Game Recap/Notes. Preseason game #7. Pistons: 94 - Hornets: 99
As before, it is the preseason. So just assume that all observations come with the asterisk *is preseason.
Sorry for missing the last game, had a family gathering and I tried to watch the stream a bit and it was horrible (which as I saw in the post game thread I was not alone in) so I gave up.
Reggie Jackson: Bit of a weird game, he scored 10 points, had 11 assists, 4 boards, and only 1(!) turnover. Which looks like a solid all around game which even though he was inefficient shooting the ball (3/15) it is a pretty good game. Particularly the assists to turnovers, 10 to 1 is like Chris Paul on top of his game good. But there were a couple things, first off, calling 3/15 inefficient is like calling the sinking of the Titanic "unfortunate." That is really bad, and the thing was that it was a lot of bad shot selection. There were so many times he took a shot that I thought was a dumb shot that I lost count. There were also several plays where he took those bad shots, and it was clear to see a wide open teammate. So that is that. HOWEVA. It is not that bad. Everyone has off nights, and he absolutely was still a positive impact in this game. Also, defense, he played good defense this game. It just stood out to me a bit. It is legitimately kind of fun to watch him duck under screens and use his superior athleticism to slither back out to the ball handler to contest a three. There are times where he can get himself into trouble while doing this, but it is fun to watch. One of those small things to look for in a game to keep things interesting in the play to play slog of a game like this. Overall, he was a little weird, but still good. And if this is an off night for Jackson I will take this over a game with a whole bunch of turnovers. KCP: Looked sharp to start the game and played awesome defense on a couple of possessions. Was looking like he might be in for one of those games where he catches fire from deep and scores 25 points. Then he hurt his ankle and left the game and did not return. Fear not however, x-rays were negative and all reports I've seen as of now are that he will be totally ok. It is the preseason so there is no reason to bring him back. Even if he does not play in the last preseason game on Friday I would not be to concerned because again, its the preseason. Hopefully he can play though and be fine. Make no mistake though, if it were to somehow become a bigger issue, it would be a huge blow to the team. As much as I am sometimes down on KCP's potential as more than a 3 and D type, he is a really good one and fits well with the starters in that role. Rest up KCP.
Marcus Morris: Started off better than he finished. Early in the game he (like KCP) was looking like it might be the sort of night where he just catches fire and is damn near unstoppable. It did not end up being that but he still scored pretty well. (12 points on 11 shots is just fine.) Although there were a couple times where he went full bonehead. When he gets into one of those drives where he ends up in no mans land and there are three defenders in the area, don't go for a pullup fadeaway. Pass the ball please. He also played some really good defense at a couple of points. Including one possession where he was switched onto Jeremy Lin and Lin took several shots at trying to shake Morris for an open shot, and Morris absolutely stone walled him. (even though Lin ended up making a hard fadeaway) That is the sort of defensive flexibility that could make him pretty valuable on that end.
Ersan Ilyasova: I'm rather conflicted on him as the preseason wraps up. On one hand, if you ever wonder what exactly coaches mean when they say a certain player has "great activity", just watch Ersan for a few possessions. Even if he does not get the board (and when on the floor with Drummond he does not get as many as he would otherwise) damn near every shot that goes up, he finds himself under the hoop for a chance at a rebound. And he is always bouncing and watching on D for an opportunity to make a play. Even if he does not always make that play, it forces other players to be really locked in. He is almost like that guy at the Y that is playing just for the cardio. Even if he does not get a ton of rebounds or actually be that good a defender, you hate to play that guy, because he is going at 110% every second. That has real value. HOWEVA, on the other hand. SHOOT THE DAMN BALL! I don't know what it is, maybe this is the whole shot selection thing, and he should only shoot threes when he is wide open. But as far as I am concerned he is a shooter, so when he has any good look, shoot the damn ball. Don't pump fake the air in front of you. Shoot it. But I do love that activity.
Andre Drummond: Monster night in almost every way. He scored 21 points and 15 boards, and had several huge blocks to boot. He largely dominated Big Al as well. (Al got him a couple times, but Al is really good. It will happen. Most of the night Al had serious trouble against Drummond) HOWEVA. Free throws. 1/6. I thought he had shot more, but if he shoots like this he will shoot a lot more. I do not know for sure what the answer is, but he has got to shoot at least 50% from the line one way or another.
Stanley Johnson: Really struggled on offense, but played really good defense. He got all up in the passing lanes, and was a very real problem on that end. But he was not very good on offense. #justrookiethings. No really, he was good on D and just could't really get it going on offense. But he did not do anything particularly dumb trying to force his shot on offense so props for that.
Jodie Meeks: Shot like crap, still scored 8 points. His ability to charge into the lane and draw contact is a legitimate weapon. He also was the main beneficiary of KCP not playing in the second half. Even though he shot like crap, he looked pretty good on offense. Including a killer pass to Andre for a dunk. But he did not play very good defense.
Spencer Dinwiddie: I will be honest, unless he looked legitimately terrible, I was going to vouch for Dinwiddie to be the backup come the season over Steve Blake just because Dinwiddie is, yaknow, not old as dirt. But at this point, Dinwiddie may well be just as good (if not better) than Blake. Blake still has more versatility on offense since he can actually shoot a little. But even if Blake is healthy, I want more Dinwiddie. His only points were off foul shots. Told you to keep an eye on the drawing fould : ) (Oh shut up I know one was a technical foul shot. Let me pretend I'm smart ok) FWIW He also had the best plus minus on the team. (which has been a theme the last few games.)
Aaron Baynes: He played nice D on Big Al, and scored some buckets. Right now he looks to be a totally serviceable backup center. He will have to be a bit better than that if he is to be worth his contract, but he is also playing on limited minutes and such. So I will withold any large judgement till he is fully healthy. But it was good to see some of the potential of the bruising player that SVG saw and gave that contract. OH BTW, he set some killer screens tonight. Maybe it is a sign that I read to much Zach Lowe, but he did, and it was awesome. Anthony Tolliver: Once again, just doing his thing. Shoot some threes, play his butt off. He did that fine, it is nice to have a guy on the team who you know exactly what you will get night in and night out.
Reggie Bullock: I was thinking about centering this part around how we should all calm down a little bit on Bullock. But fuck it, GIVE ME BULLOCK OR GIVE ME DEATH!! He was really good again. This might bite into the eventual season preview post a bit but I looked into his past 2 years. And I was surprised to see, that it appeared that his biggest problem was shooting. (I was surprised because everyone has said "Oh we know he can shoot") he is just a 33% from deep over his 2 years. But he has shot really well here. If he shoots into the upper 30s, he needs to see some real playing time. He plays good defense, and makes the type of smart cuts and passes that give Greg Popovich an erection. Quite frankly he reminds me of one of those fringe guys the Spurs always seem to pull off the scrap heap and turn into a good player. That's right, by grabbing Bullock SVG basically channelled his inner Pop. This is a good thing. Here's to hope he keeps playing this well once the season starts.
The Pistons preseason broadcasting was easily the best of any the teams they have played.
God I am glad we did not pick Frank Kaminsky.
The team missed open passes several times.
What did you think of the game? Think I'm stupid? Let me know! We all get smarter!