Game Recap/Notes: Game #6. Pistons 105 - Celtics 108. (4-2)

Bummer of a way for the game to end, still a lot of stuff to work on and some stuff that I am really not a fan of, but this was obviously a much better showing than their first meeting.

Box score.

Reggie Jackson:

Only played 27 minutes and none of the 4th quarter in what was apparently purely a Dwane Casey decision. He did not impress in his minutes, 8 points and 2 assists on 2-9 shooting isn’t much worthwhile. He continues to play hard on defense which is nice but even then he’s not really good enough to make up for a poor offensive showing. Even so, fairly disappointing and a bit baffling why he didn’t play at all in the 4th.

Reggie Bullock:

Reggie Bullock finally found his shot, that’s all that really matters here. He has shot like crap all season, and it finally started to fall late in the game. Finished with 16 points on 12 shot equivalents and looked better on defense in this game although he got cooked by Kyrie a couple of times.

Stanley Johnson:

6 turnovers are, um, not good. That said, 9 points on as many shots, 4 assists (and not wimpy assists either) along with his defensive effort make me think that his team-high +9 on the night was not a fluke. I can live with full-speed mistakes, which is what all of his turnovers were. Against a defense like the Celtics, you must be willing to press the issue and attack, Stanley did that tonight. And once again, without his defensive contributions this game is not close.

Blake Griffin:

Bounced back from a terrible game, he was ready for the Celtic’s defensive scheme on his way to 24 points on 21 shot equivalents and 3 assists. He drew more fouls, took advantage of mismatches better, and generally looked more comfortable, although you can only be so comfortable against this Celtic defense. He also had 15 rebounds, but they were all defensive and the Celtics were not exactly crashing the offensive glass. Griffin also missed all 4 of his shots from deep, so the regression is officially on there.

Lastly, I must mention this. Blake Griffin is so absurdly bad at closing out onto shooters and it is maddening. I am going to continue to bring this up unless he fixes it. There is no reason for him to be this bad, it is simple fundamentals. Griffin has even been very alright in other defensive aspects, but oh my he has been terrible at closing out on guys.

Andre Drummond:

17 points and 12 rebounds. 4 offensive which was nice. He probably would’ve had more rebounds if defensive rebounds had not kept bouncing to Blake, which isn’t a big deal but still worth mentioning.

Drummond continues to post up way too much, which is more on the coaches than him I think because last season the Pistons had almost totally eliminated Drummond’s post-ups before their entire offense got scrapped with the Blake Griffin trade. So we know he is willing to not take those shots, and yet here we are running plays to post him up.

As a result of those ugly post ups, his 17 points required 19 shot equivalents and his true shooting percentage remains under 50% this season, also his passing abilities have been totally left by the wayside this season. I am utterly unimpressed by how Casey has made use of Drummond.

On the plus side, this was probably his best defensive game (which isn’t saying much this season but still) and he seems to be getting more comfortable with what he is supposed to be doing on defense.

Ish Smith:

Ish Smith is not as good as Dwane Casey thinks he is. That’s honestly all I’m going to say about that.

Zaza Pachulia:

17 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists. Zaza is not very good but he’s mostly done his job. I still would very much like to see Leuer in those minutes whenever he is ready enough to go, but Zaza hasn’t really been an issue.

Bruce Brown:

A really good game for the second round pick. Brown still fouls too much, but he had some really good defensive plays including a great block on Jaylen Brown. The quickness of his jumps must surprise people because he has stuffed guys in that exact look a few times already.

Brown found offense by skulking for cuts and it worked out for him to score 10 points on 7 shots. Good for Brown.

Jose Calderon:

I’m not totally sure how I feel about Calderon getting meaningful minutes over Galloway and being ahead of Glenn Robinson in the rotation, but at least he looks like he does have something left in the tank.

Glenn Robinison:

Played 11 minutes, did nothing. He’s barely played, but he hasn’t looked very good when he has.


I do not like benching Jackson for the entire 4th, even though he did alright in this game I think Bruce Brown is probably not a long-term rotation option this season until he gets some more polish. I hate the overall scheme the Pistons are running on both ends of the floor, and I remain fairly baffled by many of Dwane Casey’s rotation decisions so far this season. That said, the Pistons play hard, they are getting more comfortable with the defense, and they seem to genuinely care about trying to win.