Was there ever a more ornery coach than Stan Van Gundy?
The Detroit Pistons bench boss predictably tore into his troops after a flat, uninspired performance Saturday night in New York. The Pistons lost 102-89 to the Knicks, who were on the second night of a back-to-back, playing without Kristaps Porzingis, and came in having lost 16 of their previous 19 games.
"We should all be disappointed - it was ridiculous," Van Gundy said after the game, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. "We were just terrible and didn't bring any energy to the game. ...
"We didn't play well at either end; it was an embarrassing performance."
The Pistons got nothing going at the offensive end, short of Andre Drummond hauling in nine offensive rebounds and catching some lobs from Reggie Jackson. Outside of Drummond, Pistons starters shot just 28.5 percent from the field, and went 1-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Their starting backcourt of Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was particularly putrid, combining to shoot 6-of-26 from the field while their Knicks counterparts shot 11-of-17.
Van Gundy didn't mince words about his guards' play.
"Our starters on the perimeter were obviously horrendous," he said.
The Knicks, who shot 53.2 percent as a team, were paced by Carmelo Anthony, who went for 24 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists a night after bricking a potential game-winner against the Boston Celtics. Shooting guard Arron Afflalo pitched in with 20 points and seven rebounds, while center Robin Lopez went for 21 and nine.
Van Gundy, as is his wont, tried to appeal to his players' pride.
"They dominate us," he said. "We can't play Arron Afflalo and Carmelo Anthony; we have nobody to play those two guys.
"Robin Lopez always plays great against Andre (Drummond) - always."
Van Gundy won't have to wait long to find out how his players respond to his message. The Pistons have a quick turnaround, returning home to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
- With h/t to Eye on Basketball