It wasn’t exactly Sacramento part two but it was eerily similar. In the end, though, the Pistons and Marcus Morris found a way to put away the visiting Wizards 113-112.
To the tape!
As much as the leadoff should be the buzzer beater, sorry, it starts on the defensive end:
This is a fantastic job by Reggie Jackson to: 1) Navigate through the Markieff Morris slip/screen, 2) Stay on John Wall’s hip and funnel him towards Andre Drummond, and 3) Recover to force Wall into a tough jumper. Without that effort, the opportunity to leave the Palace with a win doesn’t exist.
(Not to kill to a “high” but if I saw that kind of effort in the first quarter, I'd faint.)
Marcus Morris finished 25 points and 11 rebounds with no two points and no singular rebound more important than this:
Drummond struggled all night to get going (light whistles by the refs certainly didn’t help) but managed to keep Detroit’s hope alive with a huge offensive rebound after Jackson’s miss. Good job big fella.
If Drummond could learn to use verticality, it would add another dimension to Detroit’s defense. Aron Baynes does a good job of owning his space and igniting the fast break:
With Drummond in foul trouble throughout the night, Baynes, Boban and John Leuer each stepped in the fill center minutes. As a “nice to have” feature on the roster, each player brings something different to the table.
Baynes does his best Dad in the Driveway impression with this hook:
Every Dad has that move.
Below, Stanley Johnson (can we stop including him in fake trades?) recognizes the Washington double-team and the finds the open man in Leuer:
The banger in Baynes and the small ball center in Leuer both filled Dre’s shoes.
Ish Smith did exactly what Ish Smith should do: pushed the pace at opportunistic times and drove the lane:
If Jason Smith commits to Smith, it’s an easy dump off to Baynes.
Below, Smith falls back on the Washington pick and roll, trusts Leuer to do his job and takes away the pass:
Defending the pick and continues to drive mophatt1 crazy.
The amount of space Wall has as he turns the corner is way, way too much.
I love Boban, you love Boban, we all love Boban. But he does have certain limitations.
Unfortunately, we can’t expect him to help on this drive.
Oh you sneaky Wizards.
Watch how Markieff Morris takes out Drummond as Marcin Gortat sets the screen:
Either Drummond has to recognize they’re screening for the screener OR Tobias Harris has to offer his assistance. Option three - the one depicted - isn’t a winning play.
Again, Washington picks (no pun intended) on our big men:
Beal takes out Boban as Wall begins his attack on the rim. Again, recognition and/or communication negates that wide open lane.
Quick, who’s the most dangerous man on an inbounds play?
The in-bounder. Morris and Harris are way too late.