The Blazers are not a fearsome team admittedly, but it was still a great win for the Pistons. Everyone other than Jon Leuer played a good game and Marcus Morris went damn near playoff LeBron.
Reggie’s numbers ended up being not so good, 10 points on 13 equivalents with 4 assists and 2 turnovers in 24 minutes. But he actually played pretty well, for the 2nd straight night he did a nice job of snaking into the lane and finding guys for shots, and then competing on the defensive end. The coaching staff just clearly decided (and rightly so apparently) that the Blazers had no one who could guard Marcus Morris, so Reggie took a bit of a back seat. I am a little bit worried that he man have hurt his thigh though, as he somehow got hit by Lillard when Lillard took a jumper (the one were Lillard got a T caus he wanted a foul) and he limped very hard following it, and then he came down the court and threw an oop to Drummond and then left the game and didn’t return. Either way though, some very cautious optimism could be had as Reggie has 2 straight games of just looking right, even if his numbers were not as good in this game.
KCP ended up being able to salvage his night by hitting a pair of technical foul free throws and drawing a foul on a 3 pointer to finish with 16 points on 13 equivalents with 3 boards and 3 assists against 1 turnover and 3 steals defensively. And he also NEARLY BLEW THE GAME. He took a pretty piss poor shot on the Pistons 2nd to last offensive possession, missed It, and then got T’d up!! The Pistons were up 2. Even if it was a bad T call (which I would guess it was) you can’t give any reason for a T in that situation. KCP also blew it defensively on the final possession on Lillard. Fortunately, Lillard had missed the technical free throw so Lillard’s bucket didn’t put the Blazers in the lead. But he was bad defensively all night, there is no way around it. He made a couple of nice plays, but the 3 steals has less weight when you see he played 47 (wtf SVG) minutes. He was consistently beaten by his guy, whether that be McCollum or Lillard. Obviously those guys are both good players so it isn’t a huge deal, and if he were anyone else I wouldn’t even hardly mention it beyond “he got roasted on D but that happens against good players.” But just because of how good he was last year, every time he has been subpar this year has been disappointing. Still a decent game in the end.
Marcus Morris was the best player on the floor the entire game and it wasn’t even close. 37 points on 27 equivalents, with 8-9 from the line and causing Harkless to foul out, with 8 rebounds and 6 assists and no turnovers. It was surely especially sweet as it is coming off a game where his mistakes were a big reason the Pistons lost to the Celtics. I wouldn’t have thought coming into the game that Morris vs Harkless would be any real mismatch, but the Pistons did, and they turned out to be right. Morris iso’d repeatedly and the Blazers had no answer for him. It was funny because I mentioned Morris’ ability to become a stud for a night while talking about Nurkic in my preview, and it turned out that this was actually going to be that night for Morris. Oh, he also made some big time defensive plays with help defense since Andre was forced to be on the perimeter so much to counter the Blazers excellent 3 point shooting. I love Marcus Morris.
0 points on 8 shots with 5 rebounds in 20 minutes. Nothing else. It was as bad as those numbers make it look. I don’t wanna talk about it.
After a rough start to the game for Drummond (I believe he started 1 for 7 or something like that) where he missed/was blocked on multiple dunk attempts and generally couldn’t hit anything, he ended up with a real nice game. 19 points on 18 equivalents, 15 rebounds, 8 of them offensive, 1 assist and a steal. If it wasn’t for the Blazers 3 point shooting dragging him out of the paint so often he would’ve likely had 20 rebounds. He joined KCP in deciding to just not play defense on Lillard on the game tying bucket, but for the most part he actually did a pretty decent job of getting out onto shooters. Pretty nice game for Andre, and his defensive presence and effort was evidenced by the fact that SVG put him back in after he 2 minute mark, something SVG has not done before. Usually once Andre comes out for free throw purposes at the end of the game, he is out for good.
12 points on 14 equivalents with 7 assists against 2 turnovers, and 7(!!!!) steals in 29 minutes. He had a bit of a rough start to the game as he missed a bunch of shots in his first run on the court, but then in the 2nd half he had one of his random transformations into Chris Paul from the midrange and hit like 4 or 5 straight buckets from right about free throw line range. The Blazers were throwing bad passes for much of the night, and Ish was ready to pounce on them every single time, and also made an awesome hustle play in overtime where he dived on a loose ball. Very good game for Ish.
Stanley played really well, and SVG rewarded him by giving him 28 minutes and leaving him on the floor in crunch time. Stanley finished the night with 6 points on 6 shots with 7 boards, 1 assist, and 2 steals. He played really good defense on whoever he found himself against, and made good offensive plays, even though his points all came from 3 pointers. Really nice game for Stanley, and it was nice to see SVG stick with him for a bit.
Another game where Tobias doesn’t really get it going offensively as he scored just 11 points on 12 shots in 23 minutes. He also had 6 rebounds and 5 fouls in 23 minutes. He had a couple of good buckets, but he just didn’t have a major impact on the game.
Early in the game good Baynes made a showing and he finished with 9 points on 6 equivalents with 6 boards and a great block on McCollum after he had to switch onto him. But late in the game he struggled and also ended up with 5 fouls in his 23 minutes. Still a pretty good game for Baynes.
Perhaps Reggie was hurt, but I totally disagree with SVG to put Reggie, Tobias, and Andre on the bench for the closing minutes of the game, and that when Andre was put back in they didn’t let him even set a screen, as it nearly cost the Pistons the game as, unsurprisingly, when you don’t have even 1 of your 3 most important offensive players you can’t run a functional offense. But the reality is that it is sort of the two sided coin of SVG. Marcus had played awesome all night and SVG just kept going to the well, had LIllard hit the technical free throw then SVG would’ve gone to the well too many times, but it is also kind of cool that SVG is willing to ride the hot hand/group like that. Good win for the Pistons. Someone please remind Jon Leuer that he is allowed to make the ball go through the hoop.
What do you think? Is Marcus the greatest of the Morrii? How about Stanley’s play?