Game Recap/Notes: Game #42. Pistons 94 - Jazz 100. (18-24)
Another frustrating loss. I’m very anti-blaming the refs but this one was very bad. Blake Griffin shot just 2 free-throws which is pretty absurd.
Missed all of his threes. Ending with 11 points on 15 shots with 3 boards and 2 assists. 5 of his 11 shots were from deep, and Jackson’s effectiveness is largely tied to his outside shooting. Which is really not ideal. That said we did get a few minutes with Jackson on the floor and no Blake which was nice to see staggered a bit. He actually did look decent on defense so that is a bit of a concession I suppose.
Only played 14 minutes, scored 5 points on 4 shots. Struggled to guard Donovan Mitchell, foul bug kind of bit him.
13 points on just 6 shots in 27 minutes. Would’ve been nice to see him get more involved than he did but that’s under the bridge. Bullock did his job more or less. He did blow a couple of rotations on defense but I’m not going to be too hard on him for that. A little bit confusing as to why he didn’t play more/get involved more given how he was one of the few guys who was managing to hit any shots.
Once again, the refs didn’t do him any favors, but clearly was a bit gassed following the Clippers game. Still managed 19 points on 18 shot equivalents so it isn’t like he was inefficient, but he took 11 three-pointers and hit just 3 of them. Taking that many long-guns is the sort of thing that suggests that he was kind of spent and didn’t want to really drive much. In the end, the Pistons can’t really survive him being any less than spectacular against teams worth anything.
They’ve been better about getting Drummond involved in the offense in smarter ways the last couple of games. He finished this game with 15 points and 13 rebounds with 3 steals. His defense was mostly good and important, and he would’ve been more efficient if he hadn’t missed a couple of real bunnies.
Played 23 minutes, scored 10 points on 5 shots and also had 5 rebounds. His offense was highly important to the bench mob not being terrible and generally looked a bit more aggressive which was good. He still needs to work on being more aggressive with his shot and still needs to find some way to score inside a bit, but still a good game.
5 points on 4 shots in 13 minutes. His defense got a bit exposed later on but having him cover actions involving Mitchell and Gobert is a tough ask, clearly Leuer shouldn’t really be expected to hold up there so it’s hard to rag him on that.
Ish made his triumphant return, started off well too. In the first quarter he came into the game and played well, and the bench mob didn’t get slaughtered, in fact they extended the lead a bit. He looked healthy, as quick as ever, and brought everything you’d want him to.
Then Casey decided Ish Smith, back for the first time in over a month, should close the game. It went poorly. We know Smith can’t hold up on defense against most starters and for several possessions he locked Blake out of the offense in such a way that if Reggie Jackson had done it ya’ll would’ve been calling for his head and then some.
To make it worse, Casey had them run a few Blake post-ups with Ish as the man above him. This makes Ish the most likely shooter coming out of the post-up and is the easiest guy to help off of onto Blake. I hate that they insist on using Jackson here so much, I hate using Smith there even more. This isn’t complex, don’t have bad shooters spot-up closest to Blake when he’s posting up.
Had some nice rebounds, missed some shots. Did hit a 3, not much impact.
Some real minutes for Khyri, he didn’t even attempt a shot, early on he did a really good job defensively on Donovan Mitchell, but at the end of the game he kind of got slaughtered. That said, I don’t mind it too much, that’s a learning thing for Khyri and sometimes young guys get burned.
The irony remains that the Pistons are only just outside of the playoffs, but the season is bordering on totally miserable and sad. Fortunately they still have almost half the season to start to kick it into gear, but I’m not very confident they will.