Game Recap/Notes: Game #9. Pistons 115 - Heat 120 (OT) (4-5)
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Another bummer of a loss. And a bad loss.
Hey this was nice. Jackson had the ball in his hands some more, and after Blake Griffin fouled out at the end of the game he had the ball a great deal more. He finished with 25 points on 24 shot equivalents and 6 assists. He had a heap of clutch baskets down the stretch, and it was refreshing to see him in the pick and roll some.
Hopefully this game can, at the very least, convince Dwane Casey that Reggie Jackson is good enough to not just be a glorified spot-up shooter and actually handle the ball some especially in the pick and roll. Jackson is not a superstar, he will (and already has had) some nights where he has stinkers. But the Pistons are at their best when the treat Jackson as the 3rd member of their proverbial big three.
Got the honorary start with Reggie Bullock out. He only played 12 minutes though and didn’t really do anything of note. I like Brown, but I am still unsure about him being ready for real NBA minutes other than just occasional spot minutes.
Glenn Robinson III:
The big change for the Pistons. Starting Robinson over Stanley Johnson. The lack of Stanley Johnson was apparent in how easily Josh Richardson scored 27 points. That said, Robinson played well and largely did what was wanted by starting him. He scored 16 points on 13 equivalents and shot 2-4 from deep. It was of course heartbreaking on one of those misses, but he still played a good game and even if he isn’t Stanley Johnson on defense he wasn’t a turnstile. He also was a game-high +18 in his 30 minutes which is fairly impressive.
This is why you have Blake Griffin. Even on tough nights with double teams and some missed shots, Griffin comes away with 24 points on 24 equivalents, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and +15 on the night.
He fouled out in the closing moments of regulation, and a couple of his fouls were dumb on his part. He did have a unexpectedly tough time with Justise Winslow, even if the Heat sent consistent double-teams at him the entire night. He missed a few bunnies as well, but he got his buckets and kept the offense chugging. A tough game for Griffin, but still a good one.
25 points on 23 equivalents, 24 rebounds 11 of which were offensive, 3 assists, a steal and a block in 44 minutes of play.
Drummond came out looking for blood and the Heat, without Hassan Whiteside, had little answer for him the entire night. His rampage also included a game-saving tip-in to send it to overtime. It is also worth noting that he seems to have really settled into the defensive scheme of Dwane Casey. Even if I continue to not be a fan of having him drop so far back on defense, he is getting into the right places to at least execute the defense the way it is supposed to be done.
One other good thing in this game, is that when he got the ball in the post he went at the hoop almost every time. Ideally there would simply be less post-ups, but if Dwane Casey is going to insist on forcing the ball to Drummond on the opening possession (seriously, they started the game off with a purposeful Drummond post-up) and throughout the rest of the game then he may as well make the most of it.
Langston was bound to start hitting shots at some point and that point was tonight. 21 points on 17 equivalents, 4 assists, and 9 rebounds. He chucked away in his fearless manner and hit a bunch of them, also continues to do a nice job of occasionally attacking the hoop which is a good thing.
Ish had a quiet night in this one. 4 points on 9 shots in 26 minutes. He did have 5 assists which was nice. His size was a severe issue on defense for a lot of overtime, although that is more of a coaching issue than a Ish Smith issue.
This was very bad. 14 minutes, no points, -21 on the night. He did play good defense though.
11 minutes. Did nothing, I’m not sure why he’s playing to be honest. He’s had a pulse which is nice and a change of pace from more recent old-man point guards the Pistons have had, but I’m not sure why he’s playing right now.
Very bad game. 9 minutes, 3 turnovers. Very bad.
Didn’t do anything in 5 minutes.
Bad loss. The Pistons need to find an actual offensive system. Although letting Reggie Jackson play more pick and roll is a good thing that should hopefully continue and help take some pressure off of Blake Griffin. The next two games are against the Magic and Hawks so they have a good chance to bounce right back.