Game Recap/Notes: Game #27. Pistons 113 - Celtics 104. (14-13)
Good win and a good way to snap the losing streak. The Celtics were on the second night of a back to back, but on the other hand, it was the rare night where Marcus Smart is suddenly a really good shooter so it is still a good win.
Kind of a weird game for Reggie Jackson. Finished the night with 12 points on 7 shot equivalents which is pretty good, also had 4 assists. I think his biggest contributions were actually on the defensive end which was a nice bounce-back from the Hornets game where he was terrible.
Obviously Jackson didn’t lock down Kyrie Irving, or anything close to it, but he competed the entire night and it was a big reason that Andre Drummond was able to have such a defensive impact is that Drummond was allowed to give normal help instead of constantly having to guard two players.
We almost got a smart move from Dwane Casey, with Jackson actually getting some minutes without Blake Griffin on the floor, but they still didn’t let Jackson do a whole lot in those minutes. Baby steps I suppose.
Started, but only played 22 minutes. Kennard was, as usual, highly effective in those minutes. Scoring 10 points on a perfect 4-4 shooting and finished +10 on the night. The spacing and passing he provides makes a huge difference for the Pistons and he competes better on the defensive end than he gets credit for. I’m not totally sure why he played so few minutes and hope that Casey doesn’t try to make him a token starter. Kennard and Bullock are the Pistons best wings, treat them as such.
Back from injury and it was very nice to have him back. Bullock played 30 minutes and scored 15 points on 12 shot equivalents and even though he only ended up with 1 assist, his passing was a big part of the side to side ball-movement. This was also his best shooting game (4-10 from deep) with his hair pointing forwards so that was nice.
Bullock is a welcome return, and when paired with Kennard it makes the Pistons offense immeasurably better. The question in the long term is whether or not they can hold up on the defensive end with those two in the game.
Just another ho-hum day at the office for Blake Griffin. 27 points on 22 shot equivalents, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Griffin was ready for the Celtic defense this time out and without Al Horford’s defensive brilliance they really had no answer for the former #1 overall pick.
It’s still a little bit crazy to think that the Pistons have a guy who puts up 27, 8, and 6 and have the response be “just another Saturday.” Blake Griffin is amazing.
Sheer brilliance from Andre Drummond, who fully returned to his ways of dominating the Celtics. 19 points on 18 equivalents, including hitting 3 of 4 free throws when the Celtics tried to hack him at the end of the game, and 1 assist. But the real standout was his defense, which was near perfect the entire night and it reflected in the stats. Drummond had a absurd 3 steals and 5 blocks and was every bit of the anchor for the Pistons defensive effort all night.
Drummond was the best player on the floor in this game.
Started off hot, cooled off a bit, but was still a solid night for the shooter. Galloway finished with 14 points on as many shot equivalents in 29 minutes and had the Celtics defenders running scared to close out on him after his hot start. I’m not in favor of him continuing to play more minutes than Luke Kennard, but Galloway continues to show his value.
Shouldn’t have played so much but for his part he did pretty well. In his 24 minutes, the veteran scored 5 points, had a pair of rebounds and 8 assists. He played hard on both ends and his passing was huge, although he did foul out in those 24 minutes.
Time will tell how he holds up as he continues to play, but Calderon looks like he is going to be fill in just fine for Ish Smith.
Brown played 16 minutes, which is actually a relief. There was part of me that thought Casey would continue to play Brown heavy minutes even with the rest of the wings healthy, part of me is still worried that will happen but alas.
Brown played pretty well, 3 points on 5 shots. Went +7. This is a better role for him, where he can play full energy in short bursts and not worry about fouling too much.
Playing the backup center minutes with Zaza Pachulia sick, Leuer did well. Hopefully well enough that we don’t have to see Zaza again. 4 points on 4 shots with 4 rebounds for Leuer, who continues to perform in the minutes given to him.
Played just 12 minutes. I’m not sure if that is how far he will be degraded in the rotation or if they are still taking it easy on him as he returns from injury. Either way, he didn’t do much in the box score but did manage a team best +13 in those 12 minutes.
No matter how it came, the Pistons needed to win. All the better that it came against a good Celtics team. I also believe there is a real mental block with staying above .500 which is good as well.
It doesn’t get much easier as the Pistons play the Bucks next, but they hopefully have the right starting lineup now at least. The goal should still be to get out of the month at or above .500. So far, they’ve still managed that.