Game Recap/Notes: Game #77. Pistons 102 - Pacers 111. (39-38)

Tough loss, thought the Pistons mostly played pretty well, just not well enough, missed a few too many shots, let a couple too many open ones. On the plus side all the other teams lost as well so no ground lost.

Box Score.

Reggie Jackson:

Said before-hand, but with Griffin AND Kennard out, the reality is that the Pistons were kind of going to live or die behind Jackson making enough plays. He didn’t do poorly, but he couldn’t quite get enough “good” to get it done tonight. Once again, 22 points and 4 assists is a solid effort for the Pistons point guard, but he had 6 turnovers and needed 21 shot equivalents to scored the 22 points. Good to see that Jackson is able to take on the heavier load, but its a good reminder that Jackson is better served as the second banana to Blake, without Blake Jackson just has to force things some times, so nights it will work out well (like against Portland) and sometimes it doesn’t. Still, hard to complain too much, he just missed a couple shots and passes. It happens.

Wayne Ellington:

Ellington got off to a killer start, I believe he scored 15 points in the first quarter, he didn’t die off either but did miss more shots as the game went on. Still, the 26 points on 21 equivalents was the extra boost the Pistons needed to stay competitive in a game without Blake and Luke, once again it was the main two dudes who just couldn’t quite make enough plays. Ellington has mostly done a good job on defense but Bojan gave him issues down the stretch. I will say that, given that Ellington doesn’t have a strong defensive reputation, I’ve been impressed by the way he’s welcomed the challenge of being the primary defender against some good players.

Bruce Brown:

Played 19 minutes, didn’t score, had a pair of assists and a couple of nice defensive moments. I don’t know, it’s tough to say too much about Brown sometimes because he isn’t always very involved.

Thon Maker:

Actually had a nice outing, possibly his second game in a row where I felt it was his best as a Piston. 14 points on 11 shot equivalents, 6 rebounds, a pair of assists, and 4 blocks! I’m not sure exactly how good it is overall but I do like the Andre/Thon combo up front and it’s something they should try and do more often. They make for a pretty formidable presence at the hoop consistently and both play hard and are eager to make plays.

One thing about Thon though, he couldn’t really handle Thad Young at all. Young is a good player, but not a great one. It isn’t great that Thon stood no chance again him.

Andre Drummond:

Similar night to Reggie Jackson although I think Drummond did better. Hard to complain about 18 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals, but he needed 20 shot equivalents to score those points and caused issues by getting into some early foul trouble. He also was a little bit too worried about Myles Turner’s shooting ability and it showed up in the box score with his zero blocks.
Obviously Turner is a guy who can hurt you with open threes, but he’s a good shooter, not a great one, and also doesn’t always have a quick trigger finger. The Pistons got torched quite badly inside and often times it was because Andre was a step too far out. Should’ve taken that extra step and forced Turner to beat them with 3s.

So all in all, a solid outing for Drummond, but he just needed to get an extra couple shots to fall and make an extra couple of defensive plays to get the win. Once again, this is the issue with missing Blake. Jackson and Drummond need to be excellent, and that’s not always going to happen.

Langston Galloway:

9 points on 10 shots. Similar story, wasn’t terrible but just needed an extra shot to fall.

Ish Smith:

Second straight off-night for Ish which is a bigger issue when Kennard is out. Without Kennard, Ish is really the only source of offense creation from the bench, 6 points on 5 shots with 3 assists against 3 turnovers isn’t as poor as last game, but as usual the bench +/- has to be used to reflect his play and the bench got killed and he went -10.

Glenn Robinson:

Glenn has looked fairly competent in each of the games he’s been pressed into lately. Not great, 7 points on 5 equivalents with an assist, mostly poor defense, but competent. Once again, it is a nice change from earlier in the season and they may well need him more over the last few games.

Zaza/Leuer:

Lets not talk about it.