Game Recap/Notes: Game #6. Pistons 102 - Knicks 105. (6-6)
Well, that's kind of a tough loss. Pistons did some things wrong and also got some bad luck. But, unlike many of their previous rode games, they were at least mostly competitive.
A real bounce back game for Ish after a bit of a rough stretch the last few games. He found his offense, scoring 14 points on just 8 equivalents, he also threw 8 assists against 3 turnovers. Over all of that, he played very good defense grabbing a couple of steals as well as largely keeping Derrick Rose in check aside from a couple of floaters. He still had one play where he got into the air and then tried to pass it, promptly throwing it to the other team, but other than that his decisions were good. This is the way the Pistons need Ish to be playing, and if this game is a sign of him getting back into his groove it will make the last couple of weeks before Reggie's return much less painful.
The KCP giveth, and The KCP taketh away. There were times were KCP looked really good at times, he was aggressive in getting shots and hit several to start off the game, and he also pulled a prayer out at the end of a shot clock. And yet, he still managed to take 22 shots for his 21 points. It was quite possibly the most KCP of games, he got hot taking the shots you want him to take and playing well, then proceeds to ruin his excellent night by taking stupid shots. On the good side though, he did have 3 assists against zero turnovers, which has been a good pattern so far in the early season and probably his biggest improvement thus far.
Defensively he did not have a huge impact, none of the Knick's guards did a whole lot in large part because they didn't have much need of them to do much. So KCP was largely not involved in the defense most of the night, so it wasn't really his fault that he didn't have much impact on that end. He also obviously is not really to blame for the Pistons largest defensive issue which was protecting the glass. Regardless, it was a decent game for KCP, but it is so frustrating to see him get too full of himself and decide that he is Steph Curry, because he isn't.
If there is one guy who really came up short tonight, it was Marcus. Last time the Pistons played the Knicks, Marcus may have been the best player on the floor and legitimately outplayed Carmelo Anthony. Tonight he scored 7 points on 9 shots, with 3 rebounds and 2 assists, while allowing Melo to largely do what he wanted to do on the other end. Morris just didn't do much for someone who played 36 minutes. Not good enough for what the Pistons are looking for from him.
On offense Tobias did exactly wha the Pistons want him to do, scoring 19 points on 16 equivalents. On defense, Tobias was partially responsible for Kristaps Porzingis' career night. And it is a bit of a theme, that I don't really think it was anyones fault of playing bad defense, but it is not a coincidence that this team has so many guys have career (or near to it) nights against them. In between KCP and Andre, the Pistons lack a real defensive stopper, and at this point they just have to pray that Stanley Johnson reaches his potential. Tobias did get 10 rebounds though so that was nice. In the end it was a good game for Tobias, but the big game from Kristaps does put a bit of a damper on it.
Decided to give it a go on a sprained ankle and largely looked alright. I don't know if his 29 minutes was due to SVG not wanting to overplay him on the ankle or if it was a strategy thing. That said, when he was on the floor he was generally pretty good. 15 points on 14 equivalents and 9 boards with an assist and a block is a pretty decent line for 29 minutes. The problem is that the Knicks won this game because of their work on the offensive glass. I don't know how much of that is on Andre, but he certainly has to get the bulk of the blame because his ability to clean the defensive glass is a big part of the Pistons defensive strategy, so even if 4 of the offensive rebounds were Kristaps which is not his problem, and some were just bad luck bounces, cleaning the glass is still his job.
Leuer played 27 minutes and closed the game at center which even if I'm not sure how I feel about him closing the game, I do like him getting time at center. He played pretty well in his 27 minutes, scoring 17 points on 11 shots, grabbing 9 boards and throwing 3 assists. HOWEVA, he is alongside Tobias as getting a large share of the blame for Kristaps' excellent night, as well as the Knicks night on the glass. That said, the lineup with him at center down the stretch was able to tighten up the boxing out and generally played better. He continues to be a very versatile offensive player, and a hard working but somewhat limited defensive player.
7 points on 7 shots, only 1 assist is not ideal but he was fine. Defensively there was not a whole lot that stood out to me, good or bad. He pretty much just had a perfectly acceptable game.
A game after he had a huge game, and he does basically nothing. 0 points on 1 shot, 2 rebounds. He just didn't really do anything.
Also only played 10 minutes, and also didn't have much of an impact. He scored 2 points on 2 shots, had a rebound and a steal. It is pretty frustrating that he played so little on a night where he could have perhaps been useful in giving some defense on Melo and he would definitely have brought a bit of extra umph to the rebounding. But whatever I guess, SVG is clearly not going to change. In close games he is going to ride 5 or 6 guys into absurd minutes and let the others rot.
Morris played very badly, Andre wasn't very good, and KCP had some issues, and the Pistons had some rough luck patches. Its a bad combo. The Pistons fall back to .500 at 6-6 but that is not the end of the world, although it does feel bad to be headed to Cleveland trying to keep from falling below .500.
What do you think? Can Ish use this as a springboard towards being back into form? How much of the rebounding problems were the Pistons and how much was just bad luck?