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Brandon Jennings: Detroit Pistons don’t hold themselves accountable

Mar 9, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith

BOSTON – Do the Detroit Pistons hold each other accountable?

“No,” Brandon Jennings said directly.

The Pistons’ faint playoff hopes are disintegrating. With a 118-111 loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday, Detroit has lost three straight, seven of eight and 10 of 12. The Atlanta Hawks lead the Pistons by three games with 19 remaining for Detroit.

Jennings indicated he still believes Maurice Cheeks wasn’t the Pistons problem, and the team’s record before and after the coach’s firing supports that notion. The Pistons, who were 24-38 (.387) under Cheeks, have gone just (.231) under interim coach John Loyer.

The problem?

“Trust,” Jennings said. “Just trusting each other, guys willing to sacrifice for one another. I think that’s just the main thing, trust and sacrifice.

“With good teams, somebody sees somebody messing up, then you tell them. Straight up.”

As Jennings tells it, there’s no healthy player in the locker room who does that anymore.

Jennings said Chauncey Billups held players accountable when he was healthy, but Billups has missed the Pistons’ last 13 games and 24 of 25 due to injury.

“Preaching every night, like, ‘If you want to be great, we’ve got to hold each other accountable. If he ain’t doing this, if he ain’t doing that, take him out.’ That’s what he was mostly preaching,” Jennings said. “He’s kind of been away with the injuries and stuff like, so it’s been kind of quiet.”

Why hasn’t the team’s starting point guard taken the responsibility?

“It’s never really been in my character to call guys out,” Jennings said. “I’m more just show them by example.”

Fair enough, though the Pistons probably should have paid closer attention to Jennings’ personality when they acquired him this summer. Leadership often naturally falls to the point guard, and when he’s not willing or able to accept that responsibility, the fallout can be difficult for everyone to manage.

Other natural leaders are often teams’ highest-paid and/or most-used players.

Asked how the Pistons would respond to Smith – the Pistons’ highest-paid player and minutes leader – leading, Jennings implied he hadn’t seen that.

“I don’t know,” Jennings said. “I think he is like the franchise guy, so he has that right if you ask me.”

Smith seems to understand that. When he signed with the Pistons in July, he said: “I just see myself just trying to fill that leadership role, being able to be vocal.”

  1. pharohislife - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    There are no leaders on that team. The guys they gave big money to this past summer are not capable. Smith is not capable and Jennings is not capable. The rest of the team is made up of young guys, so as constructed they’re just going to have to be a team without leaders and be nothing more than mediocre.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Went to the game yesterday and cannot believe how they have failed to focus on building that team from Drummond/Monroe out.

      Jesus, I watched the arms of those guys just reach over and grab rebound after rebound. Simply amazed at their ability.

  2. divan22 - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    No leadership and no franchise player type of talent. Bad combination.

  3. sportsfan18 - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    Giving Jennings a deal (as well as giving Josh Smith THAT much money) was criminal on Dumars part.

    This is Brandon Jenning’s 5th season in the NBA. Since he’s only shooting .377% from the field this yr, it WILL be the 4th out of 5 seasons that Brandon has shot LESS than 40% from the field.

    His career field goal percentage is only .391%

    THAT is NOT someone you trade for or want.

    It takes him a lot of shots to get the points he does score. I mean .391% shooting is VERY low. He’s fortunate that he got such a contract that he did with the Pistons…

    I mean .391% is beyond bad for a pro guard to shoot from the field.

    So far this season, Brandon is in 339th place in shooting percentage out of 387 per the FG% stat on S.I. dot com stats…

    And most of those below him are scrubs who haven’t played nearly as much as he is.

    In OTHER words, he’s one of the WORST shooter for players who play a lot in the entire league.

    Brandon, your teammates CAN’T trust your shots to go in the basket…

    Then we shouldn’t even talk about Josh Smith trying to shoot the threes… .231% He is so far down the list of 3 pt percentage it isn’t funny, yet he keeps shooting them.

    Here’s the best way to tell you about Josh and his 3 pt shooting.

    He’s taken the 68th MOST threes in the league this yr yet he’s in 266th place in making threes percentage wise…

    Josh believes when he’s in a hole he needs to keep digging…

    The Pistons ASKED for this. They WENT after these two players… They WANTED them…

    The way they are playing was KNOWN to them when they went after them…

    • therealhtj - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:57 AM

      In Smith’s defense, he really only takes so many 3’s is because the 4 pt shot hasn’t been introduced.

      • balooga999 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:04 AM

        Channeling your inner Antoine Walker I see.

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