Game Recap/Notes: Game #36. Pistons 99 - Celtics 94. 20-16

Wow. That game kind of made me want to end my life. It was ugly, and the Pistons were screwing up basic stuff like, "Catching the ball when passed to you." Throw in truly insane refs, and it was a hard game. But after the dust is settled, it is a good win for the Pistons. And on the anniversary of FAFW btw. 

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Box score.

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Reggie Jackson: Brilliant game from Reggie, 24 points on just 19 equivalents(!), 6 assists to just 1 turnover. And he did it in exactly the way that we have grown accustomed to seeing him do it, in a wide variety of ways. He hit pullup jumpers, hit those goofy floaters that almost look like hook shots just below the free throw line, and also got to the hoop. What I loved was that when Andre was out with foul trouble (which was a lot of the game) there were several times where he clearly said "screw it" and just went full speed to the hoop. A couple of times it backfired in various ways, but mostly that is a great thing. When a guy as fast as Reggie puts his head down and beelines for the hoop it puts so much pressure on the defense. His defense was also generally quite solid as well. Just a really nice game. (As a side note, it looked like he tweaked his ankle again coming down on a shot, and was noticeably gimpy for a wee bit. But looked fine the rest of the game so it might be nothing. But keep an eye on it.)

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KCP: Before getting into anything else. Everybody give a short round of applause for KCP. He has officially busted through the Mendoza line of shooting percentages. He is now (barely) above 40% from the field, and above 30% from 3. He has stayed just beneath it for the last few weeks. Now about this game. Can mostly be summed up as: Caught fire from deep again. 4/7 from 3, and for a stretch in the 2nd(?) quarter he single handedly kept the Pistons in the game with a flurry of 3s. He ended up with 20 points on 16 equivalents on the night. On the other end he was his usual brilliance, giving problems to Isaiah Thomas all night, who despite ending up with 22 points, it required 26 equivalents to get there. And that was mostly KCP. Once again, I am not all that optimistic that he will keep up this play because once again he just got hot from deep and we have seen that many times before. HOWEVA, this is the first time he has broken 30% from deep and 40% from the field so we will take any good shooting we can. And the Pistons need him to be competent on offense. Good game from KCP.

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Greater Morris: 8 points on 12 equivalents is not very good, and he was going against a very good defender in Crowder most of the night. And his defense appeared to be a wee bit off as well. Just not an awesome game from Morris. But he did play 37 minutes, and fought for every single second he was on the court. Not a great game, but despite his inefficiencies, the eye test says that he did not do anything too bad. Was more just ok. (which is not what we are used to from Morris at this point.)

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Ersan Ilyasova: 5 points on 10 equivalents. Yuck. Like Morris just not that good a game for Ersan. Ersan's defense did not really hurt the Pistons all that much but it was still not good. As a result of his (fairly) poor play he only ended up playing 22 minutes and SVG looked elsewhere. In the end he just did not have it on offense. Not a good game for Ersan.

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Andre Drummond: Statistically a bad game for Andre. 13 points on 10 equivalents, and 5 boards. But he was in gratuitous foul trouble all night and only played 21 minutes. (And I would say a lot of that foul trouble was not really his fault.) HOWEVA, there was a short stretch, where he single handedly carried the Pistons. He went at Amir Johnson and absolutely owned him for like 4 or 5 straight buckets in the post. HOWEVA none of that is actually the important thing of the night. When attempting an entry pass to Andre, Amir Johnson decided he'd had enough of Andre dominating him in the post and just tackled Andre to foul him. And in doing so he sort of rolled up on Andre's leg. Andre played a little longer before coming out and was walking and did not go back to the locker room. But he did not come back into the game. Most signs would say that it was precautionary. But if he is hurt, that is huge. Make no mistake about it, if Andre were to miss any significant amount of time, this team will die. Simply put. Once again, hopefully it was just precautionary, but still terrifying.

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Brandon Jennings: 6 points on 6 equivalents, and 2 assists. Not big numbers, but he was totally fine. Made a couple of very nice plays, and the bench is just SO MUCH better when Jennings is on the floor. Even when he is not putting up big numbers, he just runs the offense so much better, and even defends at such a higher level than the PGs the Pistons have had backing up Jackson. But all that said, he did not do a whole lot of super significance. But a very decent game.

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Stanley Johnson: Another excellent game and double double for Stanley. 11 points on 9 equivalents, and 10 boards. PLUS he had an absolutely killer 3 point shot that was awesome and ballsy. And on top of all of that, he had an extra little something on defense tonight it seemed, he went after whoever was the lead ball handler and was a pain in their hind end. Really was just an excellent game for Stanley. The thing that really is starting to stand out with him, is that this guy can freaking rebound. When on the floor without Andre (which was a lot tonight) he really attacks the boards, and he is a beast. His energy was a big part of the comeback. And just to clarify something, when I talk about how impressed I am that he consistently is an actual legit positive on a team winning games and that is very good for a rookie, what I am saying is this: (and this works with any rookie) Ask yourself, if Stanley was 27 and this was just the sort of player he was, would you still think that he is a worth while player? So far this year, Johnson would be a absolute yes. There are not a lot of rookies who can say that. (not to say he is perfect by any stretch, but he has been good.)

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Anthony Tolliver: Picked up Ersan's slack and got 24 minutes of action. Was 2/6 from the field (all 3s) and did his usual thing of playing super hard on defense and on the boards. Very solid game from Tolly. Like Johnson, his energy was a big part of the comeback. Also a quick side note, after struggling mightily with his shot most of the year, since the return of Jennings, his 3 point percentage has shot up to 36%.

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Aron Baynes: Ended up playing 18 minutes with Andre in foul trouble, and performed admirably. Scoring 6 points on 5 equivalents, and grabbing 6 boards. And played good defense, outside of the fact that he fouled a TON. Not all his fault, but as the second guy in this situation. The one thing you really don't want to have happen is foul trouble. But whatever, he played very well at the end of the game especially.

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Joel Anthony: Had to play 9 minutes due to foul trouble (his first meaningful minutes of the year.) and did as well as you could expect. He played hard, blocked a shot, got a couple boards. And avoided being bad enough to totally ruin the Pistons. And as the 3rd guy in line who is literally there in case of emergency, that is all you can really expect. He is not very good, but he plays hard enough that he can avoid killing your team while he is on the floor. So mission accomplished.

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General: The bench just carried the day again, and Reggie Jackson turned it on as well. Just a very nice win in the end. I still was hoping to see Jackson and Jennings but we will have to wait a bit longer. Very important win as well.

The refs?

Yeah, I have said before, and will say again, refs do not decide the outcome of NBA games. There are too many possessions. But that was awful, and even forgetting that the Pistons got the short end of the stick, it was just too much. They called so many damn fouls it was horrible.

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What do you think? Think KCP can keep up the shooting? Think the new bench will keep being really good? Let me know! We all get smarter!