Game Recap/Notes: Game #82. Pistons 112 - Cavs 110. OT.

What a game. It was meaningless. But it was kind of fun. Everything has an asterisk of not a single starter for either team playing. (Tristan Thompson doesn't count.)

'

Box score.

'

Steve Blake: The numbers were not as gaudy but it was almost reminiscent of his preseason outburst. Crappy defenders playing vanilla defense (even occasionally a zone lol) which was easy work for a guy with as high a basketball IQ as Blake. It was a good example of how he would have been fine all year being the point guard version of Joel Anthony, he could play in games like this and be fine, and otherwise do the whole veteran leadership thing and whatnot. Also he should get some of the credit for the Pistons excellent ball movement. I'm still terrified about him playing minutes in the playoffs but he was fine tonight.

'

Darrun Hilliard: Not a very good showing for Hilliard. Just 4 points on 8 equivalents, and his defense was its typical badness. I still like him and his potential for the future, but he is a bit hard to lock down. I feel like he might either become a really solid 6th man type, or never be much good at all. He is not a ball stopper, but he is a ball slower. When he gets the ball he likes to take some time and dribble and try and create something, whereas the best role player types (This is Bullock's best skill) make super quick decisions, they either shoot it or pass it quickly. The reason that is important for role players is because they don't create the offense much, so if they are not going to make a quick move, it is better to keep the ball moving to try and get it back to a creator. Only time will tell if Hilliard will get good enough as a offensive creator for that or not, and the dude can clearly shoot, but I still don't know for sure what to make of him.

'

Stanley Johnson: 12 points on 16 equivalents, 8 boards and a couple assists. Not a great night for Stanley either, although he does seem to mostly have found his game back on both ends though. And even though he did not end up with many assists to show for it, he did initiate quite a lot of the offense. It was a fine game for Stanley, but nothing all that special.

'

Anthony Tolliver: Shot a lot, hit a lot. 15 points on 10 shots, 9 of which were from 3. That is about as Tolly as it gets. He was a big beneficiary of lazy closeouts and good ball movement and he had a really nice game because of it. Real nice game for Tolly, hopefully he could hit a hot streak for the playoffs.

'

Reggie Bullock: Have I mentioned that I love Reggie Bullock and I'm still kind of salty he has spent the whole year on the bench? 15 points on 9 equivalents, 8 boards and 4 assists. He is still fairly prone to the occasional defensive gaff but on offense he is just the sort of dude that makes the offense better. He makes quick decisions, is really smart with those decisions, is a sniper from deep, and a super smart off ball cutter. He is basically like Steve Blake before Steve Blake got so old he couldn't really play anymore, and if he was also a few inches taller.

'

Spencer Dinwiddie: Like Hilliard, I still don't know for sure what to make of Dinwiddie. On one hand, every time I watch him I see the things that say he is going to be a solid player: his length can be a real pain for opponents on defense, he is explosive in hitting a seam in the defense to get to the hoop, and he is good at finishing and making good passes out of that penetration, and he also has a knack for drawing fouls. (even if he's shot them poorly the past couple games lol) But on the other hand, he pretty clearly can't shoot much and is not aggressive enough in attacking the hoop instead of settling for jumpers. And on defense, despite his length, he cannot navigate a screen to save his life. Which is not the worst thing in the world, there are guys who have been in the rotation for all of their first 2 seasons that still haven't learned to effectively navigate screens. But for a guy who should give some big value on defense, you would like to see him not be quite so lost. Still though, for this game he was just fine, scoring 12 points on 17 equivalents, and 5 boards and 5 assists with no turnovers.

'

JODIE MEEKS???!!!???: I did not see this one coming. At this point I just have my fingers crossed that SVG will use him in the playoffs. It has been rumored that Meeks has been ready to go for nearly a month and SVG has just not played him for some reason. Regardless, Meeks did not look in the least bit rusty or out of sync. Ending the game with 20 points on 17 equivalents as well as 3 assists. If he is able to actually play, and play well, in the playoffs it could seriously change the dynamics of the series. Because he would solve the most glaring weakness on the team. (Not that the Pistons win the series, but they will be a much harder out. Although, if he could play really well and the Pistons beat the Cavs, I would say that would make up for the fact that he's missed more games than he's played in a Pistons uniform. Regardless, great to see him back on the floor.

'

Joel Anthony: Lol, Joel Anthony has a very special place in my heart. He is not very good, he is not even a very good rim protector, but man he can block shots. He ended the game with 8(!) of them too. It is just awesome how he is an old guy who is not even very tall (by NBA standards) for a center and he just comes out of nowhere to smash someones shot. Its especially fun to see a guy like Joel get to play really well because he is the sort of dude who you know has made a career of just being a lunchpail kind of guy, so its always cool to see him play well.

'

General: One thing above all else that I liked from this game: SVG is a awesome coach. The Cavs literally had the game plan of "give it to the D-League guy who can score" and even if it almost worked, they clearly were just trying to get the game over with. Like I would imagine if they were allowed to, they would have just forfeited the game. But SVG, even if the starters were all out, he still coached, and his players played a really awesome brand of basketball with awesome ball movement and selfless play. That is SVG. Even though this game does not matter, what it shows about the sort of team/organization SVG has already built does matter.

'

What do you think? Think Dinwiddie and/or Hilliard will ever become decent players? Let me know! We all get smarter!

'

Grand Rapids folk: I spoke to soon last time, but now spring appears to have really totally come upon us. And if you wanna come hoop with me and some other peeps on Sunday just hit me up. It'd be super dope to see you there.

'

Also: I've started a gofundme page as per advised by ya'll. If you wanna send some spare change my way so that I can write lots of dope posts while I'm gone that'd be sweet. If you don't wanna, then buy yourself something nice.