The Pistons responded to one of their worst games of the year, with another one. Fortunately this time they were able to find their game towards the game and close out the Mavs fairly comfortably.
Struggled early, as he was a primary culprit in the early turnovers. However he evened out as the game went on, and he really looked like himself at the end of the game where he put the game on ice with a couple of tough floaters and some free throws. He finished the game with a very respectable line of 20 points on 18 equivalents and 6 assists against 3 turnovers. And once again, it was very nice to see him hitting floaters at the end of the game. He's still shaking off rust obviously, but tonight was the first time where he really looked himself at the end. Not a great game for Reggie, he particularly struggled defensively at times, but it was a pretty solid game.
Coming back from injury, and KCP might not really be 100%, not to mention that he appeared to tweak his ankle in some way at the end of the game. SVG said that KCP is “ok” but still, not a good thing especially when he is coming off a hurt knee as well. Finished the game with 11 points on 10 equivalents, which is a decent game, and I've said many times that these sorts of offensive games are things he needs to learn to do, where he doesn't get a lot of looks and he just can live with it. He didn't record any other statistics other than 2 rebounds and 1 turnover though, which is pretty indicative of that he just was not terribly involved in the game in his 36 minutes. Defensively he did not do anything particularly of note, but he did well just like he always does. One thing that was interesting, is that SVG has generally avoided having KCP cover opposing point guards, but when Stanley played tonight he spent almost all of his time on point guards. I'm not sure if that means anything or not, but it is interesting. Regardless, get healthy KCP, it was a decent game, just nothing much of note.
Got to start off by saying that Morris had some of the most egregious turnovers of the night. He finished with 5 of them, and they were bad. Other than that, 12 points on 11 equivalents, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. He went 2/5 from 3 and now sits comfortably at 37.4% from distance on the season so hopefully he is going to stay out of that gutter the rest of the season. Defensively he got a lot of time on Harrison Barnes, and he did a pretty good job while avoiding getting into a personal battle with him. Honestly, Morris' night was similar to KCP's just with added in awful turnovers. He just didn't do a ton worth noting, but still ended up with a decent game. (once he realized what color jersey the Pistons were wearing at least.)
Fairly quiet night for Tobias, he only played 27 minutes, scored 10 points on as many shots, had 2 rebounds and 1 assist. He did have a stretch in the 2nd half where he scored several very tough buckets that were important ones, but other than that he just didn't do a lot. I'm not really sure what to make of it other than that this game was pretty much trash and no one really played that well and Tobias just played a little worse. Tobias was also subbed out of the game at the end for Stanley Johnson, presumably for defensive purposes.
Andre went with the full Rodman stat line with 17 boards and 3 points. He only played 27 minutes due to foul trouble. Once again, I don't know for sure what to make of his 3 points because he only got 3 shots and took a pair of free throws. Mejri is big and pretty good (as he showed on a couple of plays) but he isn't the sort of imposing defender that would make me want to almost totally abandon Andre in the post. I think the turnovers hurt him more than anyone else almost because the Pistons literally could not manage to pass him the ball. Andre still dominated the boards, and played with good effort on both ends even if he did clearly start to get frustrated as the game went on. (and understandably so)
On a night where almost everyone did ok at best offensively, Leuer was the one guy who could not miss anything. 19 points on 10 equivalents, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. He didn't force any of his shots, he just found himself in good opportunities to score and it worked out. He is putting the ball on the floor and shooting over smaller guys with more confidence as of late, which matches up with SVG saying that they have put in a few plays for Leuer. Leuer just had the sort of night where he happened to be the guy who got the good looks and he made the most of them. Wonderful night for Leuer on both ends.
8 points on 6 equivalents and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes tonight for Baynes who got a little extra duty with Andre's foul trouble. He did a pretty good job on both ends, I still have no idea why he always has to bring the ball down when he catches it in the paint, but other than that he did pretty well. His points all came around the rim and he generally just did the right stuff while on the floor. Nice game for Baynes.
5 points on 6 equivalents, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists in 18 minutes. That is a pretty nice line for your backup point guard, especially when they play defense like Ish does. The only downside was that both of his turnovers were actually pretty bad turnovers, but other than that he did his thing, pushing the pace and finding teammates while only looking for his shot when he kind of had to in order to keep the defense honest. Good game for Ish.
Hopefully this is the end of Stanley's DNPs. In 15 minutes tonight Stanley played pretty well scoring 7 points on 6 equivalents with an assist and a pair of rebounds. He also played very good defense, to the point that SVG put him in over Tobias at the end of the game for defensive purposes. He generally played the way you want him to play, which is at full speed. The mistakes he made were made at full speed, and that way it maximizes the good plays he can make with his absurd athleticism. He was a noticeable part of the Pistons turning around the game in the 3rd quarter with mostly the bench mob. Hopefully he is back for good now.
Ugly game, but the Pistons are still not in a position to really complain about how a win comes. Leuer played great, Stanley looked good. If KCP is alright then this is a fine game without too much to worry about. Pistons are back above .500 and also now sport the NBA's 2nd best defense.
What do you think? How did Stanley do? Why did the Pistons forget they had the blue jerseys on?