(19-16) CELTICS 94
- Late again. Life. Click through for the game scores.
Click "Read More" for tonight's 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 - Reggie Jackson: Jackson led the comeback charge in the fourth quarter, scoring 9 of his 24 points. He continues to play like a legitimate All-Star, but he really takes things to the next level in the final stanza. Jackson ranks 12th in the league in points per 4th quarter, checking in at 6.2 fourth quarter points per game. Without Jackson's fourth quarter heroics this year, the Pistons are almost certainly a sub-.500 team. This was obviously more of a team effort than, say, the Portland contest, but Jackson was the main individual responsible for the 4th quarter charge.
2 - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: KCP's offense was good overall, and he did a good job defending Isaiah Thomas most of the night. Even when IT was going off in the fourth quarter, it was mostly on switches or any of the litany of bogus foul calls. A 4-7 night from beyond the long line and another game where he got to the FT line frequently brought his TS% up to 51.2% for the year. He's trending in the right direction offensively after a couple bad games.
3 - Stanley Johnson: Johnson gets the nod over Drummond for his effort on the boards and the three that effectively sealed the deal with under a minute left. If you've been following along all year, I've been clamoring for more corner threes for the rookie. After the game-winner, he's now shooting 47.4% on corner threes, but just 32.6% overall.
4 - Andre Drummond: Drummond struggled with foul trouble, his free throws, and Amir Johnson's audition for a spot as a Pro Bowl LB. Despite limited minutes (21 on the night), Dre notched 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He hit a few big shots in the post in the second half, none bigger than a circus fadeaway late in the fourth. The good news is, teams are fouling him partially because they have no answer for him. The bad news, it's economical to do so because he's actually getting worse as the misses mount up in the front of his brain.
5 - Aron Baynes: Baynged all over RJ Hunter with a ferocious dunk. Baynes notched 4 assists in this one too, which brings his AST% mark to 9.8, good for fourth on the team among guys who have played real minutes. The stubborn fan probably still dislikes his contract. The reasonable fan understands the value of his deal in a rising cap environment. Baynes is a good backup big.
6 - Anthony Tolliver: Tolliver didn't have better raw numbers than Marcus Morris, but he gets the nod over Marcus Morris because his role is different.
7 - Marcus Morris: This is the third clunker in four games for Morris offensively, who's 12-33 from the field since Christmas. He's 0-5 from three over the same stretch, with only 8 assists against 7 turnovers.
8 - Brandon Jennings: Only 1-4 from the field, with 3 turnovers against his 2 assists. Did a good job of getting to the FT line, but that's not enough to overcome his shooting and carelessness with the ball.
9 - Ersan Ilyasova: Would be much more tolerable off the bench. 52.9 TS% in medium-usage role is less than ideal.