron Mullens and Eduardo Najera set a double screen for Reggie Williams at the top of the key.  Watch Tayshaun Prince and Will Bynum both point for Jonas Jerebko to switch onto the open Williams.  Jerebko sticks to his man and only puts a hand up to deny the pass.  Williams is open, but the referees blow the play dead because of the clock malfunction.  Video of the play is below

After the clock was fixed, the Bobcats went to the same play again: Williams running off a double screen at the top of the key.  This time, Jerebko listens to Prince and Bynum and switches onto Williams to stop the play.  Mullens is forced to receive the pass and ends up missing a contested three-pointer.  Video is below.

Jonas Jerebko could have quite easily become the goat on two separate occasions, but Gerald Henderson and the clock gods saved him.  On the other hand, from a tanking perspective, Jerebko was acting in the best interests of the Pistons franchise but was twice foiled.

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