Game Recap/Notes: Game #25. Pistons 118 - Pacers 93. 14-11.

Wow. This was not what I expected. The Pacers looked like a team on the second night of a back to back, and the Pistons looked like a team that was fresh. (even though they too were on the second night.) Pistons killed the Pacers in transition and also totally shut down Paul George. Excellent win.

Box score.

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Reggie Jackson: 21 points on 18 equivalents, 9 assists to just 1 turnover, some excellent defense. Yeah, pretty solid game for Jackson. It was a bit odd because he usually scores a lot of his points in one big bunch, but there did not really seem to be one tonight. But he was brilliant all game. Threw lots of good passes in both the half court as well as in transition. He was the epitome of a point guard tonight. He took what the defense threw his way, and he made the right play every time. The best news for Reggie though? He really is looking healthy again, and he proved it by ending the life of George Hill on a dunk. And you can really see that he is starting to be able to push off leg more now for crossovers and whatnot. Also after a couple rough games from deep, he hit 2/4 3s. Just an excellent game all around for Jackson.

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KC-MUTHA-FUKIN-P: Wow. just after a stretch where everyone was starting to question him (and with good reason, this game does not change the fact that it has been a worrisome season) and he comes out and plays an incredible game. He was everywhere on defense, finishing the game with 4 steals. And I think every single one ended in a fastbreak bucket. And man, I freaking love when KCP goes into the fast break. He is so fast with the ball in his hands that he can create fastbreaks from situations that you would not think possible. 18 points on 15 equivalents is good, although it should be remembered that a lot of those buckets came on the fast break. Which is still good, but it is not like he was hitting super hard shots. (but then again, most of the fastbreaks where created by his defense and speed. So I don't actually know exactly how to judge that) But here is the kicker. Remember a few games ago when I mentioned that KCP is looking to pass a bit more? Yeah, he put up a career best 8 assists. (his previous best was 4, which is crazy for a guard) And once again, several of those were basic-ass passes on the fastbreak, but some of them were not. He has been getting more assists the past few games, and his season average is up to 2 per game. Which may not seem like much but it nearly doubles his career average before the season started. Passing was the HUGE, gaping hole in his game. And was the main reason that I said he was unlikely to become much more than a decent offensive player. But he is starting to show some ability there, which is huge. Just an excellent game for KCP. His defense was out of this world, and his offense was good as well. (also 2/5 from deep, which is ok.) He was the catalyst for the Pacers being so out of sorts that for several stretches they literally struggled to make basic passes.

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GREATER-MOTHA-FUCKIN-MORRIS: In the end his night on offense was not as impressive as it looked like it might be early on, but 16 points on 13 shots (2/4 from deep) is still solid though. But the reason Morris is a Mother Fucker tonight, is because of his defense on Paul George. George ended the night 4/16 for 13 points, and 3 of those hits were against Stanley Johnson. Obviously part of that is that George was just off for whatever reason, but Morris had his number, playing hugely physical defense that ended with George's frustrations becoming a technical foul call. Greater Morris absolutely outplayed one of the better players in the NBA. Which won't happen very often, but he is capable of doing it. Which is awesome. Also, I feel stupid for predicting that Morris would have a quiet game. One last thing, Morris was key in the bench mob surviving. Hitting 3 of 3 shots in the second quarter while with the bench mob.

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Ersan Ilyasova: 20 poins on 13 shots. 2/4 from deep. The Pacers were very slow to get back on D. And Ersan took full advantage. He hustled his ass up the court consistently and found himself with a lot of easy layups. The reality is that if the Pacers had shown a little bit better effort that this would have probably been a fairly average game for Ersan, but because they were so slow getting back it allowed him to break out. Very nice game for Ersan, his hustle is awesome.

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Andre Drummond: Honestly, most disappointing starter. Just 8 points and 11 boards. But it should be noted, he was still instrumental in the offensive success of the Pistons. The Pacers committed a lot of manpower Drummond's way to keep him from having 29 rebounds again. And it was a big part of all the open looks the rest of the guys got. And he was a big part of the defensive performance. One other reason for his lack of rebounds, is that he was a big part of the defense of Paul George. SVG had Drummond shade hard over to wherever George was, and it allowed Morris (or whoever got the cover) to way overplay the jumper and try and funnel any drives to a waiting Drummond. While this resulted in more easy looks at the rim for the opposing front court than there usually are with Drummond on the court, it clearly worked given how poorly George played. He also got another steal, meaning he is still one of just 3 guys in the NBA with a steal in every game.

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Stanley Johnson: 11 points on 11 equivalents. Got roasted by George a few times but that is ok. He generally was ok. Not great, but ok. And he really should just park himself in the right corner on offense. He cannot hit a 3 from anywhere else. But he made several strong moves to the hoop that paid off, and had a couple nice defensive plays. Really does appear to have settled in to a role where he does not make many horrible mistakes, which is impressive for a rookie.

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Steve Blake: He cannot guard anyone, he can't score inside, he is not actually a very good facilitator, HOWEVA, his shooting was big tonight. 3/4 from deep helped to keep the bench afloat in the second quarter. But geez, he literally cannot guard anybody.

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Aron Baynes: Ended up with a pretty good game. 6 points on 5 equivalents, 7 boards. It is comical how often the ball bounces off of his stone hands. But still, a very solid game. He did the "perfectly acceptable backup center" thing to perfection tonight. Didn't really do anything spectacular (although he had a big dunk) but was just fine.

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Anthony Tolliver: Just 1/2 from the field for 2 points. He needs to find his shot back, and the willingness to shoot it as well. Please Tolly, we all love you. We want you to be useful.

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Dinwiddie, Hilliard, Bullock, Anthony: None of them really did anything of note. Hilliard still shoots like a maniac and no one else did at all. I am glad Hilliard gets a chance to do something, but he can only brick so many shots.

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General: Even though this does not mean a ton. (just like it did not mean a ton when the Pistons got smoked on the second night of a back to back a few times this season) This was a super nice win, the Pistons have really struggled on back to backs so far, and gave a super effort tonight. Even though he was not hitting many shots, the defensive scheme against Paul George was very effective, and the bench managed to not die as well. Super nice night for the Pistons.

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What do you think? Think I'm stupid? Let me know! We all get smarter!

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Btw I twitter and you should too.

P.S. I have made a few changes lately to try and make these posts more readable (mostly on suggestions.) What do you think of them and what else could I do to make it easier to read?

EDIT: If Hilliard/Dinwiddie are in GR tomorrow I will almost certainly be at the game. If you've any interest on going and talking some hoops then let me know.