Game Recap/Notes: Game #39, Pistons 125 - Blazers 124. (18-21)
What a great game! Sorry for this being so late, had stuff to do today but still wanted to do the recap.
Reggie continued his wonderful play last night, 31 points on 28 equivalents with 3 assists against 2 turnovers and 2 steals in 47 minutes does not sound that awesome, but he carried the Pistons to an almost comical extent for a couple of stretches of the game and hit a couple of hugely clutch shots. He appears to have largely gotten back into full form as he is absolutely tearing it up lately, and it will be interesting to see where his 3 point shot ends up as he has been on fire from outside lately and is now up to 35.6% from deep, although I would say he is hitting a lot more pull up looks right now which is impressive. Either way, he was huge offensively. Defensively he was less good. Early in the game he was just another dude who couldn't help to slow down the Blazers, and then he was the guy who got burned on both of the C.J. McCollum shots that forced the first and second overtimes which is a bit glaring obviously. HOWEVA, I would give him some credit, as he was a part of the lineup that essentially won the game for the Pistons, and that lineup did it primarily with defense and he was a part of that. At no point in time is Reggie ever really a good defender, but when he is locked, he can make some plays.
On the topic of his failed game winners at the end of regulation, the first one I was ok with. He got into the lane and by his guy and was probably fouled. Once he got a step I figured it was all over, with my only complaint that he didn't leave any time for a Andre rebound. (doubly so with the time left that the Blazers didn't have a timeout left so even if they get the board they can't do anything with it) The second attempt (1st OT) I was less pleased with, He didn't really make much of an attempt to go to the hoop and once again left no time for Andre to try and tip it. But in the end, they were both alright, the game was tied so you want to take the clock down and not risk a turnover.
Overall a really good game for Reggie, and he really looks like he is back in form.
For much of the game, it was a pretty good indication of the sort of season KCP has been having. He was efficient and smart with his offensive play other than an uncharacteristic 3 turnovers against his 2 assists (all 3 of which were bad passes) and he made some nice defensive plays to finish with 4 steals, and yet he just got beat too often. Allen Crabbe and CJ McCollum's big nights were obviously even close to all his fault, but he didn't really do much to slow down either one when he was switched onto them. There were several plays where he just straight up got beat. HOWEVA, we all know what happened at the end of the game, he hit several clutch and difficult 3 pointers, including the game winner. Which on the topic of that game winner, what a great play call by SVG given that there was no way they were ready for that, and also because he finally decided to appreciate that I had school in the morning so they could win or lose but another overtime was not happening.
Overall KCP finished with 26 points on just 16 equivalents curtesy of his hot shooting to finish the game. Even though it is still worrying to me that he is getting beat with regularity on defense now, he still made some really good plays. Awesome game for KCP.
It was a rough game for Marcus, after seeming to bounce back in their last game, his shot abandoned him yet again as he scored just 10 points on 17 shots. But he did have 5 assists without a turnover to help his offensive outing, and he was a part of the lineup that carried the Pistons to victory on the defensive end. HOWEVA, I just want to say how much I love that down the stretch, the Pistons ran 3 straight plays for him and he hit 2 of them, and also bailed the Pistons out with an incredibly tough shot over Aminu in the 4th quarter. Like, Marcus is far from a star of any sort, but it is shots like that one over Aminu that allow the Pistons to so consistently play with some of the best teams in the NBA, because when everything else fails, they have him (also Tobias and Reggie of course) who can just straight up get buckets. Bit of a rough game for Marcus, but he got it done when it mattered, and it is worth noting that he had a game high +11 on the night.
Only played 6 minutes, didn't do anything of note. He hurt himself but it apparently is not very serious so he won't miss much, if any, time. (supposedly)
In case there was any doubt, Mason Plumlee (I hope that is the correct Plumlee) cannot hold Andre Drummond. Not even a little bit. Andre finished with 28 points on just 21 equivalents, and he did a ton of his work out of the post. In fact I would say this was probably his best game form the post all year. He only (by his standards) ended up with 14 rebounds, but that was more of bad luck/not a ton of misses because other than a pair of big ones (one of which was probably Andre's fault) towards the end of the game, the Blazers didn't do anything on the glass all game really. He also played some wonderful defense to finish with 4 steals and a block. He also went 2 of 3 from the line. One of the better games of the year for Andre, and the game high 52 minutes is hugely impressive as well. Remember that when he arrived he was a kid who tired easily and fouled at an absurd rate.
Tobias had, probably, his worst game since coming off the bench. 14 points on 16 shots, 3 assists, 9 rebounds, a steal, and a block is not a terrible stat line for 38 minutes, but it Is a step down from what he has been doing. Regardless, he struggled especially from deep going 0 for 5. On top of all of that, he was on the bench for most of the Pistons resurgance as they made their comeback as Stanley proved to valuable defensively. But despite this, Tobias made a freaking amazing defensive play down the stretch when he did get back in by smothering a Plumlee dunk attempt. It was literally textbook verticality. I don't know that Tobias will ever really be a good defender, but lately he has started to make better use of his size and athleticism to provide some solid emergency rim protection as more and more teams try and draw Andre away from the hoop.
He may have only scored 5 points (on 3 shots) and had 2 assists. But this was probably Stanley's best game of the year. His defensive presence was undeniable to the point that SVG had his start the overtime. He made several great defensive plays by showing his full range and why people are so excited about his defensive potential. He was guarding Portland guards for long stretches, but then also had 2 seperate occasions that he stepped in and smothered layup attempts at the rim. (didn't get credit for blocks on either one) Guys that can do that do not just grow on trees.
Only played 21 minutes, scored 9 points on 6 shots, had 3 assists without a turnover. He didn't really a do a ton that I found all that worthy of noting but he certainly played pretty well.
Played 6 minutes. I want Boban back.
Formed a fucking wall.
2nd really good win for the Pistons. The Blazers have struggled this year but they are not an awful team. The Pistons will have 2 more very winnable games left on the trip and a couple of toughies (the Warriors probably count as more than just tough lol) but if they can take either of the tough ones and leave the road trip 4-1 then they will be right back on track.
What do you think? Was that awesome or what?