Game Recap/Notes: Game #79. Pistons 108 - Magic 104. 42-37. Just 1 more.

It was closer and harder than I might have really liked, but in the end, a win is a win, and at this point there is no complaining. If the Bulls and Wizards lose one more game, or the Pistons win one more game, they are in the playoffs. But just to be clear of something, even if they were to miss it, as disappointing as it would be, this season is already a success.

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Box score.

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Reggie Jackson: Dude knows how to turn it on late in the game. He struggled early on but found a groove late in the game, and after assisted by hitting quite a few late game free throws he ended the game with 24 points on 23 equivalents, and 4 assists with 3 turnovers. His defense was at times shaky, as usual, but as is also usual in big games, he managed to turn it on for enough possessions to make some really good defensive plays to come out as a net neutral and maybe even a positive. (I say maybe just because it is so hard to judge defense without going back and re-watching all of the game watching just that one guy. And I ain't going to do that.) He truly did have some clutch baskets, and he played hero ball at the end, but with Andre out of the game, it was really his only choice. When SVG pulls Andre late in the game he is essentially betting the game on Reggie playing successful hero ball. So while it was not a awesome performance for Reggie, I would say it was a great one, because in the end, when it mattered most, he turned up and got the job done. Also, just in case you were on this wagon, the Pistons would not be better with a "real" PG. There are maybe 5 teams that would definitely not swap their PG for Reggie.

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KCP: Bounced back with his occasional "Oh but I might be really good" game, which even though it is still fools gold, it is still welcome. He found a groove in the second and third quarters and got some very important buckets. His defense on Oladipo was not actually as stifling as I had expected, but that is simply because it was not pure brilliance, he was still very good. (Once again, this is more a comment on how good he is most of the time.) His 18 points on just 11 equivalents was both welcome and needed. Really good game for KCP.

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Tobias Harris: Not as big a game as I would have hoped with him returning to his old team's arena. But 13 points on 11 equivalents, 7 boards and a couple assists is not a bad line. And as per usual with him, many of those points were of the "very difficult" variety that are huge for the Pistons. Also, he could have probably scored more but he was matched up against smaller dudes several times and ended up throwing the right pass to start ball movement in response to a double team. So a fine game for Tobias.

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Greater Morris: Does appear to have cooled off from his super hot stretch, but he at least managed to not be horrible so he is Greater Morris again. 9 points on 13 equivalents is not ideal of course, but he did have Aron Gordon on him for a pretty good portion of the game. And he did manage 4 assists (with 3 turnovers) so it was not a totally lost offensive game for Morris. His defense and ball handling with the bench mob was its usual effectiveness, and he generally just played pretty good ball. Hopefully he can regain at least some of his hot streak for the playoffs.

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Andre-MOTHER-FUCKING-Drummond: Went 3/6 from the line man, a promise is a promise, so he gets the honors. 13 points on 17 equivalents is kind of ugly, but the 16 boards are satisfactory. Also was everywhere defensively, making several really good plays on Vucevic, and also got a poke away steal in crunch time. Even though not exactly a dominating performance, it was a pretty good one. One thing I don't know for sure how much to blame Andre for though, is that the Magic, for the second game against the Pistons in a row, got a lot of offensive rebounds. On one hand, it did not often seem to be directly due to the fault of Andre (it is not his job to box out Aron Gordon) but on the other hand, Andre is supposed to just clean the glass every time. So I don't know, but it was a problem.

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REGGIE-MUTHER-FOCKING-BULLOCK: Here are the real honors for the night. Following a stretch of pretty poor play by Stanley Johnson, SVG opted for Bullock to replace him in the rotation, and Bullock came up big. Hitting 3 3s to end up with 13 points on 9 shots, and also ended up with 6(!) assists. And while he will never be an awesome defender (he gets murdered by screens quite a bit) he plays hard and will do stuff like the super dope block he had early in the game. I don't know for sure how I feel about it being at the expense of Stanley, but I am fully in favor of Bullock getting minutes and even getting them in crunch time and have been pushing to let this dude play all season. I have thought this before but I don't know if I have put it down, so here it is on record. If the Pistons don't keep him around, Reggie Bullock is going to end up on the Hawks or Spurs, or maybe even the Warriors, and he will be awesome. He is such a freaking smart player. You can just see, he makes quick decisions. When he catches the ball, he either shoots it, passes it, or starts dribbling in. And that puts real pressure on a defense. I hope he sticks around for a while and SVG doesn't pull him from rotation again.

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Anthony Tolliver: Hit a couple of shots to end with 6 points on 6 equivalents. Played his usual hard, if not always effective, defense. Did his job tonight, and did it pretty well. Nothing spectacular, just another day at the office.

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Steve Blake: The one shot he hit was a pretty big one. So he has that going for him. Reggie Bullock and Tolly both did him a favor by bothering to actually hit a few shots for assists for him.

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Aron Baynes: 9 points on 6 equivalents, 4 boards. Could not really handle Vucevic, but that is not really a fair matchup for Baynes. Just like Tolly, nothing crazy, just another successful day at the office for Aron Baynes.

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General: I'm a huge fan of Reggie Bullock playing in the mid 2os minutes. I'm not at all a fan of pulling Stanley from the rotation all together. JUST 1 MORE GAME THOUGH.

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What do you think? Think they will make it? Let me know! We all get smarter!