Game Recap/Notes: Game #76. Pistons 89 - Mavs 98. 40-36.

Well. A disappointing but not totally surprising loss. The Pistons had played really well and also gotten a bit lucky for the recent stretch of games, and it was bound to turn the other way at some point. And when things turn the other way JJ Barea scores 29 points, and while slowed for a time, even KCP can't totally bottle him up.

'

Box score.

'

Reggie Jackson: I was hoping for a bounce back game after a really poor showing against the Thunder. My hope was in vain. He had another dud. Starting off the struggles by being totally unable to stop JJ Barea and being primarily to blame for the Barea explosion. It is not all his fault because anyone who knows Barea knows that he just does this crap sometimes, still Reggie just struggled. He made matters worse by generally stinking it up on offense as well, by scoring just 11 points on 17 equivalents, which is really bad. He did manage to have 10 assists, but combined with the 6 turnovers it is not a very good passing night for him either. He is not the lone reason why the Pistons lost, but the fact of the matter is this. Reggie Jackson was badly outplayed by JJ Barea. There is not much chance for the Pistons to win with that fact.

'

KCP: Saw the full compliment of his awesome perimeter defensive prowess and hustle, as well as his limitations with bigger, stronger dudes. When he was switched onto Barea in the 2nd half was a big turning point and produced a big run that got the Pistons back in it. But once Barea left the game KCP really struggled to guard Wes Matthews who generally bullied him. Still though, a really impressive defensive performance. I would actually say the most impressive defensive thing he did was one possession his ball denial to Dirk was awesome. Dirk had already shot over KCP a couple times, because there is such a size difference that it is a gimme for Dirk. And KCP had enough of that crap and freaking battled Dirk for nearly a whole shot clock to make sure that the Mavs could not enter the ball to him. That was cool. On offense he also managed a pretty decent game, 15 points on 12 equivalents is a totally fine line. HOWEVA, I have to say this. He took one 3 in the 3rd quarter (I think it was then) just when the Mavs were starting to pull away again. Where he took this off dribble, moving, contested 3. Like, after that crap, at the next timeout a coach should has sat him down and chewed him all kinds of out. KCP THERE ARE LIKE 10 GUYS IN THE WHOLE NBA WHO ARE GOOD ENOUGH SHOOTERS TO TAKE THOSE SHOTS IN THE MIDDLE OF CLOSE GAMES THAT MATTER. YOU ARE A 30% SHOOTER FROM 3. YOU DON'T GET TO TAKE THOSE. It's like when Andre tried to shoot a freaking Kobe style turnaround fadeaway thing earlier this season. I am all for guys spreading their wings a bit, but that is just not allowed. You don't get to do that. In the end though it was a pretty nice game for KCP. His defense was really big and his offense was perfectly fine. (outside of that one freaking shot. Which bothers me more than it should)

'

Tobias Harris: The box score does not really do Tobias justice here. He scored 14 points on 14 equivalents, and had 5 boards and 0 assists. But I think damn near every one of those buckets where of extreme difficulty, and also were really big. He sort of chilled out of the way for the most part, but then straight up bailed out the offense on like 4 or 5 possessions with his shot making. Also not seen in the box score, Tobias played Dirk as well as I have ever seen anyone play him. Dirk hit a lot of the shots because he is Dirk, but it was a brilliant defensive performance as far as his matchup with Dirk. (Although it should be noted, Tobias really struggles to contain ball handlers in the PnR which was right alongside Reggie in JJ Barea being such a pain.) Not that great a game, but the contributions he made where really big.

'

GREATER-MOTHER-FUCKING-MORRIS: Once again got to attack the soft side of the Mobias monster. He got Dirk on him with most of the game, while Tobias had Anderson and even Matthews. Marcus took full advantage, scoring a season high 31 points on just 18 equivalents, which is stupid efficient. And his hot shooting continued as he went 6/8 from 3. Throw in 12 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, and ZERO turnovers. And you have perhaps Marcus' best individual performance as a Piston. He also played really tough defense on Dirk, and did not have the same issues with the PnR as Tobias. SVG said it after the game, but it is totally true. Marcus is just letting the game come to him right now. He is taking open 3s, no heat checks, and attacking guys in isolation when it is either clearly designed (clearout) or a clear mismatch. Just a brilliant game for Marcus, and a real shame it came in a loss.

'

Andre Drummond: Ugh. This was not Andre's best game. 12 points on 20 equivalents, which was truly sunk by his 2/10 at the line. But it wasn't just that, he just straight missed shots that he has to hit. Whether it was hook shots or tip ins or whatever. Off the top of my head there are like 5 or 6 shots he absolutely should have hit. On the plus side, he usually will hit those, on the negative, the Pistons lost so it doesn't really matter. He did get 17 boards and generally played good defense. He was good enough other areas to not be a wash of badness by any stretch, but man, his offense was just off tonight.

'

Steve Blake: Threw a few nice passes, hit a 3, missed a few jumpers, couldn't defend the gates of Constantinople from an invasion of sheep probably. So just kind of typical Steve Blake, but minus the usual turnovers.

'

Stanley Johnson: The Pistons need Stanley to be better than this. Just 3 points on 4 shots, and 1 board. He did not play much because the Starters played a ton, but he needs to really pack some real punch off the bench. He is starting to really make good defensive plays though which is good.

'

Aron Baynes: It's been said before, but this game is the perfect example of why Andre has to learn to shoot free throws. In just 14 minutes, Baynes managed to go -25(!), while Andre actually went +16 despite his horrid scoring. Without Andre the Pistons are not any good, it is really that simple. Baynes kind crapped out on this one though for sure. 0/3 from the field, and just 2 boards.

'

Tolly: Only played 5 minutes, didn't do much.

'

General: In the same order of the recap, the starters played 32, 45, 40, 40, and 35 minutes. I would just assume have no one play 45 minutes, but the reality is that the whole reason that I have wanted SVG to not play guys so much all season is so that on the home stretch like this you can play them 40 minutes per game. That's just what it takes sometimes.

'

What do you think? Is Marcus Morris the best player ever? Let me know! We all get smarter!

P.S. Idk when the scouring for the Bulls will be up. I'm too tired to do it tonight but I work early in the morning tomorrow, but the game is too big to skip the scouring so even if it isn't up till kind of late, it will be up.