Game Recap/Notes: Game #6. Pistons 95 - Clippers 87. (4-2)

Great win. Not all that pretty, but a great win. The Pistons fought through a tough and physical game against a good team and came out the other side with a win. Best win of the season for the Pistons so far, and an important one given that they are probably going to get slaughtered tomorrow night.

 

Box score.

 

Reggie Jackson:

Kind of a goofy game for Jackson. His overall line ended up being rock solid with 15 points on 16 equivalents with 8 assists against 4 turnovers, with 4 rebounds and a steal. He also seemed to be just a tad slower tonight defensively than he has so far this season, it is possible that he is the same speed and the Clippers just exposed his lack of it better, but regardless he seemed a bit slow. He also had a couple of very poor offensive possessions where he tried to do the hero-ball thing a bit too hard, and in came to a head with an underhand toss from around the three point line that went over the backboard as the shot clock expired. HOWEVA, even though he looked a step slow many different times, he fought on defense, especially down the stretch, and immediately after that terrible underhand shot he got back and contested a Gallinari dunk that Gallinari missed. I don't know how much Reggie actually mattered in it missing since they didn't show a replay, but it didn't hurt. In the end, as long as he is showing real fight on defense I am not going to rag on him too hard, and he is still leveraging his great length better to get into passing lanes.

Offensively, even though he got a little bit too hero-ball oriented for a bit, it is understandable. Stan Van Gundy decided to roll with Anthony Tolliver instead of Tobias harris for almost the entire 4th quarter, and Reggie played the entire quarter. As such it left Reggie having to do a lot of heavy lifting on offense, but the hero-ball was a bit frustrating still because when he penetrated and passed out the Clippers were very slow on their rotations and it was leading to lots of great looks for shooters, so I wish he had passed on a couple more possessions. In the end though, not too much to complain about, he even had a game high +16 on the night, which I wouldn't read too much into but it is worth noting at least.

 

Avery Bradley:

Bit of a rough night offensively for Bradley, who finished with 12 points on 18 equivalents. I am kind of over his Rip Hamilton impression as well. He has to be more aggressive in attacking the paint when he gets the ball, and cannot take so many long twos. Either move them out to beyond the arc or get to the rim more, falling in love with that long two pointer was one of the biggest problems KCP had, and Bradley needs to be careful not to follow that same path. To make matters worse he also is going to be on Shaqtin' a fool for a botched breakaway dunk.

Defensively he was still very good, even though he wasn't overly involved on a possession by possession basis he still finished with a whooping 4 steals on the night. In the end it was a decent game for him, but he needs to hit more shots and the best way to do that is to take better shots.

 

Stanley Johnson:

Stanley was once again in solid form tonight. 9 points on 8 equivalents (2 of 4 from deep) with 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals in 31 minutes of play. He also avoided foul trouble despite guarding Danilo Gallinari who is a notorious foul drawer. He provided really great energy on both ends of the floor, and played defense without fouling on a couple of really tough matchups as he was switched onto Blake Griffin several times. His lone assist was also a sick bounce pass to Andre Drummond which was fun.

Solid game for Stanley, the question most nights is always going to be “Did he do enough offensively to at least break even?” and tonight he definitely did, and his defense was excellent even by his standards to boot.

 

Tobias Harris:

Kind of the game from hell for Tobias. He scored 12 points on 8 equivalents with 1 rebound and 1 assist, but played just 20 minutes due to having collected 4 fouls in those 20 minutes. SVG decided to go with Anthony Tolliver in the 4th quarter over Tobias, which did end up looking like the right call in the end. He did continue his scorching long ball with a 2 of 3 night from deep.

 

ANDRE-MOTHER-FUCKING-DRUMMOND:

I wasn't going to give him the honors just because he has so many already and he wasn't going to automatically qualify with free throws (he shot 1 of 2. I need more than 2 shots to have him qualify there) but then I looked at his stat line and saw 15 points on 11 equivalents, 17 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 blocks, and a +12 in 34 minutes of play. THEN SVG went and gave him super high praise in his press conference, so I decided to cave and give Andre the honors.

He really did earn it tonight though, he was excellent defensively and totally locked down the paint. The Clippers shot 28.9% in the paint(!!!!) and while some of that is just luck, Andre certainly wasn't making it easy for the Clippers. He also battled well with Jordan on the glass, and could've had a few more rebounds if he wasn't busy making sure Jordan was boxed out. (and leaving the actual rebounding to teammates) He forced a couple of big turnovers, and switched onto Blake Griffin several times and did just fine. He even got created some buckets for himself on offense that he hit!

Here is the big offensive storyline of the night for Andre though, as far as I'm concerned at least. For perhaps the first time, he started going to the paint and looking for contact. He only got to the line once (which is a travesty btw) but he was legitimately trying to draw a foul. If this is something that catches on, it is the real revolution that happens to his game as a result of better free throws. Great game for Andre.

 

OUR LORD AND SAVIOR ANTHONY TOLLIVER:

I truthfully don't know what it is about this dude, because a lot of guys hustle, and a lot of guys can bomb threes at a decent clip, but dude just helps you win basketball games. After the first half was a traveling circus of guys trying (and failing) to guard Blake Griffin without fouling, SVG was forced to Tolly due to all the foul trouble, and Tolly did an awesome job. I know that Tolly isn't that good of a defender, but this is the second time this year that he has stepped up where others on the roster have failed. It was almost a bad night for Tolly anyways as he shot just 1 of 5 from deep, but one of those hits was super clutch, and then he grabbed a huge putback dunk and here we are in the Tolliverse again. Excellent game from Tolly.

 

Langston Galloway:

Yeah they probably overpaid for him right? He will cool off at some point, but this is incredible while it lasts. Galloway scored 13 points on 9 shots in 18 minutes, draining several open threes and playing good defense. He isn't a flashy or complicated player, but he gets the job done. His shooting was a huge part of the Pistons digging out of a hole to win this game.

 

Ish Smith:

Not a great night statistically for Ish. 8 points on 6 shots, 1 assist, 2 rebounds, and -8 in 16 minutes. But I actually thought he had a decent game in the end. His speed on defense was important to keeping the Clips contained as they had to scramble to recover from doubling Griffin every possession, and even though I don't want to count on this very often, the shots he hit were not easy ones and very important to the Pistons winning this game. Not a great night for Ish, but I thought a solid one.

 

Jon Leuer:

Ew. 2 points on 5 equivalents, 0 of 4 from the field, 5 rebounds, with just a block and competing on defense being the only upside to the night for Leuer. This wasn't all bad because he actually did have a decent defensive night by the end, but boy is it painful to watch him clang shot after shot on offense.

 

Henry Ellenson:

Bigger ew. He scored no points by missing all 5 of his shots, had 5 boards. He had like two possessions where he made a decent defensive play but he still really struggled on that end. Very rough game for Ellenson in his 12 minutes.

 

Reggie Bullock:

Got 7 minutes in the first half. Looked rusty.

 

Eric Moreland:

Played literally one minutes and I literally didn't even realize it. I have no clue when this happened.

 

General:

Less long twos please, but the defense was very good and in general that is a great win. The Pistons now look forward to the Warriors tomorrow, and it should be noted that they haven't actually been blitzing people too badly so far. I'm still expecting the Pistons to get shellacked but hey, you don't know what may happen. If they can avoid a letdown against the Lakers however, they will return home above .500 which would be great I think.

 

What do you think? How about Tolly? How about Andre?