Opponent Scouting: Toronto Raptors. (39-29)

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST the Pistons will welcome the Toronto Raptors to the Palace. The Pistons are on one day of rest after losing to the Jazz on Wednesday. The Raptors are on the 2nd night of a back to back after getting beaten by the Thunder last night.

 

The Them:

The Raptors are real good, and even though their record has fallen back a bit in the midst of some injuries, especially without Kyle Lowry, but they continue to sport one of the best offenses in the NBA with an offensive efficiency of 109.9, and their defensive efficiency has not fallen too far as it stands at a just sort of mediocre 105.7.

Especially with Lowry out, DeMar DeRozan leads the way for the Raptors, averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He still doesn’t really shoot 3s, and when he does he usually misses, but he is a master of the midrange and getting to the hoop where he draws tons of fouls, but Pistons fans probably don’t need to be reminded of what DeRozan can do. After him, Serge Ibaka is one of the new guys in town, giving them a legitimate starting 4 and he is fitting in pretty well from the start, scoring 13.8 points and blocking 1.8 shots per game and scoring pretty efficiently, they have also had success flexing him to the center spot for stretches. Jonas Valanciunas can score and rebound, and has historically given Drummond fits, but he only plays 26 minutes per game because of his defensive woes, which are significant. DeMarre Carroll has never lived up to his contract, but he is still a scrappy player who can defend and mostly doesn’t kill your offense. Cory Joseph is starting in place of Lowry right now, and while he has not been quite as good as last year, he has mostly still been rock solid as a backup and a serviceable starter when needed (like now). Normal Powell is getting more minutes now that Terrence Ross is gone and he looks pretty good when he is on the floor as a guard who is a super athlete. Patrick Patterson is still a really good stretch 4 who can shoot and defend, P.J. Tucker doesn’t score much be he can defend like hell, Delon Wright is a guard who is decent I guess, but not really worth noting. Jakob Poeltl is big and super young, Fred VanVleet is not nearly as Dutch as his name would suggest.

 

Matchups to watch:

-       Andre vs JV: Jonas has given Andre all kinds of problems in the past, and while Andre can usually give it back just as well on the other end, Andre usually ends up losing out because he gets into foul trouble while JV doesn’t. Andre needs to avoid fouling at the very least, and at best actually stop JV occasionally.

-       The backcourt vs Bouncing back: Both of the Pistons starting backcourt have had a pair of really bad games, which is especially frustrating for Reggie after he had strung together several good ones, while KCP has generally been quiet since the all star break. The Pistons will need at least one of them (especially Reggie) to bounce back if they want to start winning again.

-       Pistons vs Guarding DeRozan: Dude is a problem for the Pistons. Too big for KCP, too good for Morris. Marcus has done decent at times in the past, but DeRozan has regularly been a problem for the Pistons, and they will need to contain him if they want to win.

-       Jon Leuer vs Not being terrible: Terrible is probably too strong a word, but he has really not played well lately. He is barely above 30% from 3, and he looks shook. He needs to get back to his early season form, and quick, because he is hurting the Pistons right now.

 

 

So in conclusion…

 

Wink knowingly at your friends if:

-       Andre is outplaying JV.

-       Reggie Jackson is back in form.

-       The Pistons are doing a good job of locking up DeRozan.

 

Run for the hills if:

-       Andre has 2 fouls 2 minutes into the game.

-       DeRozan starts hitting everything he takes.

-       The Raptors recently improved defense is stifling the Pistons.

 

Opportunities for me to look stupid:

-       Andre doesn’t get crapped on again.

-       Reggie and KCP have nice games, not great but just nice.

-       DeRozan has a high volume scoring night, but is pretty inefficient.

-       The Pistons come out firing and the Raptors come out tired, and the Pistons lead semi-comfortably from start to finish.

-       Pistons 107 – Raptors 100.

 

 

What do you think? Can the backcourt bounce back? Can Andre avoid foul trouble?

 

Opponent Scouting: Utah Jazz. (42-25)

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST the Pistons will be welcoming the Utah Jazz to the Palace. The Pistons are on the 2nd night of a back to back in their schedule, fortunately they should be well rested since they didn’t show up to yesterdays game against the Cavs and no game took place. The Jazz are on one day of rest after beating the Clippers on Monday.

 

The Them:

The Jazz have finally stopped being the cute team that analytics say are good but still stink, now they are actually just really good. They sport an excellent defensive efficiency of 102.3, and a very solid offensive efficiency of 107.4.

Gordon Hayward is one of the most well rounded wings in the game with 22 points, 5.5 boards, 3.5 assists, 1.1 steals, and all that offense is very efficient on some tough looks. George Hill is finally starting to get some of the respect that he deserves as being really good. 17.4 points and 4.2 assists while shooting 41% from deep with excellent defense. Rodney Hood has continued to make good on a promising start to his career, scoring 13.4 points and shooting the ball well from all over the floor. Rudy Gobert is a monster defender who is generally regarded as the best rim protector in basketball, while also being a solid pick and roll man on the other end. Derrick Favors is likely out for the game tonight. Boris Diaw is fat, and has struggled quite a bit this year, but he can still pass and he knows how to use his fat to his advantage. Joe Johnson keeps on chugging, he can shoot 3s and score and play make out of isolations. Alec Burks is a maniac driving to the hoop. Trey Lyles has taken a step back and really struggled this year, Dante Exum is a good athlete and defender who shows flashes on offense but he has a lot of work to do. Joe Ingles is a awesome outside shooter at 44.2% from deep, and is otherwise just a super smart player who is really good.

This is a very good and very deep team who has a lot of versatility in how they can play. They play really good defense and have enough weapons to score points themselves.

 

 

Matchups to watch:

-       Jazz vs Missing occasionally: The Cavs shot absurdly well last night, like there is nothing else to say. Hopefully the Jazz miss a couple of shots.

-       Andre vs Gobert: Andre is really good, Gobert is really good, and they both are the type of player that generally owns the paint. Throw in the fact that they are both fairly unique for each other in that neither of them play many games against someone who can really compete in terms of size and athleticism.

-       Marcus vs Hayward: Gordon Hayward is really good, and Marcus will likely get him for most of the night. Marcus does have enough of a size advantage though that he should be able to get a few points back on the other end.

-       Tobias vs Various not 4s: With Favors out, the Jazz play a rotating cast at the 4 spot, with a lot of the minutes going to Boris Diaw and Joe Johnson. If the Jazz actually let Diaw guard Tobias for any significant time it could be a fun night.

 

 

So in conclusion…

 

Wink knowingly at your friends if:

-       Diaw guards Tobias. Ever.

-       Marcus is having one of his random “I’m about to outplay an all star” nights.

-       Andre is able to battle with Gobert and allow the Pistons to still have some success in the paint.

 

Run for the hills if:

-       The Jazz bench might actually be better than the Pistons’.

-       Gobert is dominating the paint.

-       George Hill is destroying Reggie on both ends of the floor.

 

Opportunities for me to look stupid:

-       Andre and Gobert play each other pretty much even.

-       KCP finally has a big game again.

-       Tobias Harris scores many points.

-       Pistons grind out a win with Tobias and KCP leading the way.

-       Pistons 94 – Jazz 90.

 

What do you think? Can the Pistons get around Gobert? Will Tobias roast Diaw?

Opponent Scouting: Cleveland Cavs. (43-22)

Tonight the Pistons travel to Cleveland to play against the Cavs at 7:00 p.m. EST. The Pistons are on two days of rest after beating the Knicks on Saturday. The Cavs are on one day of rest and their 3rd game in 4 nights after losing to the Rockets on Sunday.

 

The Them:

The Cavs miss Kevin Love big time, but they are still really good, even if they have been sliding a bit recently. LeBron is still absolutely absurd, 26.1 points, 8.9 assists, 8.3 rebounds and doing it at absurd efficiency. Kyrie Irving is an awesome scorer and has passed the ball pretty well this year as well. Beyond those two right now, the Cavs have a lack of playmaking. Tristan Thompson is good on the offensive glass and as a roll man, but doesn’t do much else. Iman Shumpert is having a pretty nice (and important) bounce back year as a 3 and D wing, Richard Jefferson is better than he has any right to be at his age but nothing more than that. JR Smith has been bad since returning from injury. Channing Frye takes the backup center minutes and can freaking shoot but not much else, Derrick Williams is playing really well since his arrival, and Deron Williams has looked fine in limited minutes as the backup PG. They basically totally rely on LeBron and Kyrie to do everything right now, which is admittedly not the worst thing in the world, but they are particularly thin up front.

 

Matchups to watch:

-       Andre vs The Fishing Village: Thompson is good enough to give Andre some trouble, but that should largely be the only thing that gives him any trouble. The Cavs have gotten killed on the glass lately, and Andre needs to continue that trend.

-       Pistons vs Keeping LeBron away from the hoop: Obviously this is easier said than done, but LeBron was able to get to the hoop with almost comical ease in their last game, the only thing that stopped him from having close to a career night is that his jumper was totally broken. He won’t miss that many jumpers again, so they need to do a better job of keeping him away from the hoop.

-       Pistons vs Making shots: This is kind of like saying “score more points” but the last game went the Pistons way because they hit some tough shots down the stretch and the Cavs missed. They will likely need some clutch plays again tonight.

-       Andre vs Passing from the free throw line: Assuming the Cavs continue to trap Reggie Jackson out of most pick and rolls, Andre will need to be a playmaker from the free throw line area and do his best Draymond Green impersonation. He actually did a really nice job in their last game with the Cavs, and they will need it again.

-       KCP vs Getting back involved: He has been very passive offensively since the all star break, and while he doesn’t need to get a huge load, he should get a couple more looks.

-       Pistons bench vs Blood in the water: The Pistons bench should be way better than the Cavs, and they will likely have to make a run in the few precious moments that LeBron and/or Kyrie are out of the game, and whether or not they are able to do that will likely decide the game.

 

So in conclusion…

 

Wink knowingly at your friends if:

-       Andre has all the rebounds.

-       LeBron’s jumper is still in the hospital.

-       The Pistons are making the shots that the Cavs give them.

 

Run for the hills if:

-       LeBron starts hitting jumpers.

-       The Cavs manage to keep Andre off the glass.

-       Kyrie is roasting everyone the Pistons put on him.

 

Opportunities for me to look stupid:

-       Andre has an awesome game.

-       Tobias Harris gives the Cavs trouble with his scoring.

-       Kyrie has an amazing game but LeBron is so-so.

-       Pistons win a close game as LeBron has a bit of an off night while Tobias and Andre have monster games.

-       Pistons 104 – Cavs 99.

 

What do you think? Can Andre dominate the glass? Can Reggie keep up his string of good games?

Game Recap/Notes: Game #66. Pistons 112 - 92. (33-33)

BACK TO .500 BABY!! It is mostly symbolic and just a number, but it feels good. Pistons got a good win where pretty much everyone played well on top of it.

 

Box score.

 

Reggie Jackson:

Chalk another good game up for Reggie. 19 points on 14 shots with 8 assists, 3 rebounds, a steal and a block. He needs to keep it up for a bit, but he really does look like he is mostly back. Offensively he is getting into the lane and attacking the rim more, and he is starting to get lots of Kobe assists (a missed shot that gets put back) to Andre again, which was a staple last year that had mostly evaporated so far this year, and it is just a good sign of the change. Even when he is missing his shots, just by getting into the paint and drawing some defense towards him is helping the team. He is also starting to look more like himself defensively. He isn’t fast enough to ever be a great defender, and he doesn’t usually try hard enough to even be a consistent plus. But he is huge for a point guard, and is capable of making some plays that other guys just can’t, and he can even out his defensive impact with a few good plays, and he is back to that. His block in this game was super impressive one from behind on Rose. He was helped by a good night from deep (4-6 from 3) but still a very nice game for Reggie.

 

KCP:

I don’t know how much of it is on purpose, but I feel like KCP has gotten frozen out of the offense too much. Tonight he had 9 points on just 9 equivalents with 3 boards, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Even though he has played pretty well since the break, he just hasn’t been very involved in the offense. Even though I am a fairly strong believer in that KCP is going to be best off long term as a really good role player, he has certainly shown this year that he is capable of doing more offensively than just spot up shooting. Since the all star break KCP is 5th on the team with just 11.6 FGA per game, while at the same time playing by far the most minutes on the team. When sorted by per 36 it becomes even wider, where he is 7th on the team, only .2 above Stanley Johnson. Once again, I don’t think he should be exactly featured, but let him run a couple more pick and rolls per game, his speed and shooting give a nice wrinkle to the offense. All that said, still a decent game for KCP, just not terribly impactful.

 

Marcus Morris:

Marcus didn’t do a lot on offense, scoring just 7 points on 10 shots with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. But he guarded Carmelo pretty much the entire night, and held him largely under wraps in a way that was really impressive. He did a very good job of ball denial and largely kept him from getting any good looks. That is pretty much all that Marcus did, but it was very important. Good game for Marcus.

 

Tobias Harris:

Tobias got off to a crazy start, as he had 27 points early in the 2nd half, but only finished with 28. Even with him being quiet in the 2nd half, 28 points on 23 equivalents with 7 boards, 5 assists(!!) and 2 blocks is an excellent night. Those assists were not wimpy ones either, he threw a couple of lobs to Andre and was finding guys in transition. My guess is that he is back in the starting lineup full time now, and even though it was fun to see if he could maybe get 6th man of the year, I think it is for the best. His defense and passing have come a long way this year to the point that he is just too good to keep out on the bench. Even with Reggie possibly looking back in full form, Tobias will have a good argument to be the 2nd best player behind Andre. Great game from Tobias.

 

Andre Drummond:

The Knicks don’t have a lot of muscle up front, and it showed. Andre wrecked havoc in all areas of the game on his way to 24 points on 17 equivalents (4-10 from the line), 15 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block. The Knicks were totally helpless against him rolling to the hoop as he finished many oops in the half court and in transition, and they struggled to keep him off the glass. Andre has really played well, and he is benefiting big time from Reggie finding the paint back and drawing extra defenders. Excellent game from Andre.

 

Jon Leuer:

Likely back to the bench for good, Leuer had a pretty nice game. 11 points on 9 shots with 3 boards in 21 minutes. I think he is probably better suited for a bench guy role as well. His defensive limitations matter less against bench guys, and against most bench bigs his ability to put it on the floor is lethal.

 

Stanley Johnson:

Stanley had a pretty nice game yet again, although he did struggle a bit with his offense tonight. 4 points on 7 shots. However he did manage 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. One of his assists was a really nice pass to Reggie Jackson as well. Nice game for Stanley, and he keeps on chugging.

 

Ish Smith:

With him now at getting close to the ideal minutes of 18 the past couple of games, he seems pretty well adjusted. 4 points on 9 shots is pretty poor, but when that is combined with 6 assists against just 1 turnover and solid defense you live with the poor scoring. The reality is that he just needs to can enough shots to keep the defense at least slightly honest, and he did that tonight. Nice game from Ish.

 

Aron baynes:

Didn’t do a ton in his 18 minutes, 4 points on 4 shots with 6 boards. He mostly just did his thing, playing hard on defense and setting screens on offense. Fine game for Baynes.

 

Reggie Bullock:

He didn’t do anything of particular note in his 7 minutes, but I love that he got the minutes. I’ve said it since early last year, but even though all Bullock’s minutes came in the first half, those 7 minutes help keep him sharp and keep from running KCP totally in the ground. I also really like the lineup Bullock was used in. Jackson/Bullock/Johnson/Leuer/Baynes. Because if you run that as a full bench mob with Ish at the point you run the risk of a fatal lack of shooting on the floor. But it is still a lineup with a lot of energy and speed at the other positions along with Jackson.

 

Darrun Hilliard:

Got a couple minutes of garbage time. Got a shot to fall.

 

General:

I think that they somehow need to even out their shot distribution a little bit. Post all star break Marcus Morris is almost even with Tobias in shot attempts, which isn’t ideal. But I do like that they are actively trying to feature Tobias more, and the odd point guard minutes split has worked really well. I hope that they can get KCP back into a bit of a more active role in the offense. One thing that I really do like in the post break is that they clearly are putting a big focus on non-Andre guys protecting the rim. I like this for a couple of reasons, first off, is that it is straight up working. Tobias, Marcus, Stanley, and Leuer have all made some really excellent protections at the hoop, and even KCP and Reggie have made a couple. But I think in theory it should be a good thing long term, the Pistons apparently want Andre to be more aggressive in chasing guys outside the paint, but first they need to prove that they can do anything to hold down the paint when Andre leaves. It should give him more confidence to be aggressive defensively.

 

 

What do you think? Can Reggie keep up the good play? Should KCP get a more active offensive role?

Opponent Scouting: NY Knickerbockers. (26-39)

This afternoon at 5 p.pm. EST the Pistons will welcome the Knicks to the Palace. The Pistons are on one day of rest and the 3rd game in 4 nights after beating the Cavs on Thursday. The Knicks are on two days of rest after losing to the Bucks on Wednesday.

 

The Them:

The Knicks have struggled this year and have slowly gone from “maybe a playoff team” to “probably a lottery team” to “actually pretty bad”. However, with that in mind, they are not a total cakewalk. They have a fairly serviceable offense with an offensive efficiency of 105.2, and a poor defensive efficiency of 108.6. The reports of Carmelo Anthony’s demise are greatly over-stated as he continues to average 23.1 points, 6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game and doing it efficiently. He hits difficult shots and is a good shooter from all over the floor. Kristaps Porzingis has made good on his promising rookie season to have an impressive sophomore season with 18.1 points and 7.3 boards per game and shooting 37.2% from deep. Derrick Rose can’t shoot at all but is averaging 17.9 points and 4.5 assists and isn’t too horribly inefficient. Courtney Lee remains a guy who is just a rock solid role player at SG who can shoot and play defense. Willy Hernangomez is young and fairly skilled as a big guy, but is not what you would call a stout defender. Lance Thomas has been mostly just bad, Kyle O’Quinn is a really nice backup center who can do a little bit of everything. Justin Holiday has been pretty solid for the Knicks all year as well with a well rounded game for an off guard.

The Knicks have a few good players, but they are lacking in depth and chemistry. So the end result is that they are not all that good a team, but they are able to play with most teams.

 

Matchups to watch:

-       Andre vs The Fishing Village: The Knicks are pretty thin up front with Noah out for the rest of the season. Andre should have a good chance to dominate the interior on both sides of the ball. If he plays with the decisiveness and purpose he has lately the Knicks shouldn’t have an answer for him.

-       Marcus vs Melo: Carmelo Anthony is really good, and also the exact kind of guy who Marcus has randomly played awesome against. If Marcus can pull out a really nice game and go toe to toe with Melo it will be good news for the Pistons.

-       Pistons vs Porzingis: Porzingis is big at the 4 spot and that can give the Pistons problems regardless, but throw in the fact that he is very good and the Pistons could be in some trouble. Leuer is probably not good enough to stand much of a chance, and Morris/Tobias/Stanley will all be pretty undersized against him. Either way, he figures to be a problem.

-       SVG vs Rotations: SVG has done some goofy stuff with his rotations the last few games, it will be interesting to see what he goes with tonight, the health of Aron Baynes is certain to have a say in this as well.

-       Reggie Jackson vs Stringing good games together: Jackson is starting to look more like himself, not just statistically either, even in the Pacers game where he didn’t play all that well, he was still getting into the paint and to the rim. He will need to string together good games for a longer time than just the few games since the all star break for me to declare him “back” but it can take another step towards that tonight.

-       KCP vs Getting his game going: KCP has actually played alright the past few games, but I do feel like he just hasn’t been all that involved offensively. Even though I am a fairly vocal proponent of him being mostly a role player, I do feel like they’ve let him slip out of the offense a little bit too much. Hopefully they can get him a few more looks tonight.

-       Pistons vs The letdown: This game is pretty close to being the perfect storm for a let down, 3rd game in 4 nights coming off of a really big win against the Cavs. The possibility of getting to .500 for the first time in forever should light an bit of an extra fire in them, but still.

 

So in conclusion…

 

Wink knowingly at your friends if:

-       Andre is bullying the hell out of everyone on his way to a huge night.

-       Marcus Morris is matching Melo.

-       Reggie and KCP both are playing well.

 

Run for the hills if:

-       Melo starts heating up.

-       The Pistons clearly have no answer for Porzingis.

-       The Pistons look dead tired.

 

Opportunities for me to look stupid:

-       Andre approaches a 20/20 game.

-       Reggie and KCP have solid but not crazy games.

-       The Pistons have problems with Porzingis.

-       The Knicks struggle to get much going other than Porzingis and the Pistons win fairly comfortably.

-       Pistons 105 – Knicks 90.

 

 

What do you think? Can the Knicks contain Andre? Can Reggie string together some good games?

Game Recap/Notes: Game #65. Pistons 106 - Cavs 101. (32-33)

Great win for the Pistons, and on a back to back no less. Pretty much everyone played well.

 

Box score.

 

Reggie Jackson:

            Jackson played an excellent game, scoring 21 points on 18 equivalents with 5 assists and a steal. Those points largely came on tough shots inside, and he did a really nice job making the right decisions out of traps that the Cavs set for him out of many of the pick and rolls. It also is pretty clear that when SVG decided to go with the even split rotation, he more or less told Reggie that he can keep starting, but he better get the ball moving in transition, get to the hoop, and compete on defense. Reggie has done that, and tonight the numbers were there too. This doesn’t mean that Reggie is going to be awesome every night now, but he is definitely starting to look a lot better, and the main thing is not even the numbers, but the fact that he is getting to the rim and into the paint again with consistency. Even in the month of January where he put up excellent numbers, he was doing it largely on jump shots. If you want to be very optimistic the last couple of months could be a blessing for Reggie, as he had to learn to adjust his game a bit, and if he can keep that shooting and smart play going with his explosiveness returning, he could be a much better player.

 

KCP:

15 points on 10 shots, including 4-7 from deep, with a pair of assists. He wasn’t hugely impactful, largely staying in his lane as a spot up guy on offense and playing hard on defense, but that is ok. These are the sorts of games that give me a lot of hope for KCP, because they are the ones he has had so much trouble with in the past, he can have the games where he is red hot from deep and score a bunch, but then he would miss everything for a while. Good game for KCP.

 

Marcus Morris:

More or less this game is what you would expect for Morris. 12 points on 12 equivalents, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. He certainly didn’t do much to stop LeBron on defense, but other than that he played a very nice and in control game. Like KCP it was just a good game of staying in his lane, making the plays that were there for him, and not forcing the plays that were not there.

 

Tobias Harris:

Not actually a great game for Tobias, 15 points on 21 equivalents is very poor, especially by his standards. But he chipped in 9 rebounds and a pair of assists, and he had more good passes that didn’t give him assists, and a pair of blocks. Even though he too got largely eviscerated by LeBron on defense, Tobias still played very well on that end and made some really good plays. I will be honest and say that I wouldn’t mind if he keeps coming off the bench so that he could maybe win 6th man, but I really do think he should be starting at this point. The gap between him and Leuer is just too large, Tobias is a better shooter, scorer, and defender. I don’t care if Leuer has “size” Tobias is a lot better.

 

Andre Drummond:

Andre Drummond is a problem for the Cavs. They are painfully thin on big guys that are actually big on the inside (remember that the 2 guys who play center were 4s until last year), and Andre is athletic enough to do just fine when they go small and space. I also found it funny how LeBron wanted no part of Andre when he got switched onto him, opting to take a 3 each time. Obviously Andre was giving him plenty of space for it, but still. Andre finished the game with 20 points, 16 rebounds (7 offensive) and 4 assists. I really want to highlight the assists, as the Cavs often went to the same strategy as the playoffs last year of just trapping Jackson on every pick and roll to put the ball in someone else’s hands. Last year Andre would catch it at the free throw line and not be able to make a play quickly enough to beat the defense, but he did it several times in this game, and that is hugely encouraging. I have said it before, but I really would like to see Andre get the ball there more often, he has some passing chops and can hit a floater. I don’t know how successful he would be with a larger volume of touches at the free throw line, but I’d like to find out.

 

Stanley Johnson:

Stanley just keeps on chugging. 8 points on 7 equivalents, 5 rebounds and an assist with some very nice defensive plays. He isn’t all the way there yet defensively, and LeBron largely owned him, but there is a lot to like. Stanley also got some very nice extended minutes as SVG stuck with him for a while.

 

Ish Smith:

12 points on 9 shots for a tidy scoring night to go with 3 assists for Ish in 17 minutes. He did a good job of keeping the Cavs on their toes whenever he was on the floor, but I feel like that hardly even needs to be mentioned at this point with Ish. He was on the floor when the Cavs went on a run in the 1st quarter but it wasn’t much to do with him, so don’t worry much about the -8 on the night, Ish played really well.

 

Reggie Bullock:

Bullock got some real run and did well. He only hit one shot (a 3) but he put up a +14 in 14 minutes which was a team high, and by far better than any other bench guy. (Stanley was the only other one who was positive with a +1) The way he is so active on both sides of the ball is just winning basketball. I’ve wanted it since preseason of last year, but I really hope SVG gets him some more minutes.

 

Jon Leuer:

Leuer’s struggles continued as he only played 13 minutes and did nothing of note. He was on the floor when the Cavs went on their big run, and his inability to switch or generally play defense was a problem. Leuer needs to find his game back, and fast.

 

Aron Baynes:

Only played 4 minutes, likely with the combination of being banged up and that the Cavs play pretty small. He got torched by Channing Frye.

 

General:

Good win, fun game. While it did come down to the Pistons hitting some of the tough shots at the end and the Cavs missing, it is nice to be on the right end of that for once. It is also at least a little bit nice to have Drummond be so clearly the best guy on the Pistons for two nights in a row.

 

 

What do you think? Should Bullock get more minutes? What’s wrong with Leuer?