Game Recap/Notes: Game #31. Pistons 93 - Celtics 99. 17-14.

Well that game was, disappointing overall I suppose. There were some guys who had good games, but they were lacking that real spark tonight it seemed. And this is going to be an absolutely dead horse by the end of the season, but the Pistons, in their current form, are testing the theory of just how far 2 players can take you. And those two players are Drummond and Jackson. If both of them are on their games then the Pistons can play with anyone, if either of them are off they can lose to anyone. Drummond was good, although not quite as good as his stats suggested. And Jackson had a pretty poor game. As such, the Pistons lost. It is frustrating, but when you rely so much on just 2 guys to carry the team so much, these things will happen.

Box Score.

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Reggie Jackson: 17 points and much better defense, but those are really the only positives for Jackson tonight. He scored his points on decent efficiency (17 equivalents.) but he only managed 2 assists with 3 turnovers. And even though it is hard to complain about 17 points, that is below his season average. He did hit a couple of ballsy shots at the end of the game, but overall he really struggled to read the Boston defense to make the right decisions. Often times when he does not have many assists it is because he is taking what the defense is giving him (and he ends up scoring more points than usual) but that was just not the case tonight. The Celtics had him largely bottled up all night. His defense was better whether it be on Bradley or Thomas. Overall it was not a horrible game for Jackson, and he does deserve some credit for managing to lay off the pedal a little bit so that he does not hurt the team significantly when he just doesn't quite have it/the opponent is dialed in to him. But the Pistons need him to be better than this, He needs to be good distributing or scoring. (Although his assist numbers would have looked better if the Pistons had not shot so poorly from 3.)

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KCP: SVG said before the game that KCP was not 100%. His defense and hustle gave little evidence for this, but when looking at his offensive performance, that was miserable. He was not able to reproduce his excellent effort against the Cs last time, instead putting up just 6 points on 13 shots. Which is absolutely miserable. The fact of the matter is that even though he is not exactly counted on for a lot of points, at the end of the game KCP was the most obvious perpetrator for the loss tonight. That is just a really bad performance. Although it would be wrong to not include the fact that he did play very solid defense and had a couple of really nice plays. Just his offense was really not good, it is hard to win when your SG shoots like that.

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Greater Morris: Not quite as gaudy a performance, but another very solid game for Morris. 16 points on 16 equivalents, and several of those buckets came against Jae Crowder who is a legitimately really good defender. Had a couple of big and important buckets late in the game as well. He once again seems to be the guy who just keeps fighting no matter what, which maybe it is just his reputation as a tough guy that makes me think that, but it is undeniable that in 2 straight games the Pistons were down by a fair amount and he was a big part of the Pistons fighting back to make it interesting at the end. Morris' defense was his usual solid as well but never had to deal with anything too difficult. Overall just a very solid game for Morris. Nothing spectacular but very solid.

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Ersan Ilyasova: 9 points on 10 equivalents. Played not very good defense, and also got beaten a couple of times on the boards but still did end up with 7. He did not do anything poor enough to make me say he had a bad game, but he also did nothing that was all that good either. His game low -18 is indicative of his defensive and rebounding struggles. But he was not too horrid overall.

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Andre Drummond: 22 points on 26 equivalents, and 22 boards. It was a very good game, but not quite as dominant a performance as the counting stats would say. But once again, his FG% can be very misleading since a few of his shots every game are where he is just rising above a group of opponents and trying to tip it in the hoop which is different from missing a hook shot or something. He was far and away the Pistons best player tonight though, and was the best player on the floor. I still think I lean towards just keeping him out there when getting hacked, but whatever there. He has to hit is free throws. One thing that has been legitimately nice to see lately is his passing out of the post though. He only had 1 assist and his assist numbers have not gone up much because he does not pass out of the post a ton, HOWEVA, when he does they are really impressive passes. He rifles passes with pinpoint accuracy when there is a hole that looks damn near like Bron. (I AM NOT SAYING ANDRE IS AS GOOD A PASSER AS LEBRON JAMES, I AM SAYING HE SOMETIMES THROWS PASSES THAT LOOK LIKE JAMES) And that is a really nice thing to see. As he gets more confident with his ability to fit his passes into tighter spaces he will just get better and better as a passer, I am actually starting to think, with more experience, Drummond might become a very good passer.

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Stanley Johnson: 12 points on 11 shots and very good defense does not do his night justice. Johnson was the energy that truly sparked the Pistons coming back and making it a game down the stretch. Any time someone asks why we think Johnson will become a crazy good defender, just show them those back to back defensive possessions Johnson had against Evan Turner. Turner, who is a good ball handler, literally could not advance the damn ball. Johnson is still very raw as a defender and has a long ways to go, but there are very few guys who are talented enough that they can turn up and literally stop a competent ball handler from advancing the ball. Johnson had an excellent game and continues to impress with his ability to play within his role on the team. Very nice game for Stanley.

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Steve Blake: Blake played like, kind of competent offense. But the decision by SVG to play him at the end of the game was stupid. And I FWIW I thought that even before Jerebko hit the dagger over Blake. Blake can shoot, but he does not deserve to be out there with another ball handler. And he literally cannot guard anyone. Like this is kind of sad, but he just cannot jump enough anymore to actually contest jump shots. The number of times he runs super hard to and jumps as high as he can and extolls all this energy, only to have the shooter be totally unbothered is incredible. Supposedly Jennings will make his return Tuesday against the Knicks so hopefully the Steve Blake saga is over. But tonight he was not very good. But it is unfair to put too much on that one possession at the end, other than that he did not do anything super horribly bad.

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Anthony Tolliver: 1/5 from the field. Tolly is as useful as his shot is. He was not very useful tonight.

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Aron Baynes: Scored 2 points on 1 shot in his limited time. But he had some real defensive and rebounding issues that I saw at least. He is a limited player and it was on display tonight. That is the main reason why I would just suck it up and leave Andre on the floor, Baynes is probably so much worse than Drummond that it hurts the team more than Andre's foul shooting. Regardless, not a very good game for Baynes, but not too bad.

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A wild Reggie Bullock Appeared: He only played 1 minute at the end of the 1st half when KCP picked up his second foul. And got a very tough foul called on him fouling Avery Bradley beyond the arc. I suppose it was the correct call because he got some body with his own, but Bullock freaking packed that shot. Regardless, I suppose this means that Bullock is back to the position of emergency SG over Hilliard, which I am in favor of because Bullock does not shoot every time he touches the ball and also is not totally lost on defense.

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General: Disappointing game. Pistons made it close at the end but it was not that close most of the game. The Pistons were in desperation mode for a while and got very lucky. I don't know for sure how much of it was the Celtics or not, but the Pistons shot horribly from deep tonight and that was a big decider in the game. Also should be noted that some guys shot percentage is a little worse for the bombing at the end of the game. EDIT: Totally forgot to mention this, idk for sure what the numbers say, I think in that situation it might have been better to foul on the Celtics last possession, but I personally am fine with playing it out. Trust you defense a bit. I think the bigger mistake was leaving Blake on the floor when you need a defensive stop.

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

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Programming Note: Any Requests? I am planning on doing a couple posts the next couple of days looking into some more specific things, whether it be exactly how Jennings figures to fit in, some trade stuff like Markieff Morris and Ryan Anderson, general overview for players so far in the season. That sort of thing. If there is a specific topic you would like to have touched on (whether that be in its own post or just mentioned in another one) let me know! That can range from exactly what is going on with a certain player to how good I would think a certain trade might be. And it is all in fun so anything fun/interesting would be welcome.