Game Recap/Notes: Game #81. Pistons 100 - Grizzlies 93. (40-41)

They had us in that first half though not gonna lie.

Box score.

Reggie Jackson:

Missed a few too many shots to finish with 12 points on 16 shots, did have 5 assists. Despite the fact that Ish played nearly the entire second half and closed out the game, its important to keep in mind that Jackson made some incredibly tough shots early in the game while the offense sputtered against the zone and did finish +2 on the night despite being out of the game for a lot of the final push. I’m not saying he played that good a game, but he played an important role in keeping the game from becoming a total blowout.

Wayne Ellington:

Kind of crapped the bed again to score just 7 points on 13 shot equivalents. Did have a pair of assists to go along with it, but Ellington is on the team to shoot 3s and he missed all 7 he took. Rough outing for him and his poor shooting is a significant factor in why the Pistons lost to the Hornets and nearly lost this one.

Bruce Brown:

Actually played pretty well! 8 points on 5 shots with a couple of assists. Two of his four buckets were lucky floaters that banked in, they certainly didn’t seem like the bank was intentional at least, but hey we will take it. Bruce played his typical brand of tough defense and was surely glad to see Kemba gone.

Blake Griffin:

He’s gotta sit. We get it Blake, they said you can’t hurt it worse and it’s just a matter of pain-tolerance so you want to grit through it and be out there for your team. But no amount of grit and desire can overcome the fact that you can’t bend you knee. Blake’s play was a huge reason why they lost to the Hornets and a huge reason why they nearly blew this game. In the end Blake was one of just 3 Pistons with a negative plus/minus with a team-worst -10. On defense he simply couldn’t move, guards drove past him, and each time the Grizzlies swung the ball, by the time it found Blake’s turn to rotate it was wide open. On offense he wasn’t really even trying to get involved, he was just kind of out there.

So yeah, if this is really what he’s got then he’s gotta just sit. It sucks, but its the reality. Cheer hard and get healthy big fella.

ANDRE MOTHER FUCKING DRUMMOND:

Sorry Dad but Andre needs the honors for this one.

In 38 minutes, Andre had 20 points on 16 shot equivalents, 17 rebounds, an assist, 5 steals, and 3 blocks. He was also +17 on the night. Drummond owned this game, let no one say he doesn’t give effort or have that fight in him. With Blake hobbled and then in the second half Reggie Jackson was on the bench, and the shooters were all missing, Andre put the team on his back. He straight stole the lunch of Memphis ball-handlers for a pair of pick 6s, forced some absurd offensive rebounds, and plugged all the holes on defense that he could. Andre Drummond simply put the team on his back and dragged them through and that’s all there is to it.

Ish Smith:

Terrible in the first half, but got into one of those stretches where his shot just doesn’t miss. It happens occasionally with Ish and when it does it is a lot of fun. He finished with 22 points on 17 equivalents and manned the position for a majority of the comeback in the second half. It’s not really what you want, relying on a really inefficient scorer to hit shots, but sometimes it works. Good for Ish and great that it worked out.

Luke Kennard:

I picked the right time to debut my piece talking about how awesome Kennard is because he really busted out of his slump tonight. 15 points on 11 shots and went 5-9 from deep. He hit big shot after big shot and even made a few nice defensive plays. Maybe Luke was still bothered by whatever held him out of that game a bit ago and just felt better, maybe he just realized he’d gotten too timid, whatever, he busted out. When Luke is shooting like this it all works a whole lot better.

Langston Galloway:

He did manage to hit a couple shots in the second half but this was another really tough outing for him.

Glenn Robinson III:

Got some minutes at the 4 spot after Blake was taken out for good, didn’t do much of note but he was fairly competent which was good.

Thon/Zaza:

Very bad.

General:

I mean, it’s bad that it was so close and required such a remarkable effort, but they did pull it out. Also, I really can’t understate how big an issue it was that they were playing 4 on 5 with Blake out there. One more to go, win and they are in.