Wednesday night was not really Andre Drummond’s night. Which is odd to say for a player who had 14 points, 21 rebounds and was a +28 for the game. Andre, though, got into early foul trouble (again), ended up 0-of-7 from the free-throw line and, together with the starters, looked more like the squad on the second night of a back-to-back.
So how did the Pistons pull out the 114-97 victory?
You have to look past the big names to find your answer. To a bench unit that helped Drummond find his focus and powered Detroit to a +15 in the second quarter to take control of the game from Indy.
You have to look at Reggie Bullock, who has mostly struggled this season but was put into the starting lineup in place of the injured Stanley Johnson. Bullock helped spark Detroit early when they fell into an early 8-point hole. He had a few nice basket cuts and zipped the ball around the court while playing some nice defense. He finished with 7 points and three assists.
You also have to look at Langston Galloway, the purest bucket-getter the Pistons have had in a long while. Now that he is not playing out of position at point guard, Galloway can focus on being money as a catch-and-shoot player. Galloway had 12 points and hit 4-of-5 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line. He is currently fourth in the NBA with a hilarious 74.7 true shooting percentage.
Then, of course, there is Boban.
With Jon Leuer still injured and the Pistons struggling with Eric Moreland on the floor, Stan Van Gundy decided to dust off his behemoth and give him some serious run for the first time all season.
Marjanovic rewarded his coach with nine points and in just under nine minutes of action. The Pacers couldn’t block him out, couldn’t stop him in the post and had to resort to fouling.
Then, of course, there was Ish Smith. Smith did what he always does on the floor. He pushed the pace relentlessly, made just enough mid-range jumpers to keep defenders honest, snaked his way into the lane for inexplicably easy layup opportunities and got his teammates involved.
The Pistons had 25 assists on the night with the facilitating spread out throughout the squad. Detroit got 11 assists from its point guards, but also four assists from its starting center, three from its starting small forward, and four more from a backup power forward.
The Pistons are 8-3 and people are starting to take notice. Can they keep it up? With contributions up and down the roster, the team is capable of surviving an off night from any player on their roster. Or an injury.
Or, as in the case with Drummond, they can lift a sagging starting unit and help the players find the energy they need to put an inferior team away. It’s what winning basketball is all about.