Just like we drew it up. And wow everyone who came to see Kobe must have been disappointed lol. Way to finish strong on the home stand to go 4-0.
Reggie Jackson: Nothing crazy in the numbers, 20 points and 6 assists, but he did it in just 25 minutes. Was just a really nice game for Reggie. He made good passes, had a stretch where he hit like 3 or 4 floaters in a row. Also, he does appear to be on the mend a bit, as he is starting to look better as far as his lateral quickness as well as just like, running. He also had a super cool behind the back pass on the fast break. I think he is really starting to get up to the height of his powers now though, looking healthier, as well as much more comfortable with his role and the players around him. Really nice outing for Reggie.
KCP: One of the better games of the year for KCP, and especially of late. After getting some rest in the last game +day off he looked to be back to his usual self on defense, giving good reason to believe his slight struggles (and I say slight because he was still fine, just not as good as he's been this year) the past couple games where just him being a bit tired. Holding Clarkson to just 7 points on 11 shots, as well as logging 4(!) steals. And he also was in attack mode on offense, getting out in transition, and attacking the very soft Lakers defense in the half court as well on his way to 22 points on just 14 shots. (he was just 1/2 from 3, so yeah, most of that was done inside the arc.) Given KCP's struggles to score so far this year it is nice to see him have a good night regardless of circumstances, but I would say that this game would not be cause to get too excited for him offensively at least. The Lakers are horrible defensively, and several of his buckets were easy transition shots. HOWEVA, there is one thing that the last couple games should have you a bit excited for with KCP. In his young career KCP has been a generally not good passer. (1.5 assists to 1.4 turnovers for his career, which is really bad especially for a guard.) Even though it has not resulted in tons of assists, the last few games KCP has absolutely been looking to pass a bit more (perhaps as a result of his struggles shooting the ball) and he has actually looked pretty good. His passing/facilitating has been his most obvious shortcoming, but he has actually looked ok the past few nights. Like, he has literally never shown hardly any ability to be a good facilitator, so this is actually something to watch. Because if he can be able to throw even 3(ish) assists per game, assuming his shot comes back at some point, he suddenly is a very complete player. So overall a very nice night for KCP, and while the scoring was not as impressive as the stats make it look, its nice to see him score well. Also, keep an eye on his passing, might have something real there. Also, only had to play 31 minutes so yay for that.
Greater Morris: Bit of an off night for Morris, just 9 points on 14 shots. But he did throw some nice passes for 3 assists, and had several excellent fast breaks. I have said this several times now, but Morris is a brilliant ball handler in the fast break. That is honestly the main reason I would like to see SVG try out a super small ball lineup with Morris at center, because I think Morris could actually do a decent Draymond Green impression with grabbing a defensive rebound and running right into a fast break. But regardless, his shot was a bit off, but he still made several nice plays. Also bear hugged Nick young when he (inexplicably) went after Tolly. Despite Young then going after him a bit, Morris kept his cool and did not get himself into any trouble either. And even though the numbers Kobe had tonight (2/15 from the field) are pretty much par for the course at this point for Kobe, Morris did guard him for the most part and did fine. Although, it should be noted that Morris was very good for a short stretch to start the 4th while playing with the bench mob, a role that he has gotten more comfortable in. Off night shooting, but did his job in the other areas. Also only played 31 minutes tonight so yay for that.
Ersan Ilyasova: Only ended up playing 13 minutes, but in those 13 he was very good. Scored 7 points on 5 shots, and, um. Yeah. He only played 13 minutes, he didn't do a ton. Looked fine though.
Andre Drummond: Only played 24 minutes, partially due to some foul trouble. But still put up a excellent line of 18 points (on 12 shots) and 15 boards. Also posted a game high +19 (although a couple guys where right behind him at +19) to show for it. I mean, it is crazy that a stat line like that in just 24 minutes is not a big deal. I almost wish that the game had been closer so that Drummond could have played longer, he may well have gone for 25/25. Also, points for awesome staring during Reggie's post-game interview.
Tolly: Was the benificiary of Ersan's short night, playing 34 minutes. And Tolly made the most of it, scoring 9 points on 9 shots. (3/9) and also logging 13 boards. This night was an excellent showing of what Tolly does, he will shoot and play super hard. Which was evident in the 13 boards. Perfectly acceptable night from Tolly in much higher minutes than he is used too.
Stanley Johnson: Bit of an off night for Stanley, just 2/10 from the field for 6 points. And Lou Williams punked him for a couple of fouls as well. But he did not do a lot that was super horrible by any stretch. I'm a little bit disappointed that SVG did not let him do a bit more towards the end of the game when the bench got emptied. But all in all it was not a very good game for Johnson, but did not do horrible things. His shots where ok, although I think he should probably never stray from the right corner beyond the arc right now.He just missed them tonight.
Steve Blake: 9 points on 5 shots, 5 assist to 4 turnovers, not good defense. Whatever at this point, I have no idea why SVG plays him over Dinwiddie, that horse is beaten dead though, not going to bring it up in the recaps anymore. Blake had a better night than usual with a good matchup of not having to guard anyone all that good (they hid him away from both Williams and Clarkson) and really bad perimeter defenders on the other end. And he did hit a couple of 3s. So all in all, I suppose he was ok for tonight. screams internally
Aron Baynes: It might be the mask, but second straight game of not very good play for Baynes. Just 1/6 from the field, and what makes that more frustrating is that a couple of those shots were freaking gift wrapped for him. He also was the only guy who played real minutes who managed to go negative. (-4 in 21 minutes.) In fact, in a game where your team wins by 20, and was up by as much as 30 before the bench was totally emptied, that is quite an accomplishment to be on the floor for 21 minutes and go negative. Oh well, not a good game, but it might just be the mask.
Hilliard, Dinwiddie, Anthony, Bullock: Bench got emptied at the very end of the game. Bullock got fouled and hit both free throws which is more than he could say in the other games he's played. Dinwiddie also made a really tough floater screams internally even more and Hilliard fired away like he was still in Grand Rapids to just 1/5 from the field. (but did manage 5 points so ok I guess) Anthony did nothing I saw that was worth noting.
General: Can't really ask for anything more than what the team did tonight. Playing at home, rested, against a bad team. The Pistons jumped out to an early lead, and never really looked back. And it allowed them to give easy nights to the starters which is important becuase they are about to play 5 games in 7 nights. (I believe) I want to see Marcus Morris run more fast breaks, and KCP pass more when he drives, and I want Aron Baynes to actually catch the basketball when it hits him in the hands. Several guys had nice nights, but it was enough of a one sided game that no one did anything too crazy. Just a nice, old fashioned, boring, blowout. And also a good home stand. Tomorrow night the Pistons are in Charlotte.
What do you think? Did Kobe cause you physical pain with his shooting? Think I'm stupid? Let me know! We all get smarter!
P.S. I watched the Drive game earlier today to see Dinwiddie and Hilliard. Dinwiddie was clearly told to just try and run the offense and not do too much, and did just fine. Hilliard started off poorly, but then freaking went off. He obviously won't do that in the NBA but I suddenly understand why SVG drafted Hilliard, (not that I was doubting him, I just had not even heard of him at Villanova so I didn't know him) because that guy can freaking score the basketball.
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P.P.P.S. By request, the names of players are now bolded. Look better? And shoutout to/u/rascal_king for that suggestion btw.