Game Recap/Notes: Game #29. Pistons 93 - Heat 92. 17-12.

That game was literally the most absurd thing I have ever seen. A lot of stuff happened in this game that was weird on both sides, but make no mistake. The Pistons had no right to win this game, the bench went literally insane. That sort of stretch from 3 will almost certainly not happen again the rest of the season. HOWEVA, when you have a bench full of guys who can shoot, that sort of thing can happen, and the Pistons capitalized on it to steal a win in a game that they did not actually play all that well in. Super fun game regardless, and also, the Pistons are now just .5 games behind the 2 seed in the east.

Box score.

Reggie Jackson: Very solid game from Jackson on both ends of the court. This may seem silly because Beno Udrih scored a lot early in the game, but you can ask literally any person who has watched the Grizzlies play many games the past couple of years, Beno Udrih has done exactly this about 50 times before. He has a absolutely killer midrange pullup jumper. That is not really Reggie's fault, and FWIW in the second half Beno largely disappeared. On offense he was very solid, scoring 18 points on 16 shots, and while just 3 assists and 3 turnovers is obviously not ideal, he largely took what the defense gave him, and the 3 turnovers is a low enough number that you can live with. And while the bench will get a ton of credit in this game (and rightfully so) Beno Udrih's total inability to keep Reggie out of the lane allowed him to be the lone positive for the Pistons early in the game, and kept it from getting way out of hand. Not a spectacular game for Reggie by any stretch, but it was very solid.

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KCP: 14 points on 14 equivalents is, admittedly, nothing spectacular. But he hit a couple of REALLY big shots down the stretch. And while I am a big supporter of not forgetting that the shots in the first quarter still count for just as much, it is undeniable that he came through in the end in a big way. His defense was not awesome on Wade, but it was certainly good. Wade had a decent game but, this is Dwyane Wade we are talking about here. And in the end Wade had 19 points on 23 equivalents which is not all that good. Also, KCP continues to show some better passing chops with 3 assists. In the end KCP did exactly what he is on the team to do. Play good defense, and manage a few points. Very solid game from KCP.

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Greater Morris: 8 points on 9 equivalents, 5 boards, 3 assists. I mean, that is not a big night statistically by any stretch, but it is a very solid night regardless. All of his points where of the self created type, and they were all big. The reality is that he played a very solid game, he just was not asked to do as much as he usually is due to the bench explosion. And he did not try and force stuff beyond that. He took a bit of a back seat and did just fine. Also played very nice defense after being switched onto Bosh on a couple of possessions late in the game.

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Ersan Ilyasova: Just 6 points on 7 equivalents. His best contribution was actually his rebounding with 8. And all 8 were big, Hassan Whiteside really went after Andre and they ended up drawing on several of the rebounds, and Ersan came in to clean it up. Similarly to Morris, Ersan did not do a ton simply because he was not asked to do much due to the bench explosion. Which once again is a perfectly acceptable thing. Also props to Ersan for contesting that Winslow dunk.

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Andre Drummond: Not a great game for Andre. Whiteside came out firing and gave Andre a lot of trouble at the start of the game. But after a rough start Andre started to kick it into gear and did better the rest of the game. Whiteside is really the only guy in the NBA who can legit go toe to toe with Andre on a athletic standpoint. And it showed. These guys will figure to go toe to toe in the future. Also, give a round of applause, his steals streak is over. He did not have one tonight. All in all, outside of a miserable start, Andre had a decent game. Whiteside is good, it is expected that he will have some off games against him.

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Anthony Tolliver: Big game for Tolly. He was a part of the 3 point barrage going 3/5. And also played some very hard defense on Chris Bosh. Tolly is not all that complicated, when he hits his shots, he is valuable. When he does not hit them he is not that valuable. He hit his shots tonight. So he was valuable. He has not shot that great this year but he is slowly trending upwards. Great night for Tolly.

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STANLEY-MOTHER-FUCKING-JOHNSON: Great game for the Stanimal. He was the main member of the 3 point explosion going 4/7 from deep. But he also made several other nice plays, ending up with 14 points on 10 shots to go with 3 assists. And while his defense did not mean a ton because he was guarding Winslow for much of it and Winslow does not really even play offense. Even though those are not huge numbers, they were huge at the time. Johnson having a great night was the biggest difference in this game.

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Steve Blake: So, I have railed on Steve Blake a lot this year, and I have pointed to his continued playing as exhibit A. in my only concern with SVG's team building in that he seems to have put such a priority on people who can shoot that he would rather have a guy who can shoot a little bit but is a worse overall player than a guy who is a better player but is not a good shooter. HOWEVA, the past several games for Blake are a good reminder for me, that shooting does in fact count for something. Even if Blake can't really play defense, he isn't a good facilitator, and he can't really score at all inside. Sometimes, there is decent logic to putting a guy out there just because he can hit some open 3s. I still hate that he plays and cannot wait till Jennings has removed Blake from the rotation, but he was important tonight.

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Aron Baynes: Not a very good night for Baynes. In his 14 minutes he did not do anything especially bad, and he did not do a ton because the bench was bombing away from deep, but 0/3 is not that good. But he still did some decent things on the floor. Continues to be a perfectly acceptable backup center.

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General: Pistons stole this one on the back of the bench having a collective out of body experience. But they did manage to steal it. Andre got pummeled early but ended up fighting back in a good way, next time these two play I would figure both the big dudes to come out with a lot of energy. A fun game to watch, and the Pistons are suddenly on the doorstep of (potentially) peeking over the top of the thunderdome that is the Eastern Conference. as we now know Jennings was not expected to play tonight so that is not a worry. SVG said that he is not expected to play for 2 more games, unless something were to happen to Reggie or Blake. And this does result in Dinwiddie being out of the mix totally, and is in fact now on the inactive list. Dinwiddie is clearly not going to really get another shot so he will likely either get sent to GR for the rest of the year or could possibly end up in a trade I suppose. Either way he is pretty much out. But whatever, fun game that was good to watch.

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