Game Recap/Notes: Game #71. Pistons 92 - Bucks 91. 37 - 34. DRUMMOND

Well that was quite a game. Both teams went on huge runs in the first half, and the Pistons played catchup the whole second half. But Jarryd Bayless gave the Pistons a helping hand by giving them a chance to win it, which was promptly wasted by KCP. But fortunately the Pistons have one of the best rebounders in history on their team to bail them out, Fun game.

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Box score.

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Reggie Jackson: Actually ended up being a pretty quiet night for Reggie. I'm surprised looking at the box score actually. Just 9 points on just 9 equivalents, 5 assists to 3 turnovers. I am not totally sure what to say about that actually. On one hand, you have to hope for more than that from the second best player on the team in a really important game. (Although FWIW all the games are really important at this point) But on the other hand, the Bucks did put a lot of attention on him and he was willing to pass it off and let other guys take advantage of the holes created by the attention sent at him. Which is something he needs to improve at. His defense was also pretty solid tonight, Jarryd Bayless is not exactly a hard assignment but he did well against him. And he was switched onto Kris Middleton several times and generally put up a respectable fight. So I guess in the end I'll say it was a fine game for Reggie. He did not force things that were not there, and he played hard on defense. (Plus he had a super clutch layup at the end of the game.)

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KCP: -_- SVG needs to have a heart to heart with KCP. They need to sit down, and SVG bring up KCP's stats. SVG should ask him to look at the 3 point %'s and read them aloud. And when he get's to KCP's have him read it several times. "30.3%". KCP you have a nice stroke, and in theory should be a pretty good shooter. But dude, you are just not good enough to justify the shots you were taking tonight. 11 3s(!!!!!!!!!!!) and only hit 2 of them. Including quite frankly one of the most boneheaded plays I've seen in a while on the last possession, and I don't care that it worked out because Andre bailed him out. With some time still left, while down by 1, he pulled up for a long 3. That is literally irresponsible and was probably the worst possible choice given the situation and he is lucky that it took a lucky bounce to Andre. (remember that 3s usually result in longer rebounds, so even if the theory is to just get up a shot with some time for a tip in, you have to get as close as you can.) Beyond his totally idiocy on the last possession, this was a pretty poor game for KCP and highlights the reason why he MUST find something other than just perimeter D to be good at. His offense was pretty poor with 15 points on 19 equivalents. (Although I do like the 3 assists) And he got absolutely torched by Kris Middleton. (Reggie Jackson also gets some blame here, but that was on a few switches. KCP was on him most of the game.) He is simply not big enough to effectively guard a guy like Middleton, at which point he becomes nearly a liability on defense. (He finds other ways to impact the defense so he is not truly one) And he is nowhere near good enough offensively to be a effective player if he is not dominating on the defensive end. Really bad game for KCP, no way around it.

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Tobias Harris: Bit of a quiet night for Harris, with 13 points on 14 equivalents, 6 boards, and 2 assists. HOWEVA, he was busy on the defensive end, being the primary reason for Jabari Parker's hugely quiet night. Holding him to just 5 points on 7 shots, of a guy who has been averaging over 20 since the break. And in the end, he was not needed in the offense too much tonight because...

GREATER-MOTHER-FUCKING-MORRIS: BOOM BABY!! I have held fast in the belief that you don't lose 6 percentage points on your 3 point shot in your mid 20s, and that the law of averages would eventually come and save Marcus Morris' 3 point shooting. While it is not exactly saved yet, he has been on fire the last month or so, and he is all the way up to 35% on the season, which is almost up to where his career average was before this year. Although this time his big night was not just 3 point shooting, where he went 4 of 4. (Including a straight up dirty step back with the shot clock winding down.) His 21 points came on just 10(!) equivalents, which is straight insane. The Bucks were willing to let Tyler Ennis and Jarryd Bayless switch onto Morris on several different possessions, and that went about as well as you would expect. With Morris getting some very easy buckets. Throw in his 4 assists, and Marcus Morris pulled the Pistons out of the fire on this one. The Bucks were determined to make someone other than Reggie Jackson beat them, and Marcus is the guy who stepped up. Also his defense was not spectacular, but he generally made Giannis work for his points, which is not perfect especially given Giannis beating him in transition several times. But he did fine. Literally might have been Morris' best game of the season.

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ANDRE-FUCKING-DRUMMOND: Game was not actually that huge by his standards, but I had to do it given that he had the game winning bucket and all. Still it was no slouch of a game for Andre. 14 points on 16 shots and 16 boards is a pretty solid night. And although Monroe got off to a quick start thanks to him finding some openings in the Pistons defense, Andre locked in on him later in the game and essentially locked Monroe, and whoever else he was matched against, out of the game. Real solid game for Andre, and that was a BIG time bucket at the end.

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Steve Blake: He hit a layup for an and 1. I literally think that is the 2nd time this season he has hit a real layup. So that was good I guess.

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Anthony Tolliver: Kept up his hot shooting en route to 11 points on 9 shots. He also had one of his random huge blocks on some fool who never saw it coming. I freaking love when he does that to people. If he could manage to keep on a hot shooting streak (which who knows if he will or not) it would be a huge boost to the Pistons playoff push. Really nice night for Tolly who appears to have overtaken Reggie Bullock for 9th spot in the rotation. (Which btw, SVG WHY?? You are allowed to play more than 9 guys in a game.)

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Stanley Johnson: Not a very good offensive night for him with 4 points on 7 equivalents and 4 assists to 5 turnovers, and it included getting caught by Giannis on the fastbreak and getting absolutely stuffed. HOWEVA, his defense was excellent, and it appears that some stuff might be starting to really click for him on that end. He again made a couple of plays where he just straight took the ball from guys which is super hard to do. Not a great game by any stretch, but he did ok.

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Aron Baynes: 2 points on 4 shots. 6 boards. Bit of a quiet night for Baynes after a career night. But still he generally managed to do his job, even if he got beaten pretty badly in the post by various guys.

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General: SVG should be playing Bullock at least a little bit and needs to get KCP to dial back on the pullup/contested 3 pointers. In the end though, the Bucks actually looked really good tonight and this is a real solid win for the Pistons. The Bulls also won so they are still in an essential tie for the 8th spot. It will be a bit of a dog fight for it.

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What do you think? How far will Marcus Morris' hot streak go? Let me know! We all get smarter!

IMPORTANT EDIT: I am going to be on vacation in Florida until Sunday. I will probably watch all the games in that time and at least do recaps, but I miss a post that is why.