Game Recap/Notes: Game #17. Pistons: Very little -Cavs: A lot more. (11-6)
This was a burn the tape game really, but I already used that joke once so here we are. The Pistons were on a back to back and playing their 3rd game in 4 nights while the Cavs were rested. The Cavs proceeded to play the best game of their season. It sucks that it happened to the Pistons, but this was going to happen to someone.
I actually thought Jackson was doing not terrible. 10 points on 8 equivalents with 6 assists and 1 turnover in 24 minutes of work is not bad. I don't know if it was him or SVG but I was dissapointed they didn't just let him do his thing more, just like when it is crunch time at the end of a game you go to your best offense of Reggie in the pick and roll, I feel like you should do that to try and get back in the game when it is about to get totally out of hand. That said no amount of heroics from Jackson would've saved this.
9 points on 9 shots with 2 boards and 3 assists in 27 minutes. The big problem here is that he wasn't able to have any real impact on defense given that the Cavs largely don't have a real point guard for him to slaughter and their non-Bron/Wade wing players are almost exclusively spot up guys which limits Bradley's impact. As has been the case before, give credit to Bradley for continuing to play his tail off to the end.
Probably the one guy who actually had some good minutes outside of garbage time. LeBron scored a bunch of points out of the gate, but they were almost all jump shots and if LeBron is going to can jumpers like that there is literally nothing you can do. Stanley made a couple of really nice defensive plays and was aggressive on offense on his way to 10 points on 8 equivalents. He had one play in particular where he got a steal and flew up the court and got fouled at the hoop in transition which was great to see. Johnson often looks a bit hesitant going to the hoop and a bit too willing to pass in transition, but on that play he was going all the way and when that dude moves at full speed there isn't much that is going to stop him.
11 points on 10 shots with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He largely did his job as well as could be expected on offense, where it was bad was defensively (he was far from the only one but it was particularly glaring with him) as Kevin Love repeatedly scored easily over him.
8 points and 8 rebounds with 3 assists in 25 minutes. I will admit that I was hoping the Pistons would get it close enough that Drummond would play more to try and continue his streak of 12+ rebounds to open a season as he likely would have made it with his normal minutes, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Drummond turned it over 6 times in the end and a couple of them were no big deal really but a couple were bad. You largely live with that as he continues to get acclimated to his new role where he has the ball a lot, but it is still a growing pain.
The one thing that was interesting is that the Pistons chose to have Tobais Harris guard Kevin Love and put Andre Drummond on Jae Crowder. They had them swap against the Timberwolves as well which made perfect sense since Towns is very perimeter oriented while Taj Gibson is not, but Crowder is just as perimeter oriented (perhaps even more) than Love. The Cavs shot so stinking well that it is hard to take much away from it, but at the very least I like that SVG is getting a little bit freaky with how to use Drummond defensively.
A lot of his 21 minutes came in garbage time. Scored 6 points on 4 shots with 7 rebounds. He did fine I guess.
Same as above. 8 points on 8 shots. Did fine I guess.
3 points on 7 equivalents with 2 assists in 17 minutes and the Cavs abused his lack of size in the post repeatedly on the other end. It wasn't really his fault but this was not a good game for Ish.
Kennard got a chance to make the game not a total waste as he was a focal point of the offense for a lot of garbage time, and he didn't do well. 5 points on 8 shots and no assists. He didn't look all that good. Also should be noted that he didn't get in before garbage time, I don't know if that is a sign of things to come with his place (or lack thereof) in the rotation or not but something to keep an eye on.
All garbage time. 6 points on 5 shots, nice to see him get on the floor and get a couple of shots in.
All garbage time. Actually played pretty well with 6 points on 3 shots and a couple assists and a couple steals.
The Cavs are possibly starting to turn it around, they've been to 3 straight finals for a reason, they were rested, and they played as well offensively as they have all season. There is so much offensive firepower (even in their current injured state) on this team that they can do this to anyone on any given night. The good news is the Pistons now have 3 days off before their next game to get prepped and back in the right mode of mind.
What do you think? Did anything stand out to you? I hope you didn't watch this crap all the way till the end.