Game Recap/Notes: Game #32, Pistons 113 - Warriors 119. (14-19)
Rough loss because the Pistons stuck around right until the end, just couldn't quite get it done. The Pistons losing steak continues, but they certainly appear to have exited whatever problems they had been enduring.
Kind of a rough game for Reggie. Offensively he struggled a bit with his game in both scoring and distributing finishing with 17 points on 19 equivalents and 6 assists against 5 turnovers. Those numbers do end up being a fairly decent showing of his game. He did get some decent numbers, they just came harder than they should've. And yet for all of that I still felt like he had a decent offensive game, he had to do quite a bit and if there is one team against whom you can forgive too many turnovers by your point guard it is the Warriors. Essentially I generally feel like he did what he needed to do, if he could've gotten a couple more shots to fall and avoided a couple of passes it would've been a really good night offensively. Defensively is where it really tips the scales to being a rough game for him. He was largely tasked with guarding Klay Thompson while KCP took Steph which is a tough guard for him, and to be fair Reggie played very hard defensively the entire game. HOWEVA, none of that changes that he got killed on several plays, including a couple of screens late in the game that ended up helping the Warriors ice the game. When he is going up against bigger guys who are very talented scorers I can forgive a lot of stuff, and even the screens it is rough because Thompson in particular runs through so many, but it is just something he had to do and he couldn't do it quite enough. Not a horrible game for Reggie, but not a very good one.
Very good game for KCP. Offensively he often found himself with Steph Curry on him and he took full advantage on his way to a 25 point night on 20 equivalents, it was one of those nights where he just hit the shots he got. It was not per say the most impressive 25 point game ever, but hey what more can you ask for? Just because he was doing things like running Steph Curry through screens and taking old man David West off the dribble isn't his fault. When you have a favorable matchup you want to take advantage, and he did just that. Defensively it is kind of hard to say how he did because I would want to re-watch closer to really look at it. On one hand, Steph Curry had a very tidy 25 points to go along with 8 assists (against 5 turnovers) but KCP did generally accomplish the goal of keeping Steph from getting too many open looks from a basic eye test at least. There were (by my unofficial count) like 3 times where he got hit by a screen and sort of gave up which wasn't good but it happens I guess. It certainly was a fine defensive performance for KCP, but I'd have to rewatch to find out for sure if it is fine like a very fine wine that is really good but hard to appreciate, or fine as in your girlfriend saying she is fine getting taco bell for the 4th time in 3 days. Either way it was a very good game for KCP, he provided very good sparks on both ends of the floor at times, even if he got in a little over his head a couple of times offensively.
Somewhat Ironic that after Tobias is moved to the bench but Marcus stays a starter that Marcus plays just 20 minutes and Tobias plays 32. (had more to do with Stanley than anything else) Regardless it was a poor game for Marcus. 1 of 7 from the field for just 2 points, and he could not do anything to stop Kevin Durant and picked up 4 fouls in his 20 minutes. Obviously in the defense side of things, that isn't a huge deal because no one is expecting him to do much to hold Durant, but the fouling was a problem, and missing several hittable shots on offense made matters worse for him. Very poor game from Morris.
The new addition to the starting lineup! I will talk about the lineup change in its own post so I'm not going to talk about it here.
Leuer had a very nice game, even if it wasn't quite as prolific as the past few for him. His final line of 8 points on 7 shots to go along with 7 rebounds and 2 assists is indicative of his regular and generally solid play. Defensively he did get cooked a few times when he got forced to guard the Warriors skilled scorers, but that is hardly a sin. He basically just had a very solid if rather unremarkable game, which has been his normal more often than not.
Very different game than I would have thought. The Pistons went with a totally different approach than last time they played the Warriors. Last year they were aggressive in sending Andre at the offensive glass as a way to curb the Warriors fast breaks, this time they decided to have him basically abandon offensive rebounds all together in order to get back, which combined with good shooting by both teams and the lots of long rebounds that come from 3s and his final line of just (by his standards) 9 rebounds was really a scheme thing and not an Andre thing. He finished the night with 15 points on 11 equivalents including 6 of 7 from the field which was good. Once again, he didn't have a huge night, but that was largely a scheme thing. For example, one reason KCP got so many nice looks was the Warriors being a little too concerned with Andre ergo giving KCP a little extra space. Defensively he had an awesome stone wall of Curry, but he did get sort of burned by McGee. I say sort of because it was usually a result of him leaving McGee to contest a driver but still. Even though it isn't really fair because he played a fine game, the Pistons really needed him to be awesome if they wanted to win tonight, and he was just good.
Tobias for 6MOY? Coming off the bench, Tobias had himself a game and emphatically broke out of his recent slump by scoring 26 points on just 17 equivalents which included a desperately needed 4 of 6 from 3. Defensively he worked hard even if he was fairly outclassed in many instances. Overall he really had a great game and it was great to see him bounce back so nicely. He really had his whole offensive arsenal going, 3 pointers, those goofy sort of floaters, layups, jumpers. He was just on. Hopefully he can use this game as a bit of a springboard to get a hot streak going.
Another game where it is proven that even if Stanley isn't doing very well offensively, he needs to be getting time. He scored just 5 points on 6 equivalents and had 2 assists with turnover, had 13 rebounds and 3 steals. Those numbers are nothing really worth noting for 18 minutes of play in a high scoring game. But Stanley played wonderful defense pretty much all game, and was the most effective counter to Kevin Durant and even got some very good time on Klay Thompson. Simply put, he played the way that he should be playing, hard and fast. He was exactly the combination of speed and size that can mess with the Warriors pass heavy offense and it just showed. At this point it is anyone's guess about how his offense will turn out, but he is already making good on his defensive potential and that is a great sign.
9 points on 7 shots, 3 assists against 2 turnovers. He was able to get the Pistons bench mob into the fast break with good success in the first half and had a bit more trouble doing it in the 2nd. The biggest problem he had on the night was actually defensively as he got beaten a couple of times on backdoor cuts by Ian Clark to give up easy layups, which is really something that just can't happen. The Warriors have plenty of offensive firepower without giving layups to Ian Clark. I'm surprised the Warriors didn't let Livingston do more against Ish, but that is neither here nor there. Fine game for Ish, but nothing much of note.
Pretty good game for Baynes, and in a stretch in the 3rd quarter he showed the value that he is able to bring. With the Warriors into their bench and David West playing center, Aron Baynes became a very real problem for the Warriors for a few possessions, which just is a reminder that a big guy who has even basic offensive skills can become a major issue when he is by far the biggest dude on the court. Baynes really played nicely in the game and is a nice comeback since I have gotten less and less confident in him as the season has worn on.
The Pistons picked the wrong time to go into and then come out of a funk. They went into it at a time when the played several bad teams for a stretch where they really should've won like 4 in a row, and then they come out of it and the first 2 games are games they lose anyways. If they can manage a win against Cleveland they will be in decent shape still. Once again I want to do a separate post for the lineup stuff so watch for that.