Game Recap/Notes: Game #53 - Pistons 121 - Lakers 102. (25-28)
Good win for the Pistons, obviously the Lakers are not really an overly difficult opponent but for the 2nd straight game they dispatched a weaker opponent in exactly the fashion you would hope that they would.
The stats don’t really do his night justice. Just 4 points on 6 equivalents, 8 assists and no turnovers in just 23 minutes. His low minutes was purely the result of the Pistons being up by so many points, as Reggie played a wonderful game where he was firmly in control of the offense and found guys for open looks. It is a bit concerning that he has, for the 3rd straight game, struggled to get the ball in the hoop. But like in the Sixers game, the Pistons never really had the need for him to do so. Very nice game for Reggie.
KCP once again was unimpressive, but not worrying, for the 2nd straight game. 9 points on 9 equivalents with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. He didn’t have the bonus of having run the offense wonderfully like Reggie Jackson did, but other than that his game is similar. Didn’t play a ton of minutes, didn’t do a ton, but didn’t need too. He threw an alley oop to Andre that just really showed off his improvement as a passer. Just like Reggie, it is a wee bit concerning that he didn’t do more, but given that they didn’t need it he did fine.
Marcus cooled off a bit but still had a nice game with 14 points on 15 equivalents, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in 28 minutes. It honestly wasn’t all that different from KCP or Reggie’s game. Doesn’t really stand out but just played a rock solid game and did what was asked of him.
Unlike some of the others, Leuer’s game probably wasn’t as good as the numbers indicate. His 20 points are a bit misleading due to the fact that they came on 18 equivalents and quite a bit came in garbage time as he played 34 minutes, 6 more than any other starter. Still, 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists is still a nice game. He ended up padding his stats with garbage time but other than that it was similar to the other starters. Nothing spectacular, but he just played well.
The Lakers stuck with their Black/Zubac center rotation, it does not take a genius to realize that they would struggle to contain Andre. Early in the game however, it looked like they might have a chance as Andre blew several very good looks close to the basket. But at the very end of the first half, Andre started to get the ball in the hoop and never looked back. Finishing the night with a monstrous line of 24 points on 20 equivalents, 17 rebounds (5 offensive), 3 steals, and 4 blocks in 28 minutes. Had he been put back in later in the game he would’ve had a 20/20 game almost certainly. He was very active on both ends of the floor and his teammates found him as he found the various holes in the Lakers defense. Huge night for Andre, he was by far the best player on the floor.
Tobias got back to his normal ways after a rough outing against the Sixers with 19 points on 14 equivalents with 5 rebounds in just 24 minutes. I was confused a bit why he was playing in garbage time at the end of the game, but now I see he would’ve only played like 18 minutes otherwise. Regardless, Tobias did a good job of taking advantage of mismatches when they were there and got to the bucket. Very good game for Tobias.
Ish continued his shooting renaissance with 10 points on just 6 shots (5-6 from the field), which just so you know, if he keeps up this sort of shooting the bench mob will be scary the rest of the year. He also had 5 rebounds and 7 assists in 21 minutes of play. The concern though was that he had 5 turnovers, and 4 of them were the totally careless type that are frustrating. He still had a nice game, but against a more capable opponent you can’t be so careless with the ball.
Stanley continued his very good play, scoring 7 points on 4 equivalents with 2 rebounds and 3 assists to go along with some really nice defensive plays in 18 minutes. At this point he is pretty much doing what I had been hoping to see him do coming into the season. He is a beast on defense, and an aggressive athlete who is a willing passer on offense. He still has plenty to work on, but he is firmly back as a good contributor for the Pistons and that makes a big difference.
Aron “don’t trade me I’m useful” Baynes has made a comeback of late, with yet another really nice performance. 10 points on 8 equivalents and 6 rebounds. He just did all the stuff you want him to do, he finished on offense and played hard on defense. I think that Stanley’s resurgence has tied pretty closely with Aron’s. To really be effective offensively, Baynes needs to be able to get space to finish looks, and the reality is that Ish Smith doesn’t really scare any defense enough to draw extra defenders, and Tobias isn’t a good/willing enough passer to take full advantage when he does draw extra guys. But Stanley has the right amount of passing and aggressiveness to create space for Baynes. This is also integral to my theory of why Baynes seems to play well when he starts. Either way, Baynes and Stanley definitely have real chemistry together and it is great to see it coming out again lately.
Bullock, Udrih, BOBAN, Hilliard:
All got some minutes in garbage time. Only Boban really did anything with a couple of buckets.
Once again, it isn’t some super impressive win given the opponent, but when you play a bad team at home you are supposed to smoke them to the point that you play your end of bench guys in garbage time, and that is what the Pistons did. The schedule stops being so easy as the Pistons head to play the Spurs next, but they took advantage of some favorable scheduling to go 3-1 over their last 4. Once again, not hugely impressive, but the Pistons need wins in any form, and it is definitely a step in the right direction.