Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Game Recap #23 - Grizzlies at Pistons

(13-10) GRIZZLIES 93
(12-11) PISTONS 92

Box Score
Standings

TAKEAWAYS

- It couldn't have been anyone else?  It's bad enough to lose on a halfcourt prayer.  It's 1000x worse when that heave comes from one of the league's worst human beings.  Exhibit A in the argument that good things do happen to bad people.

- The Pistons didn't lose this game because of that heave.  They lost this game because they couldn't convert, let alone get a good look, down the stretch.  Detroit scored their final points of the game with 1:47 left.  From there, their possessions went as follows: shot clock violation, Reggie Jackson missed three, Marcus Morris missed 16-footer, Marcus Morris missed three.  Four possessions, not a single look anywhere in the vicinity of the basket.  That's partially a problem with players not grasping the situation and partially a problem with coaching.

- This offense will keep sputtering until the front office adds shooting.  The Pistons went 8-29 (27.6%) from beyond the arc tonight.  That can't happen when you're trying to build an offense around a post player and the pick-and-roll.  We're far enough into the year now that guys may just be having the years that they're going to have as shooters.  Even with a good run, guys like KCP and Anthony Tolliver may fall well short of their career numbers.  I would assume they're already doing their due diligence, but the front office should start making calls on shooters across the league.  We're just wasting one of the league's top ten defenses at this point on an offense that generates open looks for guys who can't help but barely connect with the rim.

- The schedule is about to get daunting again.  The Pistons head to Philadelphia on Friday night, in a game that they'll probably lose as they test whether or not the human head can truly explode (Spoiler alert: It can and it will).  If they do manage to escape without giving the Sixers their second win of the season, the ensuing seven games are absolutely brutal: IND, LAC, BOS, @CHI, @MIA, @ATL, BOS.  The game against the Pacers is a back-to-back following their showdown with Philly, and the Heat/Hawks games will also compose a back-to-back.  Saturday's game with the Pacers will be the fourth time the Pistons have played a road-to-home back-to-back.  That equates to one-third of their home games.  Thanks Obama NBA scheduling folks.  Despite how frustrating this week has been, getting hammered by Charlotte and nut-punched by Matt Barnes, the Pistons still sit only 2 GB of 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.  Hopefully we can say something similar when they wrap up that seven game stretch against Boston at The Palace on the day after Christmas.

- About the Charlotte game recap:  I had errands to run and wasn't in the mood to write a game recap after the Pistons fell flat on their faces in Charlotte.  I'm expecting to have game scores up on Friday for continuity's sake.

Click "Read More" for tonight's Player Scores...

PLAYER SCORES

What is this?  Similar to how the NHL hands out three stars after a game, I'll be handing out points to any Piston who saw at least 15 minutes of playing time.  Just like in hockey, you want to be the 1st star, so getting 1 point is better than getting, say, 6.  I do my best to watch all 82 games, but it's not always possible.  I will make it known if I did not watch the game being graded.  This takes as much into consideration as possible: stats, eye test, intangibles, etc.  It's just how I saw things shake out.  I'll keep a running set of standings updated at the bottom of every game recap; remember, the lower average the better.

1 - Andre Drummond: Had a productive night with stats that exceeded the aesthetics of his performance.  Finished with 18 points, 19 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.  On the downside, Drummond turned the ball over and ceded a similar line to Marc Gasol.  This was a good peformance for Andre, not a great one.

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2 - Reggie Jackson: Took entirely too many outside shots (1-6 from three) on a night where he was having success in the paint.  He outplayed Mike Conley thoroughly, but it felt like Reggie got in his own way a bit in this one.  A nice line of 18 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals, but his efficiency left something to be desired.

3 - Marcus Morris: Gave the Pistons the offense they need from him, finishing with 16 points on 6-13 shooting.  He didn't do the things that stuff the box score tonight (2 rebounds, 0 assists), and that's the only reason he falls behind Reggie Jackson for this one.

4 - Steve Blake: It appears that Blake has actually found some kind of stability offensively over the last few games.  He's averaging just shy of 10 PPG and a pinch over 4 APG in the last three contests.  If he can keep this up for another three or four weeks until Jennings is back, I may be forced to stop hating the fact that he's even on the roster.

5 - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: Aside from the solid performance against a sorry Lakers team on Sunday, we're trending dangerously close to Kid Can't Play territory.  With tonight's performance factored in, he's shooting 39.9% from the field and 28.4% from deep.  He'd have to be Kawhi Leonard good defensively for that to be acceptable.  He's not Kawhi Leonard good defensively.  This may be a position where the Pistons need to start looking for answers before long.  KCP would probably be much more tolerable off the bench as a specialist.

6 - Ersan Ilyasova: Meh.

7 - Stanley Johnson: Had a couple nice buckets in the second quarter and then disappeared after that, finishing with 4 points and 3 rebounds.  I still think he would benefit by playing more minutes with the starters.

8 - Anthony Tolliver: Finished 0-3 from the field, all from deep, and only avoided a dreaded "trillion" by collecting a token assist.  I'm open to solutions at the backup PF spot.

Season standings don't include data from game #22 (@Charlotte, 12/7)

Average
Andre Drummond2.05
Reggie Jackson3.23
Marcus Morris3.68
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope3.86
Ersan Ilyasova5.59
Aron Baynes5.75
Stanley Johnson5.95
Spencer Dinwiddie6.00
Anthony Tolliver6.25
Steve Blake6.47


 

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