Game Recap/Notes: Game #33, Pistons 106 - Cavs 90. (15-18)
Very important win for the team, they had gotten out of their funk and played well the last 2 games but lost in close contests both times. Even if LeBron was out, they needed a win to get back on track and they did it in as dominant a fashion as you could hope given that the Cavs were on a back to back. Good win.
The Cavs went with the same approach to Jackson that they went with in the playoffs last year, trap him in every pick and roll and make other guys beat you. He responded fairly well with his shot selection as he did not really force his way into bad shots and finished with 13 points on just 9 shots, essentially he trusted his teammates to take advantage. The issue was that his 6 assists came with 6 turnovers which is pretty poor. Really he just struggled to respond to the constant double teams with good passes that he needed to make, which was a bit disappointing considering how wonderfully he performed in those situations in the playoffs last year. On the plus side, he made up for it with one of his better defensive performances of the year (which admittedly isn't saying much) as the Pistons got really switchy and Jackson competed and generally hung with whoever he ended up against whether it was Kyrie or Channing Frye. It wasn't all that good a game for Jackson, but he did a pretty good job of making the right decisions, just some of the passes he threw were not good enough really.
HE DID IT. For the first time in probably forever KCP was hot shooting the ball and managed to not ruin it by getting over confident and starting to launch irresponsible shots to ruin his efficiency. He finished the night with 18 points on 11 shots with 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. He stayed within the offense and took good shots. Also I officially have to stop making fun of him for those transition 3s, for a while at least, because he has been nailing them lately. Defensively he actually doesn't get a ton of credit for Kyrie's poor individual performance as the switch heavy defense the Pistons went with made it a real team effort, but he certainly was an important part of that team effort. Very nice two way game for KCP.
15 points on 16 shots, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals to round out a pretty solid if not overly remarkable game for Marcus Morris. He generally did his thing on offense as a spot up guy and also creating his own shot at times, and defensively he also was a part of a very impressive team performance who held his own in most of the various switches that he had to make. He had an easier time obviously given that LeBron wasn't playing, but he still had himself a rock solid game.
Starting for the 2nd straight game, Leuer had another very nice performance. Scoring 13 points on 11 shots, grabbing 5 rebounds, tossing an assist and snagging a pair of steals. Defensively he did a very respectable job on Kevin Love, as well as when he was switched onto bigger or smaller guys. He got some extended time at center as well to combat the Cavs putting Channing Frye at center and I like that a lot. I want to see him there more over the course of the season. Leuer just sort of played the ideal role player game, which is something that I am becoming more and more expectant of with every game he does it. He can shoot and play off the ball on offense, but can do just enough to attack that he can hurt defenses that ignore him. Defensively he does have his short comings, but he has impressed me on that end. I still think that he added some serious strength to his body this year, and it shows in his defensive play.
Kind of an odd game for Drummond, who scored just 11 points on 18 equivalents, which is miserable. But on the other hand he did throw 4 assists, one of which was a great outlet pass to Jon Leuer that was straight from the Kevin Love playbook. Andre also generally did his thing defensively and on the boards as he finished with 17 rebounds and a pair of blocks, where several times he was switched onto smaller dudes and smothered them, one of his blocks even coming as a result of a Kyrie jump shot. He needs to get a few more of those shots to fall, but it was a pretty decent game for Drummond other than that.
Tobias appears very comfortable coming off the bench, and I would guess that even if it wasn't the original plan (Marcus was going to be coming off the bench at first supposedly) that Tobias will continue to come off the bench at least until he stops playing so freaking well. 21 points on 16 equivalents, with 6 boards and 4 assists. Defensively he also did a respectable job on Leuer and the many switches he was asked to make on that end. Tobias can straight up score, and spending more time with the bench is letting him handle the ball a bit more and it is looking very good through 2 games.
9 points on 7 shots, 5 assists, and a pair of steals. I mean, this is just sort of what Ish does right? He runs the floor, zooms all over the place, finds teammates for shots, and takes just enough shots to keep the defense honest, when those shots fall (like tonight) he is really good, when they don't he can be anywhere from just alright to bad. His defense continues to be impressive, and his ability to take any turnover and make it an easy fastbreak bucket is very valuable.
Did almost nothing of note. He got one bucket and had 4 rebounds. He struggled to guard out on the perimeter but did actually force Kyrie into a miss on a play where he found himself switched onto the all star. I guess it was a decent game for Baynes because I didn't see anything explicitly wrong, but certainly not a good game.
In 12 minutes he scored 3 points on 4 shots, all 3 coming on a single 3 pointer. He had 1 rebound and 1 steal, but as is the usual now with him, his main contribution came in his general defense. He is particularly effective in the switch heavy defense the Pistons went with as he can actually guard such a variety of guys. Fine game for Stanley.
Gbinije, Ellenson, Hilliard:
They played, none of them did anything.
Very good game for the Pistons and an important one to win, if they can use that as a springboard to get back on tract it would be big for them. And it is always nice to get back into the win column.
What do you think? Will SVG decide to go super switchy again? Can the Pistons build on this?