Game Recap/Notes: Game #61. Pistons 110 - Bucks 87. (29-32)
Well that was better. Bucks were not rested of course but you can't dominate a game a whole lot more than the Pistons did in this one.
Smith didn't really do anything but that is perfectly ok. 4 points on 7 shots in 24 minutes. He seemed almost invisible at times which I actually think is a good thing. He really just didn't do a lot.
He still is really struggling with the ball in his hands, but he had a great night off the ball. Poor Sterling Brown lost him multiple times as Bullock repeatedly got open layups on backdoor cuts. Bullock also did a nice job chasing around people on defense which was nice. Bullock finished with 16 points on 14 shots and 3 assists in 24 minutes.
Inserted into the starting lineup and while he didn't do a lot you could see the benefits right away. Personally Ennis only had 4 points in 15 minutes which is totally unremarkable but he should for sure stay a starter. The offense had a little bit of room to breathe and things could get going, and he continues to play really good defensively. I am in favor of this switch (Johnson and Ennis) being permanent.
The numbers were not impressive, 8 points on 11 equivalents, 9 rebounds, 7 assists against 3 turnovers in 25 minutes. But the place where this game really stood out was on defense where Griffin seemed to finally show some desire to do things right on that end, and other than the fact that he took like 4 too many jump shots his offensive performance was actually pretty decent too. I liked the way he passed, and he really got on the glass as well which was very nice to see.
Casual 15 points, 16 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals in 27 minutes of work. Drummond was often just too much for the Bucks to really have any chance of handling as he bashed them out of his way towards rebounds. He also played very good defensive ball and switched onto Giannis several times and stuck right with him. It seems odd to say he (and the rest of the starters) didn't feel like they did all that much but he certainly played very well.
30 minutes of play, 19 points, 6 boards, 4 assists, and he needed just 14 equivalents for those 19 points. Johnson was in attack mode off the bench and back to being the bench mob Ben Simmons. Also known as Stanley Johnson at his best. He drove to the hoop, got out in transition, and generally bullied guys everywhere he could. Perhaps his most impressive performance was on the defensive end though. He didn't take Giannis as much as in the past, but he got him a lot and once again did a great job. Giannis could not move Johnson down low at all and had all kinds of problems. I like Stanley off the bench.
It is still not clear if he can get enough shots to fall all the time, tonight he scored 12 points on 15 equivalents with 4 assists, but he continues to have an edge to the way he plays, forces things inside with the ball, and competes defensively. Him, Stanley Johnson, and Eric Moreland led the way for the bench mob to kill the Bucks in spectacular fashion.
Getting some run after Luke Kennard continued to look like he's hit the rookie wall, and he played well. It took a bit to get going and some of his buckets came in garbage time, but 13 points on 9 shots is never a bad thing.
He played well against the Bucks earlier this season and he played even better in this one for probably his best game in the NBA. 10 points on 9 equivalents with 12 rebounds and 6 assists. He played with some aggression on offense and the Bucks had no answer for his energy on the glass. He also looked locked on on defense and made crisp rotations. His scoring output is actually something that has confused me a bit all season. He showed in the G and Summer league that he has decent touch around the rim to score some, but you would never know it to watch him in the NBA. He finally seemed to try and score a little and it worked pretty well. To be clear, I'm not saying he can score a bunch of points with consistency, but he can hit shots at the rim.
Took 4 three-pointers. Hit 2 of them. That will do Tolly. Also played good defense on Giannis at times.
Much needed win. I'm tired. But this was very good.