Game Recap/Notes: Game #64. Pistons 102 - Mavs 96. 33 - 31.

What a fun game. Both teams played super hard, Reggie became ice incarnate, Andre had a awesome game, Dirk was doing Dirk stuff. Just a super fun game. These sorts of games are what makes it worth it to keep watching in the dog days of the NBA season.

Box score.

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REGGIE-MOTHER-FUCKING-JACKSON: I don't care that he only managed 11 points on 14 equivalents, or that he only had 4 assists. (zero turnovers though) That 3 he hit at the end was so crazy. After the 2nd straight horrid offensive possession that looked to be about to end in a shot clock violation, he just heaved, and hit. That is crazy. It should be noted though, the 4 assists to 0 turnovers is big. He had a poor night shooting and let other guys take most of the load, which is a good thing to be able to do. He had a lesser role tonight, but he put the effort back into other places and didn't force too much, and still was hella clutch at the end. Not a brilliant game, but that shot was too cool.

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KCP: KCP had a poor night shooting along with Jackson, with 14 points on 17 equivalents, including just 1/8 (ouch) from deep. But he did generally do his good defense thing and made a awesome play to intercept a pass and punk Barea going for the loose ball for an easy layup. He went hard at the glass and came away with a couple of offensive boards (5 boards overall) and generally did the whole "effort" thing well on his way to 3 steals. He also did manage 3 assists, and one of them was not any wimpy assist on a nice lob to Andre. His offense is still an issue, but the dude plays hard and can defend. And there will always be a spot for guys like that on a team.

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Tobias Harris: This is that stuff I like right here. 19 points on just 13 equivalents, 7 rebounds, 5 assists to 2 turnovers. And managed to not get totally torched by Dirk. Really is the sort of all around performance that makes me excited for his future with the team. His scoring is hugely important as an outlet other than Marcus Morris for some offensive creation when teams lock into the PnR. He found himself in quite a few mismatches over the course of the night and he generally took full advantage. Once again, that efficiency is huge, he did not force anything. He took what was there. Time will tell if he is good enough to be a effective 3rd option, but he has done really well in his role so far.

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Greater Morris: This is also the stuff I like. 20 points on 17 equivalents, 7 boards, and 2 assists. Including the game sealing steal by jumping the passing lane. And BTW, how does 39 points on 30 equivalents, 14 boards, and 7 assists sound for the starting Forwards? Me like. Similarly to Tobias, Morris often (though less that Harris) found himself in mismatches, and he took full advantage. His scoring in the midrange was its typical reliable, and he even got a couple of 3s to fall later in the game. His defense was not always awesome but it generally was. I was not a fan of using Tobias as the starter with the bench mob though, I think Morris is much better in that role after seeing Tobias. Harris just does not have the same chops as a facilitator. Regardless, excellent game for Morris, and Harris. The Mavs put a almost comical amount of attention on Andre (especially in the 2nd half) and it created openings for the other guys, and these two made good on those openings, and that is exactly what the Pistons need them to do.

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Andre Drummond: 25 points on 26 equivalents and 17 boards. Pretty good night for Andre, and also I want to draw attention to that, even though he ended up shooting just 5/14 from the line. Each time the Mavs fouled him intentionally he managed to split the pair, so that is a slight positive to hold onto. He was a huge problem in the first half for the Mavs, and they had to commit a huge amount of attention to him to keep him down, and that is what allowed for the great night from the forwards. Also props to Andre for keeping a cool head after a stretch of possessions where Zaza absolutely brutalized him and no fouls were called. One last PSA, he got switched out onto Wes Matthews late in the 3rd quarter out on the perimeter, and Matthews tried to go by him and absolutely failed. I just want everyone to appreciate how incredible it is that a guy Andre's size can do that. (because he does it all the time.)

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Reggie Bullock: Came back to earth a wee bit with 5 points on 6 shots. But he was not going to shoot 60% from 3 forever obviously. He did have some issues on the defensive side of the ball falling for fakes, but they were full speed mistakes. Which essentially means he is playing too fast and forgets to think a little, which I would rather have him playing a little too hard than not hard enough. He still canned a 3, and also got a couple buckets inside. He is a brilliant cutter off the ball, and SVG has even let him initiate the offense on a couple possessions the last couple games. He is really looking solid, and unless he implodes, he is probably in the rotation for good.

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Steve Blake: Thanks to the Mavs PG situation being almost as sad as Steve Blake, he was not a total wreck tonight, which is nice. He allowed JJ Barea to look really good a few times, but that is actually just kind of what JJ Barea does. And he managed to hit a few shots on his way to 7 points on 4 shots. And 4 assists to 2 turnovers. Both of which are totally respectable numbers. He is still not good, but he managed to not totally kill the bench mob tonight which is good.

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Aron Baynes: Actually one of his worse games in a while, which is more a comment on how effective he usually is. Just 1 point and 3 boards, his defense was not much of an impact either. Regardless I saw nothing that was especially bad.

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General: Super fun game. The Hybrid forwards were awesome. And could someone remind SVG that it is not the playoffs yet so a 8 man rotation is really not ok.

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What do you think? Would you have been able to hit that shot? Let me know! We all get smarter!