Game Recap/Notes: Game #76. Pistons 99 - Blazers 90. (39-37)

Another good win, and since the Pistons were without Blake on such short notice you don’t even need to quality it with McCollum and Nurkic being out for the Blazers. The Pistons keep marching home, hopefully they keep it up.

Box score.

Reggie Jackson:

Just like everyone else on both teams, Jackson started off the game incredibly poorly, unlike many others he got going towards the end of the first half and then big time in the second half. Jackson finished with 28 points on 25 shot equivalents with 5 assists. He hit tough shots, yammed a huge dunk in transition, and continues to be a thorn for the Blazers. If Blake is going to miss more games, this is what the Pistons need out of RJax, take 20+ shots, run pick and rolls relentlessly, and keep hammering away. Because without Blake he is pretty much the only offensive creator.

Wayne Ellington:

Couldn’t buy a bucket, missed all 7 of his threes even though some of them were good looks, did manage 7 points on his 13 shot equivalents, which is very bad but given that he missed all 7 of his long-guns it could’ve been much worse. He also, like everyone else, competed on defense really well the whole night but it has really stood out for Ellington. Obviously there’s only so much he can do, but he didn’t have much of a defensive reputation coming in but has been thrust into the role of “big wing defender” by default and has seemed to relish in the challenge.

Bruce Brown:

5 points on 4 shots and a pair of blocked shots. He really gave Damian Lillard trouble on the defensive end which was great to see. Brown has been hit and miss as a primary defender of elite guards this season, which is to be expected from a rookie, but its been a while since he’s had a good hit in that department so good to see him get it here.

Thon Maker:

Ugly early but recovered as the offense did. Finished with 8 points on 7 shots, one of which was a really nice drive from the three-point line that harkens back to the mix-tape days when he was going to be the next Kevin Durant, also had a really nice assist to Andre for a dunk. He also gets props with everyone else for the defensive effort. Maker is too wild sometimes and doesn’t always move well, but he’s long, athletic, and plays hard so it usually ends up a positive.

Andre Drummond:

This dude is absurd. Over the last 29 games (since he came back from the knock) he is averaging 19/16 with 1.8 steals and 1.7 blocks with a TS% of 61%. That is insane. It’s been so great to see this because he was playing at a similar level last season but the team around him crumbled, this season he’s got the guys around him to allow him to do his thing. It’s awesome. For tonight, 22 points on 16 equivalents, 19 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks, and a game-high +14. Like everyone else he struggled on offense out of the gate, but him and Jackson took over the game later on, and early on he was a huge part of the defensive effort that snuffed out the Blazers offense. He was nothing short of spectacular.

Langston Galloway:

The lone shooter who wasn’t terrible, he only went 1-3 from deep but managed 12 points on 10 equivalents and joined in with everyone else on a good defensive effort. Sometimes it turns out poorly, but it is nice that Galloway has some ability to go get his own buckets inside on occasion when things fall apart.

Glenn Robinson:

Got the backup 4 minutes and played well! Glenn had 8 points on 6 shots, 4 rebounds and an assist. The last few times he’s been pressed into action he’s looked passable which is very nice. I’m not sure that he needs to be in the rotation, Thon has played pretty well as a backup 4, but in the last few games and playoffs they will likely need him to step up again and if he can at least be passable it would be very nice.

Luke Kennard:

Very bad. Never got going.

Ish Smith:

Maybe Ish’s worst game of the season? 2 points on 8 shot equivalents, 0-6 from the field, just 2 assists. I’m not worried but whew this was a poor outing for Ish.

Zaza:

Very bad mostly. He did hit a pair of shots though which was nice.

General:

Remember that the Pistons have had this sort of offensive funk in games recently even with Blake in the game, so don’t be the guy making grand assertions there. Obviously missing Blake compounded the problem, but the problem was bigger than Blake not playing. Credit to the Pistons for playing hard defense to keep themselves in it and digging out of a terrible shooting night. Magic number is down to 5 I believe.