Wow. This team is so frustrating and weird. But in the end, when you have an ugly loss (even when it is especially ugly) the way that you want them to rebound is by winning in impressive fashion, and that is exactly what they did.
Smith bounced back from a rough couple of games with a gem against the second greatest point guard in Wake Forest history. Ish put up 17 points on 14 equivalents with 4 assists and no turnovers in 26 minutes. He kniffed into the lane regularly and got some really tough buckets along with joining in on a great defensive effort from the entire team. He was heads up on the passing lanes and energetic on both ends, this was definitely one of the best games that Ish has played in a while which was just great to see.
Bradley struggled offensively similarly to the way he has sinc returning from injury with 12 points on 15 shots and 3 assists with 2 turnovers. HOWEVA. Despite the fact that he only had 1 steal and 1 rebound in 39 minutes, Bradley was excellent defensively the entire night. He was largley tasked with guarding Chris Paul for the night and did a brilliant job hounding him and making life difficult. The Pistons ended up with a really good team effort and Bradley was really the one who was leading the way. I am going to assume that Bradley's offensive game will return at some point, especially his shooting, but it was great to see him in full form defensively.
Bullock got off to a great start with 10 points in the opening moments of the game, after which the Rockets paid him closer attention and he scored just 4 more poits the rest of the night. That said, 14 points on 7 equivalents with a pair of rebounds and a pair of assists is a really excellent night. He also joined in with everyone else in putting forth a really good defensive night, most of Bullock's defensive contributions were on the defensive end were mostly off the ball but he hustled and played smart.
Tobias Harris was absolutely brilliant tonight, scoring 27 points on 20 equivalents. He did it the same way that he has been doing it as of late, all on his own. He is not running a lot of isolations other than the occasional mismatch that he got, but he is starting to fully reap the benefits of opponents being scared of his outside shto (which he went 3-6 from deep tonight) by pumping and driving into wide open lanes. He also continues to look better at being assertive to try and get to the line as he shot 11 free throws tonight. Throw in that he rebounded the ball well in Drummond's absense with 8 along with defending well against Ryan Anderson which is not a small achievement. All in all Tobias had a excellent night, and these are the sorts of games that Tobias will have to continue to play if the Pistons hope to stay afloat without Reggie Jackson.
Moreland has had a rough few games, but he bounced back with a pretty solid one tonight. 8 points on 6 equivalents with 8 boards, 4 assists, a pair of steals and a block in 35 minutes is good work for Moreland. He made a great showing for himself incontaing a great pick and roll combo in Paul and Capela and largely played the good version of himself. Really a rock solid game for Moreland.
This guy is about to mess around and get himself a real NBA contract. Buycks went for 16 points on 10 equivalents with a pair of assists in 22 minuts of play. Buycks was forced into some extra duty due to some early foul trouble and he made it work in a big way. He hit several really tough buckets which bailed out the Pistons offense. I`m still unsure about how his efficiency will hold up long term given that he wasn`t this efficient in the G-League but so far he has been more than anyone could have really hoped for. Oh yeah he also continues to play really hard on defense.
Kennard had a rough night tonight by missing both his shots on his way to not scoring any points in 23minutes. He did manage to make several heads up defensive plays and had 3 assists to make it a decent outing still.
Tolly missed his only 3 but still had a nice outing in his 15 minutes of play. He had 4 points on as many equivalents along with joining in everyone else on really nice defensive effort. I am starting to worry about how long he is going to be in this shooting slump but he continues to be so improved in other areas that it is hard to complain too much.
In just 11 minutes Boban scored 10 points on 10 equivalents with 5 rebounds and an assist. The Rockets never tried Ryan Andersen at center to counter Boban for some reason and the end result was that Boban was largely fine on defense while on the floor as he was mostly able to stay in his comfort zone around the hoop. He did a very nice job all in all.
The Rockets are in a funk but with this many guys out you take any wins you can get. To bounce back after that Sixers game is huge as well. Every team has bad nights (admittedly not usually that bad) and the important thing is to ensure that the bad nights are just that, bad nights. By bouncing back and beating a good team on the second night of a back to back is how you kill the potential for it to become a real problem.
I was at the LCA for the first time this weekend, I went to the Wings game on Friday and this Pistons game and came away really impressed by the arena and whatnot. Would recomend,
What do you think? How about Dwight Buycks? Can Tobias keep playing like this?