Game Recap/Notes: Game #16. Pistons 87 - Thunder 103. 8-8.
Important announcement!!: Want to watch a game/talk hoops with your least favorite redditor? Well I am planning on going to the GR Drive game tomorrow night because I do not have to work that night. If you are already going/would like to go shoot me a PM/leave a comment, we'll see if we can meet up at the game or something. I also will for sure be getting over to the Palace for a Pistons game at some point in the future here, so keep an eye out for that.
Welp. That was a bit of a bummer. Also, full disclosure, I watched all the first half but the TV was on mute/I was not paying total attention to the game. And I missed most of the 3rd quarter because I was showing people my Fiero.
Reggie Jackson: Not an good game, only managed 15 points on 16 shots. And at times seemed to force things a bit much. He also only managed 4 assists, but on the other hand, he had no turnovers. Although his biggest problem tonight was that he only played 27 minutes due to foul trouble. He was not super effective while on the floor, but he is literally miles better than Steve Blake. I was not so sure on a couple of the foul calls but whatever. He had a decent game by most standards, the only reason it qualifies as being bad is because he and Drummond (he will get his later lol) are required to be really good every night for the team to win. So his numbers where not all that bad, but Jackson has to stay out of foul trouble, he is a point guard. (although it hasn't really been an issue before so whatever.)
KCP: Man, tale of two sides of the ball here. He was largely responsible for the horrid night from Westbrook, and also allowed Blake to be playable (by taking the PG most of the time), but he had yet another really tough go of it on the offensive end. I really liked for a stretch in the 2nd Q where he really pushed the ball in transition a whole bunch, but other than that, he was not good on offense. (11 points on 15 shots) Simply put, this is going to be a real problem soon. He has been hugely inefficient, but he has (mostly) taken the sort of shots that are not that difficult. He is obviously in literally no danger of losing playing time because there is a chance that neither Bullock or Hilliard are even remotely capable NBA players. But KCP needs to hit a few freaking shots. He tried to challenge Ibaka at the rim a few to many times tonight too.
Greater Morris: Continues to look like he has found his stroke back a bit. (17 points on 13 shots, including 2/4 from deep.) He stood very little chance against Durant from the start and it showed. But FWIW he did generally at least compete pretty well, but the point does still stand, he could do very little to stop Durant. HOWEVA, there was not really any chance for him to do much against Durant, the team needed him to compete on D, and get a few points back on offense. And he did that. He was uncharacteristically one of the team's worst +/- (-19) but I actually thought he had a pretty good night all in all. Once again, he stood no chance against Durant, but in the context of game plan, the team knew that. I cannot stress enough how impressed I have been by SVG's usage of Morris so far. Just an excellent example of how guys can be good when put in the right spot. Also, I've said this before, but Morris is freaking awesome when he gets the ball in transition. Which is kind of odd because he is not the sort of super fast athlete that generally thrives in transition. But he just makes the right play. Did his job, but did little to hinder Durant.
Ersan Ilyasova: Meh. Kind of back to the first few games. He did his thing, where he went out, took some jumpers, spaced the floor, gave good effort, and played hard on D but was still pretty mediocre on D. Overall he did not have a big impact on the game. Which in some ways is actually a compliment to Ersan, most guys who fit into his mold of "shooters who are not good defenders" actually pretty clearly hurt their teams when the shot is not falling. But Ersan manages to find enough little things to do that he can at least save pretty close to par. And FWIW, his primary matchup of Serge Ibaka is a very difficult matchup for him.
Andre Drummond: 15 points on 16 shots, 7 rebounds. Similarly to Jackson, that is not some horrible stat line. But the Pistons need him, even more so than Jackson, to be great every night. And while whoever it was that said Andre "shys away from contact" is a idiot because lol its literally impossible to be a good rebounder while being afraid of contact. HOWEVA, there is some truth to that he is not always up for hitting back when he comes across a super physical guy like Adams. And props to Adams (and the rest of the thunder) for keeping him off the board, and it should be noted that the Thunder are an excellent rebounding team. But Drummond does not get to make excuses, he is the man, he needs to do better than that. One thing that is important to see is that he still only went -5 on the night, which is a testament to how good he is on defense. So it's ok for this to be an off night, but he needs to dominate, but the Thunder are somewhat uniquely gifted to combat Andre with a army of awesome big men rebounders who box the hell out.
Eternal Sadness: This might be hypocritical, but I don't care that Blake was the only guy on the team to go positive tonight, unless I missed some ungodly throwback to when he was not horrible during the 3rd quarter, Blake is terrible. Seriously, he should not play. I hate to say that, but he is done. He does literally nothing that any other random PG pulled off the waiver wire would not be able to do, and those other guys might defend someone/create their own shot every once in a while. HOWEVA, it was still actually one of his better games, 7 assists to just 1 turnover cannot be ignored, and because he could be hidden away from the Thunder PGs, he did not totally kill the Pistons on defense, instead of being a torn achilles he was just like a horribly sprained ankle. Get well soon Spencer.
Tolly: Guess who's back. Tolly is. He hit 2/4 from deep, and was looking to fire when he got any opening. This is the Tolly we need, and the one we deserve. He also got straight up roasted by Durant a couple times as well but what were you expecting to happen there? When his shot is falling the bench suddenly looks much less horrible.
Stanley Johnson: Meh, actually a decent game. Scored 5 points on 5 shots, made a couple nice plays, and also TOTALLY ROASTED DION WAITERS HAHAHAHAHAHA. Like, Dion Waiters has actually been pretty good this year. But he is that guy when playing pickup. He got Johnson good for one step back (after a possession where Johnson blocked him) and starts talking a bunch, then proceeds to once again get blocked on back to back possessions, and yet still has the gall to talk smack enough to end in a double tech on him and Johnson. But only played 16 minutes, (which I don't think is enough, I'm of the opinion that they should find him 20 a game no matter what. But I digress) so he did not have a huge impact on the game. It was funny to see him get into it with Waiters though.
Aron Baynes: I honestly, I saw him very little, he made a really nice jumper that was a super nice play by him. But honestly, other than that I do not recall a single thing he did. I remember him playing, but nothing he did. So I suppose that means he was ok, when your backup center does nothing to noticeably hurt the team he is doing ok. So yeah, thats all I have to say about that.
General: This is a great example, of that the Pistons go as far as Drummond and Jackson take them. When those two are on their games, this team can beat anyone, when they are off, they can lose to anyone. And the Thunder are an awesome rebounding team so it is not in the end a huge surprise that Drummond was held down a bit. And part of the reason the Thunder got so many 2nd chance points is because Drummond had to go and contest at the hoop to many times (and ergo be in no position for the rebound) following a blow by from the perimeter. Even though it would be nice to see a win when one of the two headed monster has a really bad night (Westbrook) but all in all this is not a horrible loss. The team played hard, and did some things right. To many fouls from the main dudes/not quite good enough play/a bad matchup all coming against a top notch team is a loss that I will take. Nothing to be ashamed of there.
What do you think? Think I'm stupid? Let me know! We all get smarter!
P.S. Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes! You are all beautiful people.