Game Recap/Notes: Game #45. Pistons 95 - Jazz 92.

That was an bit scary. After being in pretty firm control most of the night Rodney Hood exploded and brought the Jazz back, but the Pistons were able to just barely hold on thanks to some offensive heroics by Reggie Jackson, and some excellent all around defense.

Box score.

REGGIE-MOTHER-FUCKING-JACKSON: Reggie has been in a bit of a rut the last few games, even though I think people have overreacted to it, he certainly has been a bit off. He came out of that rut in a big way tonight. 29 points on just 21 equivalents, only 4 assists but just 1 turnover, and his defense was really on point for the first time in a while. His stat line is pretty telling, the Jazz overplayed the lob and Gobert was hesitant to ever leave Drummond to contest, to which Reggie responded with a flurry of layups and floaters for all kinds of easy buckets. Throw in a few 3 point shots (one of which was straight dirty) and you've got an excellent scoring night for Jackson. His assist total was lower because the Jazz were giving him the shots and trying to lock down passing lanes, so he took the shots and hit them. And for the second game in a row SVG (stupidly in my opinion but more on that later) benched Andre for the end of the game (plus more than usual elsewhere) which resulted in Reggie needing to play hero ball to finish the game, and tonight he came through. And while a lot has been made of how the Jazz are weak at PG, between Neto and Burke, they scored 0 points. Neto was hurt early in the game so Burke played most of it, and FWIW, Burke has actually found his groove scoring the ball this year and has been an excellent 6th man for the Jazz this year, and Reggie shut him out. And while part of that is obviously just Burke missing some shots, but Reggie played good defense, and it has been a while since I've said that. Just a brilliant game from Jackson.

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KCP: As awesome as his recent stretch of excellent offensive play was. This game is almost more encouraging. 12 points on 10 equivalents, 3 assists (4 turnovers but a couple were not his fault) and 7 boards. This game is almost more encouraging because we have seen him go on stretches where his shot falls and looks like an offensive force, but the issue is that after he has a week or 2 of 20+ppg on solid efficiency, he then falls off a cliff for a while. When he is not red hot from the floor, he needs to be able to stay viable on offense. So a very nice game for KCP. His defense was its usual very good, and once he got switched full time onto Hood it helped out a lot. Very nice game for KCP.

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Greater Morris: Poor night shooting for Morris as he scored just 2 points on 9 shots. But he had 4 assists and 0 turnovers, and he played defense on Gordon Hayward pretty much all night, and did a very good job of it. Hayward ended up with a very inefficient 22 points on 26 equivalents, and 5 assists to 3 turnovers. Throw in a couple of really brilliant defensive stands to close out the game and you've got a pretty nice game for Morris, even if his shooting was off.

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Ersan Ilyasova: Awesome night for Ersan in just 23 minutes. He scored 16 points on 12 equivalents, and had 8 boards, and drew yet another charge. Trey Lyles might end up being a good player, but at this point he is not all that good so Ersan was able to not get hurt on defense, and Lyles lost him around screens several times which helped Ersan to his solid night shooting.

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Andre Drummond: Not a good night for Andre, Gobert's length really bothered him and it showed. Throw in a 1/10 from the line and it was really a hard night for Andre. HOWEVA, if SVG keeps benching him to end games, teams are going to keep having comebacks, and the Pistons will have to rely on Reggie Jackson playing hero ball to save them. Andre created Reggie's excellent night with his rolls to the rim, once he left Reggie's path was suddenly not so clear and it showed. To be clear, Reggie will be good enough to pull some games (like this one) out of the flame with hero ball, but it will fail a lot too. Reggie needs Andre to be on the floor to really take over a game, and I can't understand why SVG benched him. (but yaknow Andre, you could also just hit your freaking free throws and this would not be an issue.)

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Anthony Tolliver: TOLLLY! 12 points on 8 shots, 4/5 from deep, and a couple of them were hard shots. When he is hitting his shot he is awesome, and tonight he was awesome. Also he is really starting to get braver about going to the rim with a little drive game. He has a long ways to go, HOWEVA, if he were to show some actual dependability with that, he could actually be a better player than Ersan, because Ersan's ability to put it on the floor is what separates him from Tolly, but Tolly is getting braver. Awesome game for Tolly.

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Stanley Johnson: 8 points on 6 equivalents, and some solid defense. Settled into his role tonight and played it really well. Also, even though it is probably too low, I like how quick his release is on his shot.

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Aron Baynes: Filled in for Andre very well once again, 8 points on 8 equivalents, some solid defense and his regular hustle. He does not do anything near what Andre does on either end of the floor, but he fills in really well and especially fits in well with the bench mob.

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Brandon Jennings: Didn't score at all, but had 4 assists and 0 turnovers. And the bench overall played really solid ball and so Jennings gets a nice night in the end, because the bench as a whole is a reflection of how Jennings is playing.

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General: I'm angry about Andre sitting the end, but other than that a very nice game and a very nice win over a solid team. Reggie finally had his bounce back game which is nice.

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What do you think? Would you bench Andre? Let me know! We all get smarter!