Game Recap/Notes: Game #47. Pistons 108 - Thunder 121. (22-25)

The fall continues. The Pistons were pretty much just outclassed by the Thunder from start to finish with the only times the Pistons looked capable being when the best Thunder players were all sitting on the bench.

 

Box score.

 

Langston Galloway:

I don't even know anymore man. I'm glad they are giving him a shot as a starter and think that long term he is probably a better option in that role. But holy crap, they could not generate any looks with him leading the way. He only ended up playing 13 minutes and still went -19 which is very much not good. 5 points on 4 equivalents with 2 assists is fine I guess. It is just a clash I suppose, you can either have the shooting that allows for a functioning offense with Galloway or have the ball handling that allows for a functioning offense with Ish Smith.

 

Avery Bradley:

Blech. 6 points on 7 shots with 3 assists in 26 minutes of play. In good news, he once again has been clearly de-emphasized in the offense so don't tell me anymore of this nonsense that the coaching staff is totally clueless. Unfortunatley he also struggled defensively which is hardly a sin considering he was generally guarding Russell Westbrook but it is still hard for Bradley to make much on an impact on the game without making it on the defensive end.

 

Stanley Johnson:

Only played 11 minutes in which he did not score and recorded just a rebound and assist. I don't know what the deal was here to be honest.

 

Tobias Harris:

Welcome back to not being terrible Tobias, we've missed you. 21 points on 17 equivalents is a very nice performance and probably his best in a couple of weeks. It was especially nice to see him get to the line a lot, especially against a team with so many stout wing defenders as the Thunder do. He of course did very little to help the Pistons poor defensive effort but I don't know if he did much worse than most anyone else did. Hopefully this game will mark him breaking out of his recent slump.

 

Andre Drummond:

Not a huge game but he only played 31 minutes. 12 points on 13 equivalents with 13 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and 3 blocks is a decent line for him even if it is a bit underwhelming. I'm not sure that he really deserves much of the blame for the Pistons starters getting totally blitzed but there is probably something to the fact that he could do nothing to stop the bleeding and finished the night -30.

The one good thing to come from this game is the way he dealt with Steven Adams which is a pleasant continuation of his trend all year. There are maybe a handful of guys in the NBA who have the right combination of size, strength, and athleticism to even compete with Drummond for rebounds. The end result is that Drummond is often lackadaisical about boxing out which can get him in trouble when he runs into guys like Adams who are super tenacious on the offensive glass while also being able to hang with him physically. Drummond was actually pretty good though, he boxed out Adams and managed to toe the line of keeping his head during all of Adams' usually idiocy while also making it abundantly clear that he was not putting up with that crap. So if there is one positive for the starting lineup it is that Drummond continues his tour of looking more and more complete and mature as a player.

 

Ish Smith:

Even if Galloway proves to be unable to handle starting duties you may want to keep bringing Ish off the bench. 15 points on 8 shots with assists in what was one of Ish's better games of the year in 35 minutes of play. He hit his jumpers and his speed gave the Thunder trouble at several different times. He was of course totally overmatched whenever he was put against Westbrook but that is not something you can really be upset about. Smith played a really good game and it is a shame that the Pistons wasted one of the nights where Ish is nailing jumpers.

 

Reggie Bullock:

Bullock returned from injury triumphantly. Stanley got the start but Bullock pushed him out pretty quickly as Stanley played just 11 minutes to Bullock's 34. Bullock picked up right where he left off, scoring 16 points on 13 shots with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. He recently has started to get frisky with his perimeter touch passes again which is super fun. There were several possessions with him and Kennard on the floor where the ball movement was simply excellent which is super fun.

 

Luke Kennard:

Continuing to be a larger player in the offense met with a kind of “bleh” outing but not terrible. 11 points on 11 equivalents and no assists is definitely not ideal but Kennard didn't look bad he just missed a couple open shots. I once again would like to say that I'm impressed by the way SVG has handled Kennard this year, especially given how much crap we've given him for his treatment of younger players. Kennard has been put in positions to succeed all year and his transformation defensively from college to pros has to be at least partially attributed to SVG. Regardless of how the rest of the season goes, if Kennard continues to play like this it will be at least one nice feather in SVG and the coaching staff's cap in a season severely lacking them.

 

Anthony Tolliver:

19 minutes, hit a three. 8 points on 7 shots with 5 rebounds. Did fine, but didn't really do anything all that notable which is fine. After playing less minutes recently he seems to have re-found his groove.

 

BOBAN:

It happened! An opposing bench mob went small and SVG let Boban play. Jerami Grant is not exactly a sniper from deep but he is mobile enough that SVG likely would have not let Boban play before but they let him tonight. The results were positive as he scored 14 points on 11 equivalents with 8 rebounds and a pair of assists along with a +10 in just 14 minutes of play. I think that SVG is really committing to trying to put more offense on the floor with the increased minutes and role for Kennard and Boban seeing real action for the second straight game. Once again, I'm mostly playing devils advocate (I officially lent my support to SVG being on the hot seat last game after all) but give SVG some credit for at least giving some good ideas tries. He said “Damn the three pointers, full speed ahead” and Boban promptly scored on 3 straight trips. That is something I can live with.

 

General:

The Thunder are good. Their starters are better. This wasn't good but whatever I guess. The Pistons need wins but I'm trying to stay positive here.

 

What do you think? How about Kennard? How about Boban?