Game Recap/Notes: Game #30. Pistons 113 - Warriors 95. 22-18. + A little extra.

Wow. The Pistons just demolished the best (or maybe 2nd if you like the Spurs. Or 3rd if you think Cleveland will ever be totally healthy.) team in basketball. The Warriors looked out of sync all night and the Pistons just took it to them. It was glorious to watch. The Pistons are not better than the Warriors, but there was nothing fluky about this win, the Pistons just straight up killed them.

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On Ben Wallace: So this post has to start off this way. It was Ben Wallace night, and they retired his number. I thought all of the halftimes stuff was very solid (although Gores was a little bit awkward but whatever) and nice. It was actually super cool that the whole starting 5 and coach were all there and I was actually a bit surprised by that. And I loved Big Ben's speech. Ben Wallace as a player was totally unique and spectacular. I absolutely think he should be in the hall of fame when all is said and done, but that does not matter a ton. Simply put, Ben Wallace resinated with me in a unique way. I have always been pretty big compared to people my age (I never had some growth spurt to be huge and then have people catch up to me or anything like that. Just consistently pretty big.) and because of that, this dude called Big Ben just worked for me. He was the reason that I really started to care about the Pistons as a little kid. Quite frankly, if it was not for Ben Wallace, I would probably never have had the love of basketball planted in me to become as big a fan as to do these posts, or to care about the Pistons retiring someones number. Ben Wallace is the first reason that I love basketball, and that is as high a praise that a fan can give a player. Thanks Ben.

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Box score.

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  • Reggie Jackson: Excellent night for Reggie. 20 points on 22 equivalents, (but really less since a couple of those were just cheese at the end of the game.) and 8 assists with 0 turnovers. Also played very hard and generally effective defense. He was in control of the game most all the time he was on the floor, even though he did not make consistent spectacular plays like he sometimes does. This was the sort of "Game-manager"/"Floor-General" type of game that is great to see from Reggie. Just a brilliant game for him. He found the right spots to attack, and was largely successful in that attack.

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  • KC-MOTHER-FUCKING-P: Yeah, he is deserving of this one. 20 points on 17 equivalents, and that scoring came by abusing Stephen Curry. And despite a excellent scoring night. KCP is (along with Drummond) one part of the double-headed-anti-Warriors-monster. Curry cannot beat KCP with dribble moves consistently. The Warriors needed gratuitous screening in the end to spring Curry (and spring him they did.) but the damage was done. It is fitting on the night of Ben Wallace, that we see the Pistons employ the Ben Wallace strategy for Shaq: Take him 1 on 1, he'll put up big numbers, but everyone else will die, and the Pistons win. This is literally what happened tonight. The Warriors were totally ruined on offense by KCP. The Pistons almost never double teamed Curry, and as a result, no one else got any easy looks. And because KCP is so excellent, Curry could not score whenever he wanted. He could score when the Warriors decided to get him a shot with things like double screens. KCP exposed both of Stephen Curry's weaknesses in this game. Defense, and contested shooting. And guess what, I don't care that Curry scored a lot of points. He was scoring a lot of points while his team got killed, those are what we call empty points. I know because I've seen a lot of empty points scored by Pistons players over the past several years. He is not capable of creating his own shot enough to score every time he is guarded 1 on 1, but rather has taken advantage of a NBA where there just are not players made to guard his type of player anymore. But KCP is. I have been, and still am, skeptical of KCP becoming a top notch 2 way destroyer, but damn if it isn't exciting to see him playing like this.

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  • Greater Morris: 16 points on 16 equivalents is nice for Marcus, 8 boards is nice for Morris. But do you want to know what's great for Morris? 6 assists and just 1 turnover, as well as a +30(!) on the night. Morris was allowed to run the offense a little bit more than usual and he passed very well. I actually have really like his passing out of the PnR and other sets that are not just "mid range post up." and I would like to see more of it, I am curious if these sorts of games could be more the norm than the exception. He managed to make it seem like no big deal to be guarded by Klay Thompson or Andre Igouhoweveryouspellit. Which is no small feat. Really a brilliant game for Marcus, and it was needed. He played 40 minutes of great basketball.

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  • Ersan Ilyasova: 8 points on 8 shots. 2/2 from deep. Didn't cause any super obvious defensive breakdowns. 8 rebounds. Perfectly good night for Ersan. Btw, I just want to point out that his little "pump fake, step in, step back 3." move may look not that useful, but is an excellent move. That 1 step inside the arc, combined with him actually having some ability driving to the basket, freezes the defender and guarantees no closeout and ergo a wide open 3. I love that move. A perfectly solid game for Ersan.

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  • Andre Drummond: 14 points on 26 equivalents is unfair because of some tips that count as shots, to go along with 21 boards (which also is not quite as impressive as it looks due to some of those tips.) But despite some foul trouble, Andre had a very solid game. He cleaned the boards with excellence, was a defensive problem for the Warriors, and also made Draymond Green his bitch and was the second head in the anti-Warriors-monster by being a traditional center who is, on his own, such a force that he can beat Draymond Green, while allowing the Pistons to go small everywhere else. The Pistons took it to the Warriors death squad with Green at center, and that is because of Andre. On another note, can people stop talking about Andre having poor effort? This dude is a spectacular player who plays very hard. I am not calling out anyone in particular, but it is crazy how often people complain about him. I have a challenge for every one of you reading this. Either during the next game, or better yet re-watching another one, go a stretch where you focus on Andre Drummond on the offensive end of the court. Watch the way the defense bends to him, watch the way he gets the living crap beat out of him on almost every possession. Watch the way this dude does the thankless job of screen setting time and time again. There is no young cornerstone I would rather be building my team around than Andre Drummond. There I said it. I have no issues with his effort. Maybe I will do a full post on this but I am too tired tonight.

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  • Stanley Johnson: 8 points on 7 shots. Played some very good defense. 3 assists and no turnovers. Very solid game for Stanley off the bench. This game is really just as nice as any he has played this year. He stayed within himself, played his role, and did it really well. Very nice game for Stanley.

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  • Anthony Tolliver: 5 points on 4 equivalents. But he was very nice on defense and also had a sweet dunk. He is actually starting to show a little bit of ability to put the ball on the floor, which if he keeps up, would be an excellent wrinkle to his game. Very solid game for Tolly.

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  • ARON BAYNES: 12 points on 6/6 shooting in just 9 minutes. Excellent game for Baynes. Just hopefully he is not really hurt bad. He was the main spark that ended with a big Pistons' lead that they never looked back from. And to be clear about something, when I have said I don't know how I feel about his contract. I am not referring to his abilities that much. He is probably a good enough player to justify that contract. My main issue is that he just does not play a lot. For instance, he makes about 6 mill per year and he played 9 minutes tonight. Marcus Morris makes 5 million and played 40.

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  • Steve Blake: I hate you Steve. But he did hit a couple 3s, even if he had a couple of big screw ups.

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  • Brandon Jennings: Was playing aggressive and well early on. Ended up leaving the game with ankle soreness or something like that. Get well soon Brandon.

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  • General: Excellent game. This game shows what this team is capable of when it is firing on all cylinders.