Game Recap/Notes: Game #54. Pistons 120 - Knicks 103. (25-29)

Game Recap/Notes: Game #54. Pistons 120 - Knicks 103. (25-29)

Another nice win. It helps to play the Knicks of course, but still, a nice win and good to see the new acquisitions getting a little run.

Box score.

Reggie Jackson:

20 points on 14 shots, 6 assists against just 1 turnover. Reggie Jackson looks like he’s feeling frisky again and it’s probably the best news the Pistons could’ve possibly gotten. He didn’t spend a lot of time guarding Dennis Smith Jr but for his part, he got slaughtered by him like everyone else.

When Ed Stefanski came on the broadcast he said that Arnie Kander had told them that Jackson would probably not start to feel 100% till January, assuming he isn’t pulling that date out of his rear now just to sound optimistic, things are mostly on the right timeline then.

Getting Jackson and Drummond in the pick and roll more has been a boon for both Jackson and Drummond and the Pistons offense. Since returning from the head-knock, Drummond is averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds. He’s shooting 68% from the field.

Langston Galloway:

Got the start for, some reason. My best guess is that they intend to have Wayne Ellington start the rest of the season (which would be a good idea) so they didn’t want to break up the chemistry that Kennard has been building coming off the bench. In addition to that, Galloway is basically a not very good version of Wayne Ellington so it can get the starters used to his style a bit I guess.

Anyways, Galloway actually played alright. Scored 5 points on 5 shots with 3 assists, one of which was a really nice dish to Andre. He did miss a corner 3 after a slick pass from Blake Griffin which made me very sad.

Bruce Brown:

Not great. He failed to score and got utterly torched by Dennis Smith Jr. This game is a good reminder that we shouldn’t be too quick to crown Brown the best defender in the world, he still has a lot of work to do.

Blake Griffin:

It’s pretty funny honestly. After this game everyone was talking about how good Andre and Jackson were, and yet here’s Blake who just keeps plugging away with 26 points on 20 equivalents (12-15 from the line!) and 6 assists. We are already to the point where we just take Griffin’s play for granted and that is awesome.

His closeouts on three-pointers still give me physical pain, but the Knicks really had no answer for him and a lot of the fouls he drew were of the sort where the defense just gave up and hugged him.

Andre Drummond:

Yes hello I never stopped believing in Andre Drummond thank you. 29 points on 19 shot equivalents with 20 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and 3 blocks and a team high +39. The +39 is the highest put up by a Piston since 2012.

The Knicks really just had no answer for Drummond on the inside. Pistons ball-handlers were able to penetrate the soft exterior with consistency and Drummond was allowed to then dunk on everything. His defense was also very good tonight, he had the 3 blocks but also contested a ton of shots at the rim. He really did just have a excellent all-around night. It helps to play the Knicks, but still, great night.

Luke Kennard:

Despite not starting, Kennard played 29 minutes which was most of any wing player so that’s good. It wasn’t his best night, 12 points on 14 shot equivalents (he got blocked twice by Mitchell Robinson) but also had 3 assists and each one was of very high-quality.

Even though he missed too many tonight, I want Kennard taking 12+ shots per night. Especially after the trading of Stanley Johnson, who required some transition looks, getting Kennard looks should be the first and second option with the bench. Give him the ball, let him create for others, and shoot the bal.

Khyri Thomas:

Played 20 minutes, 5 points on 4 shots. He wasn’t able to slow down Dennis Smith, but neither was anyone else. One thing I really like about Khyri is how aggressive he is in attacking in transition. He hustles up the floor and goes right to the hoop.

Ish Smith:

Fairly unremarkable game for Ish, 11 points on 11 equivalents with a pair of assists, but once again, the sheer competence of Ish makes the bench so much better. He gets them out in transition, isn’t a total turnstile on defense, and can get his own shot when things break down.

Glenn Robinson:

Hit a 3 at the end to save from total misery. Still played very poorly.

Zaza Pachulia:

4 points on 3 shots and a pair of boards. Once again he was pretty helpless against the athleticism of Mitchell Robinson.

Svi:

(yeah I don’t wanna spell his last name) Played 9 minutes, hit a corner 3 to finish with 3 points on 4 shots, also had a pair of assists, one of which was a super slick one to Zaza. Didn’t do a ton of note though.

Thon Maker:

Played 8 minutes, didn’t do much of note although the stretch with him and Andre on the floor was fun. Together they could form a formidable defensive front-line for short bursts.

General:

The Pistons are just a half-game behind the Miami Heat and the Heat play a back to back against the Warriors and Nuggets. The Knicks are terrible but still nice to get a pair of wins while looking so good. It will be interesting to see how minutes shake out when Ellington arrives, but the Pistons should be in pretty decent shape.

Meet Wayne Ellington

Meet Wayne Ellington

Opponent Scouting: New York Knicks. (10-43)

Opponent Scouting: New York Knicks. (10-43)