Game Recap/Notes: Game #24, Pistons 77 - Hornets 87. (12-12)
Rough game. The Pistons couldn't get anything to fall other than Andre, and a brief stretch in the 3rd quarter saw the Hornets pull away to about 10 and the Pistons couldn't overcome it. Tough loss but it isn't a huge deal.
There was some question as to whether or not he would play on the 2nd night of a back to back, ended up playing 25 minutes and struggled in a pretty big way. He took a couple of ill advised 3s on his way to a 4-12 shooting night for 10 points, and the Hornets were on their game defensively to end his night with 2 assists and 4 turnovers. Although it should be noted, that Reggie's teammates did not help his assist totals. He was mostly pretty good on defense. This game was a good reminder for all the people who panicked about Ish Smith when he had bad games, because Reggie has bad games too. One thing that is a bit worrying so far for Reggie is that he has not been all that aggressive attacking the hoop. It may be a scheme thing (whether the opponents defensive scheme or the Pistons offensive one) but hopefully he starts to attack a little more.
7 points on 9 shots as KCP's shooting slide continued, however he was getting it done passing the ball with 6 assists. I said it back in preseason and I maintain it now, KCP's passing has been the best thing he's shown so far this year. Even though he has shot pretty well so far, it is a small enough sample size that he still has a lot to prove, he also has not been as impactful defensively. But passing and facilitating was a huge gaping hole in KCP's game, and now it is a plus. And here is the good news, you don't have to worry much about a sample size, KCP isn't going to start just not passing well all of a sudden. So yeah, it was a bit of a rough night for KCP, he didn't shoot well and Batum did prove to be a rough assignment for him defensively, but I just wanted to really highlight his passing because it has been great to see.
Marcus had a very rough game scoring the ball, which given the fact that he spent most of the night with MKG guarding him is not a huge surprise. He finished the night with 7 points on 10 shots, and a pair of assists. He did manage to get 10 rebounds which was a nice little bonus. He didn't do horribly because at least he didn't take an absurd amount of shots, and he played well defensively (everyone on the team did) but it was certainly not a good game.
Tobias was kind of a gaping hole for the Pistons tonight, which is not the normal thing for him. He got a good number of open looks from 3 and he let it fly, only to finish 0-7 from deep. If he could've even hit a pair of those (which still would be a poor percentage) it would've been a different game. When he wasn't shooting 3s he was his usual reliable self, but his outside shot put him into a 14 point night on 19 shots. He also had 7 rebounds and a pair of assists, while generally playing good defense on the various power forwards of the Hornets.
For one of the first times this year, Andre had a great game going and actually got to play his full minutes because it didn't end up being a blowout. Andre finished the night with an eye popping 26 points on just 16 equivalents, including 4-7 from the line, with 20 rebounds, an assist, and 2 blocks. His rebounding total is a bit inflated from the high number of misses, but not in a huge way, no matter how many shots were going in, Andre was cleaning the defensive glass tonight. He was impressive offensively, having his best game from the post in a while, and also getting good looks out of the pick and roll. I particularly liked that the Pistons got him the ball not just right at the hoop out of the pick and roll, there were a couple of times he got the ball around the free throw line, or just inside of it, and he responded with a couple of nice moves to score as well as a few nice passes. Definitely one of Andre's best games this season, and it was reflected with his team best +4 in his 35 minutes. The Hornets simply had no answer for him, and it was a little bit frustrating that they didn't get him a bit more involved in the offense down the stretch. (but it wasn't too bad.)
Leuer joined Tobias Harris in getting several really good looks from deep, and missed all of them, going 0-4, to finish with just 6 points on 11 shots with 4 rebounds. He did join KCP in having a really nice night passing the ball as he also finished with 6 assists and 0 turnovers. He also joined in with everyone else in having a good night defending. Bit of a rough game for him because of the looks he missed, but not a bad game.
Ish is not a very good shooter, bad shooters have nights like this sometime, where he went 1-7 for just 2 points. The problem was that he didn't pass the ball very well either, finishing with just 2 assists against 2 turnovers. He also failed to keep up with Kemba Walker down the stretch, which is not a huge deal because Kemba is really good, but it still was not a good show.
I'm kind of getting sick of Baynes. He had a decent game the previous night, but this one was bad. 0-3 from the field and just 3 rebounds. He also allowed several offensive rebounds by the Hornets and it was super frustrating. Not a good game for Baynes.
Ended up being a decent showing offensively as he finished with 5 points on 4 shots, but his defense was the (most obvious) difference between the two teams tonight. He was totally incapable of sticking with Marco Belinelli and it resulted in (I think) 8 quick points before SVG pulled Hilliard for KCP. I can see the reasons why SVG sees Hilliard as potentially being a good scorer off the bench, and I am fine with Hilliard getting a couple more games as the full time backup in order to try and prove he can play. HOWEVA, I am not convinced that Hilliard is actually much good, he is a bit of a ball stopper on offense and has not shown to be good enough a creator to really justify his slow poke tendencies, and even though he has improved a bit he is a pretty big hole defensively. I am fine with Hilliard getting another few games but if SVG is really determined to nail Stanley to the bench then I'm all in on letting Gbinije take a crack.
Back to back, missed some real hittable shots, it happens. Not a horrible loss. It stinks that Andre had such a monster game in a loss but it was still fun to see him so througougly dominate a game. Just seeing him hit some free throws and KCP throwing all those assists is a good indication of how this team has grown.
What do you think? Do you want to see Gbinije? Stick with Hilliard? Can KCP find his shot back? Is Reggie's lack of attacking the rim something wrong with him or just a strategy thing?