Game Recap/Notes: Game #11. Pistons 124 - Hawks 109. (6-5)
We are a little bit delayed but better late than never. The Pistons got their first comfortable win of the season in a good way.
Only played 21 minutes and was fairly controlled but not all that involved in the end. 10 points on 9 shots with 3 assists. The Pistons jumped out to an early lead and put it in cruise control after that and Jackson was one of them who did so. Played fine but nothing of much note for Jackson in this game. The ball does continue to be put in his hands a bit more in the pick and roll though which is nice.
Welcome back Reggie. Bullock has been pretty bad this season, missing a great deal of shots, he finally started to get going a bit in this game. 13 points on 9 shots, including 3-6 from deep, with 4 assists to boot. Bullock was going to hit shots at some point but it was starting to make even me a little bit nervous, the way the offense was moving the ball early in the game was especially good for Bullock who found open shots and his brand of quick-thinking passing was a perfect fit. If he can officially bust out of his slump here on out then it will help to cover up a pretty good amount of the issues the Pistons have had on offense this season.
Glenn Robinson III:
Starting once again, and Robinson was very impressive. His final numbers were not all that notable, even if they were solid, 12 points on 7 shots and a couple of assists on the night. The thing that impressed me most was the way he moved the ball on offense. In his career Robinson has not been a remarkable passer in any sense and I was a bit worried that he may be a bit of a ball stopper at times. But when the ball started really whipping around the perimeter Robinson was joining right in the quick decisions and passes which is great to see.
Blake came out passing early, smelled a triple double, and was trying so hard to not score it was almost comical at times. He fell short of the triple double with 6 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists but he was still really effective. The Hawks tried to double, he’d pass the ball, and they were not quick enough to recover. Against better teams Blake won’t be able to get away with these sorts of shenanigans but against the Hawks its fine. He didn’t have to give a whole lot of effort and was still able to pick them apart. There was one pass in particular that was utterly filthy to Glenn Robinson in the corner.
Drummond was excellent in this game and was one of the main beneficiaries of the Pistons ball movement. He finished with 23 points on 18 shot equivalents, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 4 blocks. One thing I would like to say, is that Andre seriously needs to start getting more selfish about defensive rebounds. He may not care what his rebounding percentage is, but at this point I’m pretty invested in him being the best rebounder to ever live so he needs to not cede rebounds to Blake. GO GET 20/20 WHEN YOU CAN.
Regardless, Andre was very good on both ends. On offense he finished looks created by ball movement and even when he did stuff on his own he was good about being aggressive and not just settling for jump-hooks. Andre post-ups are never ideal, but if they are going to happen you want him to be aggressive and attack the hoop because it yields much better results.
The best news from the last few games continues to be that Drummond is getting comfortable with his defensive responsibilities under Casey. He’s not dropping back so far, getting braver about stepping to ball-handlers to create havoc while continuing to be at the hoop to contest shots at the rim. On that note, the Pistons are all the way up to 9th in the NBA in defensive efficiency.
Galloway continues his hot shooting, in 24 minutes he scored 16 points on 9 shots and all of them were long-guns, that’s 5-9 from deep. Galloway is a joy to have on the floor when he is hitting shots. The sheer ballsiness to launch some of the shots he does is remarkable. He also plays with an infectious energy.
Stanley Johnson may or may not have me starting to believe that his shot could improve. In just 24 minutes off the bench, Stanley Johnson had 22 points, including 4-9 from deep and I’m fully believing that he’s had a real improvement in his shooting mechanics. I’m not saying that he’s fixed it and is going to be a high-level shooter from now on, but he may be able to get close to league average which would be huge.
Johnson also was highly effective on defense and getting out in transition. He, along with Galloway, carried the Pistons bench mob to success the entire night, he straight up stole a pair of out of bounds passes and took them the other way for points. Great game for Stanley, also I think that it may be best for all parties, including Stanley Johnson, if they continue to start GR3 and take Stanley off the bench.
10 points on 9 shots and 3 assists. Ish was fine, although to be honest, he didn’t do a whole lot of note in this game.
Played 22 minutes in this game because of garbage time but does continue to get some real minutes with Kennard injured. Didn’t do much of note.
Nothing really of note. Zaza is Zaza. He’s slow as dirt, mean in the paint, and a good screener.
Bruce Brown/Jon Leuer/Khyri Thomas:
All got some garbage time. Thomas got his first NBA bucket which was cool.
Good win. The Hawks are bad but this was the first really comfortable win for the Pistons this season. And while there are still some underlying issues, they have mostly taken care of business against the teams they need to. The best news is that they are really getting some good defensive results as guys (mostly Drummond) get comfortable on defense and things are looking better on offense now that Reggie Jackson is getting some more pick and roll looks. I’m much more optimistic about things after the last three games and it’s not just because the Pistons are 2-1 in those games, they’ve looked much better.