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High / Low: Reviewing the game film of the ups and (mostly) downs of last week

A look at the tape from the last four games; film don’t lie.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A quick look back at the not so obvious highlights - and is most cases lowlights - from the Pistons’ last four games: Philadelphia, @ Dallas, @ Washington and Indiana. Don’t look for slam dunks, big block shots or deep 3s; none of this stuff is likely to be on SportsCenter (like ESPN would highlight Detroit anyway).

1-3 during that four game stretch is nothing short of a complete failure and low-lighted by two blowouts @ Washington and Indiana. Players only meetings, hints at lineup changes all came after the Indiana loss, we’ll see.


Offensively, Andre Drummond is scaring no one standing 20 feet away from the basket but he’s starting to put together a go-to one dribble move and displayed it a couple times this past week. The “one dribble” part is important, any more than three powerful and meaningful dribbles, the big fella starts to get in trouble.

Drummond can make his life easier by doing the simple things. Establishing position early in the shot clock not only helps Dre but everyone around him as well:

Against Dallas, Drummond does everything right after the change of possession and it ended with him drawing a foul. The next part of his evolution is to immediately attack the basket or make a quick pass upon receiving the rock (and to do it with consistency).

* Not to bring down a “highlight” but is it bad that I’m excited that Drummond executed a 7th grade skill? See you in the comments!

Drummond negates a Paul George cut to the basket and then recovers to block Al Jefferson’s attempt. George ends up hitting a tough shot. Tip your cap and move on:


Below is defense at it’s best:

As discussed in the Game Preview, the Mavericks love to isolate Harrison Barnes and this play was designed to create a mismatch in favor of Barnes. While it created the mismatch, Aron Baynes was up to the task and stopped one of the best one-on-one players in the league. Add Stanley Johnson checking point guard Deron Williams and Tobias Harris keeping Justin Anderson out of the middle of the lane, yeah, more of that please!


Ish Smith is much like Steve Nash in his shooting willingness to set screens and get teammates open. While guards setting screens is nothing new, not going through the motions in doing so is nice to see:

....and that’s the last Smith/Nash comparison you’ll see.


It’s going to be a couple weeks before Reggie Jackson is back to normal but he’s not doing himself any favors by putting himself in a position to fail:

No point in applying token pressure that causes you to go over a screen 35 feet from the hoop. No point in following around Deron Williams like a lost, little brother either. Both are bad plays solely based on positioning.

Running PG off the three point line is good; whatever Jackson calls this move is bad:

Um, yeah, you got to stop the ball:


Andre Drummond is ball watching and 1) doesn’t see his man screening off Leuer and 2) doesn’t see a cutting Ersan Ilyasova. The result is an easy bucket for Philadelphia:

Drummond hardly moves on the entire possession and lets one of the best shooters in the league get a clean easy look:

Apparently, Dre thought Harris needed help:


This entire sequence:

If Morris is going to hedge, he must impede Wall’s direct lane to the hoop.

Community Question

What did you see in the last four games?