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Beware The First Game Of The New Coach | San Antonio 100, Detroit 109

By Jeff Koch on February 10, 2014.

AP Photo / Detroit Free Press

When I heard that the Pistons had fired Mo Cheeks over the weekend, my immediate reaction was: there goes Monday’s game.

For whatever reason (I’m sure we can psychoanalyze our way to several), teams always get up for that first game after a coach has been fired and an interim has stepped in. There’s a spring in the step, a renewed energy, and often an ‘unleashing’.

Detroit is not lacking for talent, either. Drummond might be the best young big in the game. Jennings and Stuckey can both score in bunches. Josh Smith, when focused, is a devastating two way player. They are big and strong and fast and opportunistic.

And they just overwhelmed the Spurs tonight. They were more physical and aggressive, forcing TOs, getting offensive rebounds for tip ins, attacking the rim and drawing fouls. They put the Spurs on their heels early and never really relented. San Antonio was able to keep up offensively for a bit, but if the game was to turn, it had to be defensively. And it just never did. Detroit kept making contested jumps shots AND running good offense to get open looks close in. And make 3s, despite being the worst 3-pt shooting team in the league.

New coach or otherwise, the Pistons were just the more dominant team on the night and the Spurs got their butt kicked.

Done, gone, and on to the next one.

The Spurs still have a chance to close out the first leg of the Rodeo Road Trip at 4-2, which would be impressive considering all of the injuries, both players out and players playing through. One upside to tonight’s game is that Parker and Duncan both played limited minutes, so the team should be relatively fresh. It will also be the last game for a week, so no reason not to leave it all on the court. Boston is well-caoched and has good talent, but San Antonio should win the game.

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