The Pistons didn't play well defensively, but this Bucks team can do that. There are nights where they look like one of the best teams in the NBA, and that is not just an excuse for the Pistons, it is just the truth. Tonight was one of those nights, and the Pistons could not do enough to combat it.
Reggie had a sort of decent offensive game, 14 points on 15 shots with 6 assists with no turnovers. He got caught up (along with the rest of the team) in settling for bad 3s a few times later in the game to hurt his shooting efficiency but it was a fine offensive game. Defensively he actually is one guy who generally did ok, when he switched onto Giannis he fought hard, and generally didn't muck stuff up too much. At times though his slow defensive movement is a bit glaring though on that end. On the plus side, he had a super cool block on Greg Monroe.
Kind of a strange game for KCP, Tony Snell played him close for most of the night and he had just 6 points on 7 shots, but he passed the ball well on his way to 7 assists against just 1 turnover. I don't know for sure, but I do feel like a lot of his assists were of the “happened to pass to someone who then hit a shot” types just because there were only a couple of his passes that stood out to me. Defensively he didn't do a ton. Snell hit all 4 of his shots, and he doesn't ever really take many anyways. KCP also sported a team worst -24 on the night, which is also a bit out of sorts for him. Either way, not a horrid night, but not all that good of one either.
All things considered, Marcus ended up with a decent game. Offensively he struggled a bit with 11 points on 12 equivalents, and he also was a bad culprit in terms of settling for bad 3s later in the game. He dished 3 assists without a turnover as well to end with a decent if not remarkable offensive night. Defensively he was given the task of trying to hold Giannis down, and he actually ended up doing a decent job as Giannis got his 23 points but took 21 equivalents to get there. I mean, he didn't really limit Giannis is a big way, but he didn't let him totally go off, and generally made Giannis work for it. Giannis' (and the Bucks as a whole) night was greatly helped by a few and 1s. Marcus also got (I believe) his first technical of the year, and even though it is never good to get a tech, I mind less when it was a really bad call, which after seeing the replay, it was. Also of note way him only playing 23 minutes.
It isn't totally fair to get on him too much, but man. Jabari Parker ate Jon Leuer for supper and it wasn't even close. Parker finished with 31 points on just 18 shots and a lot of it was curtesy of Leuer, who clearly had no chance of guarding him. Offensively Leuer was fine with 9 points on 11 shots and 4 assists, but it wasn't anything overly remarkable. I'm fine with having him as a starter, but this exposes a problem with inserting him over either one of Mobias. When he is can't guard someone (something that has happened plenty of times with the Mobias combo) he doesn't really have the offensive goods to give back as good as he gets. Either way, not a bad game by Leuer, just not all that good.
In only 26 minutes Andre had 16 points on as many equivalents and 9 rebounds. I'm not sure why he didn't play at all in the 4th, perhaps SVG was just waiting a little longer and by the time Andre would've gotten in it was garbage time, but given that other starters had come back that doesn't seem like the issue. Regardless, he struggled to do much of anything to curb the onslaught of the Bucks offense, although admittedly I'm not sure how much of it is his fault. Some of it is, but the Bucks shot 50% from 3, like that doesn't happen very much. Regardless, he had a very good start and then dropped off, he did pretty well, but they needed him to do better.
One positive of this game, is that the “Tobias to the bench” idea has worked wonders for Tobias apparently, who for the 3rd straight game, was over 20 points and led the Pistons in scoring. His 23 points came on just 16 equivalents which is very impressive, and he even got 12 rebounds and a pair of assists to go with his buckets. Tobias also had his share of getting roasted by Jabari, but mostly I thought he did alright. He was probably the Pistons best player tonight, and watching him own bench guys is pretty fun if you want to find a silver lining for the Pistons right now.
2 points on 5 shots, 4 assists and 4 turnovers. One thing that has not received enough attention in the Pistons recent struggles is that Ish Smith has really crashed back to earth after hitting an awesome stretch right before Reggie came back. Ish just wasn't good enough in any phase of the game tonight, and that hurt the Pistons badly.
Got a few extra minutes tonight and did fine. 6 points on 3 shots, 4 rebounds, 4 fouls. For the first time I've seen he actually didn't get totally and completely roasted by Greg Monroe which was nice. So a fine game, but like many others, nothing really of note.
Played 16 minutes, all in the 2nd half, but not all in garbage time. He was brought in presumably as a counter to Giannis and he actually had a couple of nice plays on both ends of the floor. He didn't do anything offensive though.
Garbage time guys:
Hilliard hit a shot, Boban got a dunk, Ellenson missed a shot.
Bucks were awesome tonight, and as optimistic as I am about this team, the have to start winning some games now. It is that time. A goofy thing we saw tonight was Reggie and Ish on the floor together, and for a stretch it was awful, but then it worked really well for a bit.