Game Recap/Notes: Game #21. Pistons 91 - Wizards 109. (14-7)
Well that was pretty bad, but not too big of a worry. A lot of people have brought up how the Wizards were playing 3rd time in 4 nights, but they still had yesterday off, there is a big difference between back to back 3rd in 4 nights and a day off before a home game 3rd in 4 nights. Also, even though Wall is obviously awesome, the Wizards are not totally helpless without him. The biggest worry about this loss is that this is a brutal stretch for the Pistons and this was theoretically one of the more winnable games in it and they couldn't get it.
Pretty rough night for Jackson. 12 points on 13 equivalents with 4 assists against 3 turnovers in 26 minutes. He likely would've had bigger numbers if the Pistons had kept it a bit closer and/or were not playing again tomorrow night as SVG pulled the plug on the straight pick and roll early tonight. In the end though, he largely did his thing and there were not any big complaints with it. One thing to mention though, is that he needs to stop just straight losing the ball late in games. I don't know what the deal is, but late in games he occasionally will just lose the ball, like not even get it taken, he just forgets to dribble or something idk. It didn't really matter when it happened tonight, but there is going to be a game that is lost because that happens and it is going to be terrible.
Tale of two halves for Bradley, who got off to a great start on both ends. He got some really nice buckets on offense and dominated Beal on the other end, in the second half it flipped as he basically fell out of the offense and Beal got into rhythm a bit. Beal still only finished with 10 points and Bradley had 13 points on 14 equivalents with a couple of assists so it wasn't a total loss for him obviously. But it was just a bit disappointing to start so well and not follow it up in the second half.
Would be nice to get a bit more involved occasionally I think, but 5 points on 5 shots with 2 boards and an assist in 24 minutes is not really anything worth complaining about from your 5th guy. He played good defense as usual for the most part, but he didn't have the same impact that he sometimes does. In the end it isn't really worth complaining about, but he certainly didn't do a whole lot worth mentioning.
15 points on 11 shots with 2 boards and 1 assist in 27 minutes. In the end Harris was fine, he got a couple tough buckets and the Wizards have plenty of long defenders to throw at him (which they did), the problem with Tobias' night is that he really struggled to contain Markieff Morris who scored a season high 23 points on just 16 shots. We know the other Morris twin well enough to know that these sorts of games happen with the Morrii occasionally, but Tobias didn't do much to stop it. Still though, on a night where a bunch of players laid absolute duds, Tobias was at least ok.
He got an automatic qualifier due to free throws but in a loss like this I don't want to give anyone full honors so it is all lower case. Regardless, Drummond was pretty much the lone actual bright spot tonight as he went for 14 points on 12 equivalents (4-5 at the line) with 17 rebounds, 7 assists, a steal, and 4 blocks. And those 7 assists came against just 3 turnovers. The only downside to his night was the 5 fouls but he still got 37 minutes in so it didn't really matter much. Would've mattered more if SVG hadn't pulled the plug with like 3 minutes left.
Once again, this really is the only real positive to take from tonight, is that Andre Drummond continues to look like he is growing comfortable enough with his responsibilities on both ends that he is starting to look like a franchise player night in and night out, and in particular his minutes totals are starting to really reflect that. Here is a big stat for you, Andre Drummond has gone over 37 minutes played 7 times this year. Last year he went over 37 minutes just three times all season. Over his last 10 games he is averaging 14.6 points, 15.3 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 1.5 blocks in 33.8 minutes per game. And remember that those numbers include two blowouts where he didn't play much (one was in the Pistons favor the other wasn't of course.) so they are decreased a bit. As big a Drummond fan as I am, I'm not going to say he has fully arrived as having become a totally deserving franchise player, but this season has been a big step towards that being true so far.
9 points on 5 shots, 3-5 from deep in 25 minutes. When Tolly hits his shots he is real good, when he he doesn't he is less good. He was real good tonight.
This was a stinker of a game for Ish, especially considering the weakness of the Wizards bench. As much as the starters struggled (and struggle they did) the fact that the Pistons bench was pretty thoroughly outplayed by their Wizard counter-parts is really what fully did in the Pistons tonight and Ish gets a lot of praise and blame for the bench performance. A lot of it is credit to the Wizards for keeping him in the half court, but his line of 8 points on 9 equivalents and 4 assists in 22 minutes does not do justice to his struggles. The bench mob struggled to create any offense all night while Ish was on the floor. I'm confident he will bounce back, but this game really highlighted how much trouble you can get into when teams make Ish operate exclusively out of the half court.
I guess if you want one other small positive to take away from this game it is that Kennard continues to look like the real deal. He scored 10 points on 6 equivalents and even though he didn't get any assists he had two really good passes. He has officially found the NBA range as he has crested over 40% from deep on the year and continues to show solid creation abilities. Kennard played fine.
Really the first real stinker of the year for Galloway who scored no points going 0-5 from the field and committing 2 turnovers.
Actually got some run in meaningful time and didn't do anything worth noting good or bad.
Didn't do a damn thing.
Got a couple of minutes in garbage time, didn't do a damn thing.
Once again, the main reason this loss is worrying is that it was one of the more winnable ones in this stretch which can make a difference for team morale and whatnot, but in the end it isn't overly notable. It sucks to lose, especially to a team without their best player but the Wizards are still good, especially when they are engaged, and with Wall out they sometimes get a bit more engaged. They beat the Raptors earlier this year without Wall as well so it isn't like they have been roadkill without him. If they can bounce back tomorrow night then this loss is nothing.
What do you think? Can they bounce back? Has Andre fully earned his spot as THE franchise player?