Game Recap/Notes: Game #36. Pistons 101 - Grizzlies 96. (17-19)

Good win. Nice to see the Pistons dig in on a tough situation and get a much needed victory.

Box score.

Reggie Jackson:

In 31 minutes Jackson had 16 points on 11 shot equivalents with 5 assists and 7 rebounds. Also had a pair of blocks and a steal for good measure, and one of those blocks was actually a great play. He didn’t have a ton to do with it specifically, but he gets some credit on the defensive end for Mike Conley Jr not scoring a single point, and even when other guys took Conley and he was put off the ball, it isn’t like the Grizzlies shooting guards had great games. So in the end, it was a pretty nice game for Jackson, it isn’t a great situation that Jackson having an effective game or not is now almost exclusively tied to whether or not he can hit enough 3 pointers. He was 4-8 tonight (and one of those attempts was a near half-court heave) but that’s kind of how it is now. He hit enough 3s tonight, and was fine on defense.

Bruce Brown:

In 20 minutes of work Brown didn’t do a ton. He had 3 points on 4 shots, 5 rebounds and a pair of assists. Also keeps up his tradition of fouling the crap out of everything by tallying 4 fouls in his 20 minutes. I remain a bit skeptical of his long-term staying power as a starter, but he was +13 in those 20 minutes tonight and the Jackson/Brown/Bullock/Griffin/Drummond lineup has been, by far, the Pistons best starting lineup iteration this season. It currently has a net rating of +12.4 in 116 minutes, which, it won’t stay that good but that’s not nothing.

One big thing with Brown to continue to monitor are his drives to the paint. There were a pair of times (both his assists) where he drove to the paint and hit a really nice skip-pass to Reggie Jackson in the corner. Brown is still a long ways from getting real point guard minutes, but plays like that stand out as reason for hope down the road. And even the pipe-dream of Brown as a point guard aside, those plays are important in allowing Brown to bring at least some minimal value to the Pistons offense.

Reggie Bullock:

In 28 minutes, Bullock scored 13 points on 9 shot equivalents and also dished 3 assists. Ironically he had the worst +/- of the starters at just +3 but I wouldn’t worry about that. He played well, hit 3 pointers, and was a plus on the defensive end. Just about what you expect from Bullock.

Blake Griffin:

39 minutes, 26 points on 25 shot equivalents, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, a pair of steals. The buckets came tough, he didn’t get many calls, which I’m not going to get in a tizzy about because the Grizzlies don’t foul much, but he really had to work. The crown of his night is really that he did all he did and did not have a single turnover the entire game. So even though his scoring efficiency was not up to his usual standards, his overall night was still fairly efficient.

The best thing Griffin did in this game, was that he played faster and with a sense of urgency on the offensive end. He is prone to long bouts of no movement and jab-stepping. In this game he made his decisions fast and wasn’t a black hole of ball dominance. Hopefully we can see more of this in the future, it is possible for Griffin to dominate the game, the offense, and even the ball, without holding such a comical amount. And the Pistons offense would be better for it.

On the defensive end, there wasn’t anything that really stood out as bad, during the game I thought he was actually doing pretty well, but as Jaren Jackson Jr continued on his way to 26 points on hyper-efficiency and the Pistons eventually just swapped Griffin and Drummond I think we can still count the defensive end as an issue tonight lol.

Andre Drummond:

Not a huge night for Drummond, especially by his standards. 11 points on a horrid 15 shot equivalents with 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block in 38 minutes. That said, he played pretty solid defense all night. Marc Gasol didn’t repeat Brook Lopez’s performance, and when Drummond switched onto JJJ it helped to stop some of that bleeding. I don’t know, I felt like he really was playing the way you want him to play, even if he missed too many shots which is something that will happen with Drummond when you never run pick and rolls or other things to get him easy buckets. So not a great game, but definitely better than the box-score suggests and it is backed up by his +13 on the night. Also always nice to see him shoot 3-5 from the line.

Luke Kennard:

This Kennard guy is pretty good. In 27 minutes he scored 13 points on 13 shot equivalents, hurt by some free throw yips at the end of the game which, while frustrating, is something that happens when you have young guys on the floor in crunch time. You don’t get to complain about young guys not seeing the floor enough and then complain when they make young guy mistakes, so since I’ve been an ardent critic of not having Luke on the floor enough I’ll let it go for now.

That said, kennard really played a nice game, he had 2 assists, both of which were really nice, to go with his 13 pointes. He hit one 3-pointer late in the game that was absolutely stellar. He waved off Blake Griffin, pulled over to the wing and pulled. It was beautiful. Kennard needs to be a little more willing to do that sort of stuff to take another step. He’s occasionally a bit too hesitant to pull the trigger. Let it fly young gun, let it fly.

Langston Galloway:

19 minutes, 11 points on 8 shots. Shot 3-6 from deep which was needed. Galloway’s job is to gun 3 pointers and hit the open ones, he did that tonight. Good outing.

Jose Calderon:

17 minutes, hit a 3-pointer, his only shot. Didn’t do a whole lot.

Jon Leuer:

I actually thought he individually did fine but his -12 in 14 minutes will certainly not help my quest to get him to take Zaza’s minutes.

Stanley Johnson:

Only played 6 minutes, did nothing of note. He was probably still kind of hurt so I wouldn’t read much into his low minutes in this one.


Much needed win. The Pistons have obviously been reeling, and to end that on a back-to-back on the road is nice to see. It was kind of a miserable game to watch because it was so slow and slogging but that’s how Memphis be. The schedule doesn’t get any easier in the coming weeks so they have to stay on top of things if they want to really start to claw their way back.

Joseph Sinke1 Comment