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Pistons bench kept team in game in loss versus Celtics, but starters need to step up

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Don’t worry about the long losing streak - the schedule is a lot softer coming up.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Another game and another loss for the Detroit Pistons, as the Boston Celtics downed Detroit 91-81 on Sunday. The effort, for the most part it seemed, was good on Detroit’s side. But the execution and shot making left a lot to be desired.

Frankly, the Celtics just played a little better. And they’re clearly the better team, as they sit at 23-5 on the season. The Pistons are now 14-12 (fourth in the Central) and have lost six straight. The schedule will get softer coming up very soon. After the Nuggets (a solid team) at home on Tuesday, Detroit will play seven straight games against pretty mediocre (below .500) teams with the exception of two games against the currently 16-11 Indiana Pacers.

Let’s get to some thoughts on the individual performances.

Tobias Harris

Not a horrid game from Tobias, but if he’s going to play 38 minutes then you need to have him shoot more than 15 times. He’s too reliant on the three right now, too. The offense needs to go to him more inside when he has favorable match-ups. Tobias needs to try and take over more often. Sure, he might not be able to, but he needs to see if he can. Against the Celtics there was no Reggie Jackson to contend with.

Andre Drummond

Aron Baynes thoroughly out played Andre tonight. Though, I’ll give credit where it’s due - Andre did fair decently at the line in the fourth at 4-for-6 and seemed to be inspired on the glass late too. A monster game is needed from Andre against the Nuggets, that’s for sure.

Avery Bradley

Started out pretty hot in the first several minutes but then couldn’t get much going after. His thirst for long twos is, at this point, starting to get just silly. Defensively, Avery was his usual active and solid self, as Kyrie Irving was just 4-for-12 from the field.

Reggie Jackson

In 19 minutes Reggie didn’t hit a shot from the field and didn’t fair much better on defense (and got a technical to boot). Let’s see what Reggie can produce against Denver on Tuesday. Hopefully it’s a win.

Stanley Johnson

Only played 15 minutes - hit a three in two tries. Simply put, Stan wasn’t feeling confident in Stanley tonight on either side of the ball.

Ish Smith

Not the most efficient game of Ish’s career, but his energy and drive and dish / create ability was something the team vitally needed considering Jackson was totally out of it tonight. Ish played the final 15-plus minutes of the game.

Eric Moreland

Energetic first half stint that helped keep the team in the game. Finished with two blocks, two steals and a couple tough offensive rebounds out of his total of four. Grinder.

Anthony Tolliver

Shot it well from three (3-for-6) and even had a couple strong finishes at the basket. Perhaps this gets him going for a long stretch of games. His defense was on point for most of the night as well.

Luke Kennard

The rookie is still playing hesitant in some ways but tonight he got extended minutes (24) and was allowed a bit longer leash than usual. He was 3-for-8 from the field and was quite short on some of his shots. I think he should try to get to the hoop a bit more and use his pump fake and footwork to get easier looks in there. He’s capable.

Boban Marjanovic

Saw five minutes of action beginning in the fourth, scoring two points and adding a slick assist to Tolliver. Defensively Boban fouled twice and caught some breaks as Al Horford missed three pretty wide open jump shots when Boban was matched up on him.

Langston Galloway

This just about sums it up for Langston these days:

...

Reggie Bullock

Got seven minutes of fourth quarter burn (his first action since the Phoenix blowout in November) and scored on a fast break lay-in (missed the and-1 free throw) and grabbed a few offensive rebounds. Would have been nice to spring him for a few three-pointers but nothing of the sort happened. He’ll likely start to see more time with Stanley struggling and it could be one of his last chances to impress for a solidified role in the rotation. The team needs more shooting. So please hit those jumpers, Reggie!