Game Recap/Notes: Game #27. Pistons 84 - Nuggets 103. (14-13)
Second straight rough game for Jackson. Not as bad as the last game but still not much good. 12 points on 12 equivalents with 4 assists in 25 minutes. Looking at the stats it actually looks better than it was, he missed several shots that he really needs to hit with floaters at various times, which is partially just bad luck but there is a certain point where even if it is just bad luck for one game, you just have to hit those shots.
The more worrying thing over the last two games is that Jackson has looked a half step slower defensively, a lot of praise has been directed his way (rightfully so) by becoming a largely passable defensive player but he hasn't been that the last couple. I don't know if maybe I am just seeing things since everyone is largely playing like crap or if maybe he just got gassed for whatever reason or something else, but it is just what I saw.
This was the worst game Bradley has played in a Pistons uniform. 6 points on 11 equivalents in 24 minutes is terrible, but the thing that pushed it over the edge was that he wasn't even good on defense. I don't know, maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought but he didn't seem to make any significant defensive impact. Bradley has been the biggest person struggling in this losing streak.
Getting the start in (probably) an effort to add more shooting on the floor, an he individually actually played fine. 6 points on 5 shots in 22 minutes and he largely did fine as a defender. I'm not sure how I feel about him starting (more about that later) but he did fine. On the plus side, it looks like Stanley Johnson wasn't actually the problem with the offense of the starters.
Ouch. Look, I don't want to pile on Harris too badly, he is consistent and does the right stuff a lot and he actually somehow ended up with 8 assists tonight. But 2 points on 8 equivalents (0-7 from the field) in 30 minutes just isn't going to cut it. Maybe I missed it when I half-tuned out later in the game, I don't know, but I didn't think he had that many assists so they must not have been overly impressive plays but maybe I'm wrong about that. Regardless, Harris doesn't really have a good excuse for not being able to score. He also was straight trash on defense.
Why you gotta do this to me Andre? I've spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks talking about how Drummond has been the bright spot in the losing streak because even thought he Pistons are losing, Drummond was still having really good games and helping to keep the team afloat (or at least close against good teams) while the rest of the team struggled. Then he goes and lays an egg in two straight games. 6 points on just 6 equivalents with 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, and 6 turnovers in 27 minutes. It isn't totally his fault since a lot of his points comes from others creating and if teams overcompensate to him (which often happens) it is up to the others to make good on the space created, but this is still bad.
Yep, Ish Smith is a problem sometimes. 8 points on 14 shots with 5 assists in 23 minutes. Once again the opposing team made great effort to get back on defense and make him play in the half court where he struggles. And while I suppose he should get some credit for the bench keeping them in the game, but that wasn't really due to him I don't think.
At least someone found their shot tonight. Galloway went for 18 points in 22 minutes and shot 5-7 from deep. The problem is that a lot of it happened late in the game, and while it wasn't really garbage time yet the game was certainly mostly out of reach.
3 points on 2 shots, nothing really notable for Tolly.
Played 14 minutes but was only put in later in the game. Went 0-3 and made a few good defensive plays. It looked like he was headed for a DNP before SVG put him in the game late.
The one true bright spot tonight, Boban put up 14 points on 10 equivalents with 5 rebounds and a pair of assists in just 13 minutes. Tonight has put me fully on the “MOAR BOBAN” train. Dude is a problem for opponents and was the literally the only good thing for the Pistons tonight.
3 points on 3 shots in 13 minutes. Kennard didn't really do anything of significance.
Both played a bit late in the game. Ellenson actually got a few buckets, Moreland didn't do anything.
The lineup change:
I mean, I get it. Stanley hasn't been able to shoot or score at all and perhaps more shooting will help the starters. HOWEVA, I don't know that Reggie Bullock was the answer tbh. I love Bullock, but I would've much rather had Tolliver enter the starting lineup. The thing that I didn't like is that it legitimately looked like Stanley was headed for DNP if the game hadn't gotten out of hand. He did get in before true garbage time but it was only because the game was mostly out of reach. Unless there is something that we don't know about that has him in the dog house (which is entirely possible) then I really would not like him to get straight up benched. I largely trust SVG in his treatment of Stanley, he managed to push the right buttons last year to get him to take a big step defensively and he is way better this year, but I'm still not sure about this. Even though I'd rather leave him as a starter I understand if they want to try more shooting, but you definitely need his defense in the rotation at some point. (Once again, if it turns out that there is something we don't know about that would put him in the dog house then that would change things)
This was bad. It isn't full on panic time, but this was very bad. The problem wasn't even that the Pistons lost, it is how they lost. If you had told me before the game that the Pistons would lose while Jamal Murray went off for a big game I would've believed you and as much as it would suck to lose another game it wouldn't be a huge deal. Without Jokic the Nuggets struggle to create consistent offense night in and night out but they have some streaky shooters and scorers who can let them get buckets occasionally. For instance, despite the fact that Murray is shooting poorly this year and averaging only like 13 points per game, he has gone over 25 points five times already this year. So the reality is that I'm not all that upset about that.
The problem is that the offense looked awful again. I wasn't worried about it after the last game because in case you didn't know it, the Celtics have made a lot of offenses look awful this year. The Warriors failed to score 90 points in a game against the Celtics. The Nuggets however, are not that. They are a legitimately bad defensive team, and the Pistons still could not score. That is a problem. Hopefully they can beat up on Atlanta and get back in a groove for an easier stretch of schedule, but I'm officially worried. On the other hand, my guess is that if I had told most of you that the Pistons would be 14-13 you wouldn't have been overly upset about it.
What do you think? How can you fix the offense? Why do we do this to ourselves?