Very good win, the Mavs are not as bad as their record suggests, and the Pistons lead every minute of the game to head into the break with some decent vibes and in the playoffs.
Reggie was back in form after a rough couple of weeks, scoring 22 points on just 14 equivalents to go along with 4 assists on a flurry of drives, pullup jumpers (a couple from 3) and general mayhem causing plays. He appeared to hurt himself on a breakaway dunk but came back and played fine. He was the driving force behind the Pistons from end to end and his shot making later in the game was largely the reason the Pistons won the game. He even made a couple of nice defensive plays with a pair of steals which both turned into immediate points. Excellent game for Reggie, he also gets an A+ for body language, dude was high fiving everyone all the time.
KCP has matched Reggie’s struggles over the past couple of weeks, and even though he didn’t bust out in quite the same way as Reggie tonight, he did have a good game for the first time since the Pellies, and the 2nd time since coming back from injury, scoring 16 points on 15 shots. He didn’t do a ton passing the ball with just 1 assist but also didn’t have a turnover so whatever. He got a bloody nose which sidelined him briefly but was apparently fine. Nice game for KCP even if nothing spectacular, hopefully he can get back on track by the time they come back from the break.
Strange game for Morris, who struggled to score with just 6 points on 11 shots, but ended the game with 14 rebounds. I don’t know if there is anything to read into that or not, I didn’t have any idea he had so many while watching. Regardless, I guess he did a good job protecting the glass, and he also spent the vast majority of the night on Harrison Barnes and did a really nice job. Weird but decent game for Marcus.
Leuer had a really nice game, as he continually found himself in some space and he took full advantage of the Mavs super small lineups. His ability to just shoot over smaller guys has consistently been a nice addition for the Pistons. He finished the night with 20 points on 12 equivalents, helped along with 10(!!!) free throw attempts. Exactly the sort of game that shows you what Leuer is about, he just found open space and took advantage. None of his plays were spectacular, just effective.
Only played 19 minutes with some foul trouble and then SVG worrying about fouling. Only 9 points and 11 rebounds isn’t so bad considering the low minutes, but it is disappointing he couldn’t stay on the court because his athleticism was proving a problem for the Mavs. He did get torched a bit in the 2nd half by Dirk raining death from deep, and while Andre didn’t play it perfectly, that happens sometimes, he’s Dirk.
Got some extra time with Andre limited, and honestly didn’t do much of anything good. Scored just 2 points on 8 shots, but did have 11 rebounds in 26 minutes. The only good thing you can say is that apparently he at least didn’t get in the way of everyone else as he finished with a game high +10 on the night.
Tobias got 13 points on 11 equivalents the hard way, mostly on really tough shots over defenders. He only played 24 minutes which I thought was a bit of a mistake, but the Leuer was playing well enough that it isn’t a big deal. Even though he only scored 13, each one was an important basket given the difficulty involved, pretty nice game for Tobias.
Ish put in another pretty nice game with 10 points on 11 equivalents with 3 assists. He joined Reggie in having more turnovers than he should, but other than that played well. He did all the things we expect from him at this point, running at every chance, passing the ball, playing hard defense, and hitting just enough shots to keep the defense honest. Nice game for Ish.
Stanley couldn’t get any of his 3 shots to fall on offense but did get 2 assists, one of which was a really nice play. However he has often had really nice games even with minimal offensive impact due to his defense, but I just didn’t feel like he was as good defensively tonight as he has been lately. Most nights you can really feel his presence on that end, and I didn’t get that tonight. Either way, not horrible, just not much good.
The Pistons go into the break in the playoffs and winning games. They are a bit behind where they were hoping to be, but they have got themselves in a spot where they can have a strong finish to the year and still have a successful season.
What do you think? Can they finish strong?