Sometimes it just goes against you. Already on the 2nd night of a back to back, and the Pistons got in very late last night due to the weather. The results were fairly predictable, the Pisotns looked tired and generally not much good the whole night, and were rather soundly beaten for the 2nd night in a row, continuing their struggles the last 4 games.
The numbers ended up looking much better for Reggie than his game really was. 19 points on 18 equivalents with 10 assists against 3 turnovers. He didn't do a good job of the keeping the offense moving, he didn't do a great job of finding all the guys he should have. On the plus side, he really is starting to look rather like himself as far as attacking the basket which is good. His defense on the other hand, has been pretty poor. It is not time to panic about his play, because he is still finding his game with the team and we still don't know for sure if he is totally 100% health wise yet. HOWEVA, it is undeniable that he has not looked that good and the Pistons have struggled a bit when he is on the floor. So it is a bit worrying, but not time to panic. Because I have absolute faith that he and his teammates will figure it out at some point this year, because it worked all of last year, it is ok to be worried though because you don't want to lose any more games before they figure it out.
This game was pretty much a KCP special on the offensive end. He started out the game shooting very well, and was scoring many points on great efficiency, but as the game wore on he started to chuck more and more and ended up with a still good but nothing special 20 points on 19 equivalents. He also had 3 assists with no turnovers. Defensively he was a bit out of the ordinary as Glenn Robinson III and Paul George (he ended up on George more than they would've liked I think) didn't have much trouble scoring on him. It was still a good game for KCP, but along with the rest of the Pistons he was obviously gassed by the end and jus started chucking 3s.
It wasn't as bad as the Wizards game, but Morris struggled again tonight, scoring just 9 points on 7 shots, with 1 rebound and 1 assist. He generally wasn't able to find his spots offensively and was culpable along with KCP for a few tired jump shots. His defense was not too bad but he spent more of the night against Thad Young than I would have expected, and Young is obviously not as scary as Paul George is.
Tobias has also been struggling a bit as of late, with 13 points on 13 equivalents and 2 assists. He ended up spending a lot of the night on Paul George, for some reason, and George certainly had no problems with Tobias. Mobias struggling to find their games is really something that has hurt the Pistons in the last few games. The 1 for 6 from 3 is really the big number that hurt Tobias, and the Pistons in general, as his 3 point attempts were good looks, but he just couldn't hit them. And that is the danger of having a guy who is just an “ok” shooter in that situation. There will be nights where he gets good looks and still misses them.
Andre did well on the boards, getting 15 rebounds and 7 of them were offensive, I think that there were an abnormal number of defensive boards that just didn't really bounce to him due to having to be outside a bit more to guard Myles Turner or he likely would have gotten 20 rebounds. He also had 2 steals and a block for a pretty decent defensive game on a tough guard. Offensively he struggled, and he continued a trend the last few games of just struggling to really get involved in the offense in a way that was fairly natural. And he finished the game with 9 points on 13 equivalents. Part of that is indicative of how the Pistons offense has just generally not run as well as they would like, and part of it is also Andre. It was particularly frustrating that he couldn't get any buckets on Al Jefferson.
Nice to see him get 20 minutes with Leuer out, but he didn't play particularly well. He almost seemed to be back into being very tentative on both ends. 3 points on 7 equivalents is very poor, and even though he didn't do a bad job against Paul George, he certainly didn't appear to bother him much. I really want him to be willing to be more aggressive offensively because he is not a good enough shooter to just be a passive guy on that end. He needs to attack the rim with and without the ball in his hands.
Smith really didn't do a lot tonight, just 3 points on 4 shots and 3 assists. He did have a and 1 which was an important play at the time but other than that there wasn't much of note. I don't know for sure what the correct way to approach the point guard situation would be. On one hand, it would be nice to maybe get Ish some more minutes overall, and some more run with the starters, while giving Reggie more time with the bench so he can tune up for a few more games. But on the other hand, Reggie needs to get fully in sync with the starters and that happens with reps. Either way I would like Ish to at least get a few more minutes until Reggie is back into full form.
Got some run in the first half, didn't do anything but foul a few guys. He didn't get in the rotation in the 2nd half and only got in for a bit in garbage time.
Only played 9 minutes, 4 points on 4 equivalents and 4 rebounds. He was pretty woeful defending the defensive glass but other than that it was fine. But he just didn't play much.
Ellenson, Gbinije, BOBAN: Garbage time minutes for all 3, Ellenson hit a couple of 3s, Boban got a bucket, Gbinije missed a shot. Not a lot to note here. I do kind of wish that SVG had let Ellenson play in Leuer's absence to give him his first minutes in real game time.
It has been a rough 4 game stretch for the Pistons, it happens. It is a bit worrying because it has happened against weaker competition but certainly not time to panic. Rest up today and beat the Bulls on Monday and they will be back in business.
What do you think? How long will Reggie take to get into form? Should Ellenson have gotten minutes?