Well that was terrible, predictable, and in the end not the worst thing in the world all at the same time. The Pistons came out just plain lazy and bad while a rested Lakers team came out firing, and then when the Pistons started to not be downright lazy they couldn't hit shots while the Lakers just kept hitting them. In the end though, the Pistons still went 2-1 on a tough road trip so I won't complain too much in the end.
Offensively he mostly picked up right where he left off in the Warriors game, scoring 18 points on 15 equivalents with 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 turnovers in 27 minutes. He had a couple of possessions where he over-dribbled but he mostly played a really good game on the offensive end. Defensively though, he had a big letdown after having played really quite well on that end. Him (and Tobias FWIW) both are not talented enough to get by with lazy/uninterested defense. Johnson and Bradley obviously bring it every night, and even when Drummond isn't totally engaged he still rebounds like crazy and his size and athleticism still reaps steals and whatnot. Jackson and Tobias have to be giving good effort and be engaged or they are outright terrible defenders, they both got that tonight. I was really disappointed in both of them.
After a great game against the Warriors, Bradley put up an absolute dud in this one. 8 points on 17 shots, 5 rebounds, 1 steal in 34 minutes. Simply put this was an ugly, ugly game for him. He struggled to make a good impact on defense as the Lakers drove and kicked all game and I don't know for sure if it was just that they were staying away from him or if he was blowing it, but regardless it was not an impressive defensive outing I guess. Just a terrible game from Bradley, although he deserves the benefit of the doubt to have an off night, it still sucked.
That awkward moment when Stanley Johnson might be the best shooter on the team. He finished the night with 9 points on 8 shots with 4 rebounds and a block. He joined Bradley in having a fine but not overly impactful defensive impact, I will give him credit for that every time the Lakers got into the open court he was always back in time to play defense, but he was just not overly visible on defense. Still it is great to see him continuing to hit shots.
As I laid out early, I was really disappointing by his defensive effort tonight, hopefully this game is a good reminder for him (and Jackson) that if he lazes around on defense the Pistons defense falls apart quickly. Harris was fine on offense in the end, scoring 18 points on 19 shots in 33 minutes, but he didn't have the sort of impact the Pistons were probably hoping for. Some credit here goes to the Lakers for defending him well, but he needs to hit some more shots and now is officially in a bit of a slump. Four of his last five games have been pretty rough outings broken up only by the game against the Timberwolves, and he needs to bounce out of it quickly.
He didn't play a great game on either end, but he was mostly ok. He finished the night with 10 points on 9 shots with 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal in 35 minutes. I was surprised to see his rebounding total so low in the end, because he seemed to be doing a pretty good job on the glass, but maybe I was wrong. Regardless, he had several possessions where he got beat but he actually mostly did ok on defense as he spent a lot of time chasing Brook Lopez around the perimeter and did a fine job of it. The Pistons need him to be better than this, but he could've been worse I suppose.
Ish joined Stanley Johnson as probably being the only guys on the Pistons who actually played good games in the end. Ish finished with 12 points on 9 shots with 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 23 minutes. He gave the Lakers some problems as they were not really ready for his speed at a few different times to get to the hoop. He played a pretty nice game.
I love Reggie Bullock, and he still does all kinds of good things on the floor that help you win. But he still hasn't hit a three since returning to the team, he needs to start doing that.
In 12 minutes he scored 5 points on 2 shots. Didn't really make much impact beyond that.
6 points on 4 shots in 10 minutes for Tolly. At the very least he hit a couple of threes on a night when the Pistons missed a lot of them, but he wasn't able to bring any sort of magic to this game.
I'm a pretty staunch defender of Leuer and I think he is a good player, but this was pretty ugly tonight. He scored 4 points on 4 shots and had a rebound and an assist, but he was tasked with guarding Julius Randle and he stood absolutely no chance. Julius Randle ripped Leuer and Ellenson to the point that he damn near won the game on his own as he finished with 17 points on 11 equivalents in 17 minutes. This was a bad game for Leuer.
This game is the reason why Ellenson is a danger. He hit a three in garbage time but before that he went 0-3 from the field while getting continually roasted on the defensive end. Simply put, if he isn't scoring he is kind of a flaming pile of garbage, and the was definitely the case tonight.
Played in garbage time. Didn't do anything.
Once again, I do not blame the refs for how games turn out in basketball. There are so many possessions in a game and they are all created equally, and I am not saying that they swung this game. HOWEVA, this was a freaking joke. The Pistons literally shot three free throws on the night, and two of them were Moreland in garbage time, and the Pistons continually missing contested layups is not exactly a great sign that there was not contact. I don't know for sure, but this was pretty terrible.
I think Stan Van Gundy kind of blew it by continuing to allow Ellenson and Leuer guard Randle, but other than that this was just one of those nights. The Pistons played like crap, couldn't get any calls, and one of the worst three point shooting teams in the NBA decided to shoot nearly 50% from deep. It happens. As long as the Pistons can bounce back at home against the Bucks then this game isn't a big deal and it is a successful road trip.
What do you think? How would you have combated Randle? Why do these things happen? Why did it have to be a late game so I had to stay up till like 2am? Why can't they do these games at a reasonable time at least?? Why do I do this???? At least God is looking out for me because there was a bomb threat or something at school so class was canceled.