Not the way you want to start off the home stretch.
The Celtics were determined to make Ish Smith beat them, and to his credit he did his part to try and make that a reality. Smith finished with 20 points on just 12 equivalents, along with 6 assists against just 2 turnovers. The Pistons often went to the tried and tested strategy of “give it to whoever Kyrie is guarding” and it often worked. The problem is that Smith never did enough to make the Celtics change their scheme, which I don't really think is Smith's fault but whatever. The Celtics were content to let Ish get some easy shots in exchange for swamping Drummond and Griffin.
Once again, the Pistons tried their best to put the ball in Bullock's hands more and the results were a bit mixed. He finished with 13 points on 13 shots with just 1 assist. I'm in favor of letting him try and expand his game more offensively, but there is risk. Putting the ball in his hands more has resulted in him at times looking a bit out of shape and over his head. I'm not sure where the optimal number of touches for Bullock is, but the Pistons have to hope he can perform with heavier touches.
Johnson had a bit of a rough outing. 12 points on 16 equivalents with 1 assist is not good. He did have 4 rebounds and a couple of steals, but his defensive presence was not the same as it often is. I still like the aggressiveness he is playing with, posing him up against Kyrie Irving on several possessions is good, but this was not a very good outing for Johnson.
Idk about this game man. On one hand, the Celtics paid him an almost comical amount of attention and he also just missed a couple of shots. But like, 17 points on 21 equivalents with just 1 assist and 6 turnovers is really not going to cut it. I'm hesitant to put too much on Griffin's shoulders until a second viewing, but it didn't look good. The game was largely lost when he was at center with the bench, and that is worrisome. Regardless, the Celtics are an awesome defensive team and they put a ton of focus on Griffin so it isn't a huge surprise or worry in the end. Still bad though.
Lol, Drummond did not have a great game and still finished with 15 points on 10 equivalents with 17 rebounds and 3 blocks. He managed to assert himself a bit better as the game went on, and at the end of the night he was definitely a problem for the Celtics, but he wasn't as big a problem as he really should be. So I don't know I guess. He played pretty well, but he should've played better. Which isn't really fair to Drummond and I get that, but he has set the bar pretty high for himself.
Ouch. I actually thought he played alright but finished with 9 points on 9 shots with 8 rebounds and a game low -15. He missed a couple of bunnies after offensive rebounds which was especially painful. One thing that I will say for him is that he looked a bit extra bouncy which is good to see.
This dude can play. 6 points on 7 equivalents with 4 rebounds doesn't look like a lot, but SVG should probably be giving serious thought to starting him. Ennis is probably the best two way wing on the roster.
2 points on 3 shots. Really didn't do a lot. Struggled to get anything worth shooting against the swarming Celtics defense.
I was pro-Nelson and I'm still not ready to bail quite yet. But he has to do better than this. It is obvious the benefit that his offensive skills bring to the table, but he has made too many bad plays and not hit enough shots on that end, while simultaneously not being able to guard anyone on defense.He is a better shooter than he has been with the Pistons, but the problem is that the Pistons don't really have time to let him regress to the mean and the Pistons have been awful with Nelson on the floor.
Saw a lot of people fussing about the offensive performance. Don't fuss about that. The Pistons missed a lot of make able shots and the Celtics are the best defense in basketball for a reason. They have made a lot of teams go through stretches of just not being able to score, even at the Pistons high water mark they were not a great offense. The bigger worry was the defensive effort, because just as the Celtics are great defensively they are mediocre offensively. A second viewing should help me decide how much of it was bad defense and how much was just Theis hitting shots, but it wasn't good. All in all though, Pistons shooters missed shots, Celtics didn't, and the Pistons lost to a really good team. This isn't how you want to start off the home stretch but at least let them play a team that is not one of the best 5(ish) in the league before you totally jump ship.
What do you think? Was it bad defense or good offense? Should they change the starting lineup?