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First game without Reggie Jackson proves to be rough against feisty Magic

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Enough Pistons starters played OK, but no one else stepped up.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons102-89 loss Thursday night in Orlando may have been the coaching staffs’ fault more than anything.

Some of the starters clearly needed a little more bench time underneath them before the stretch run. It didn’t happen. Although maybe there’s a valid reason for that.

The Pistons bench didn’t provide much of anything except for gobs of rebounds for the Magic to grab (Pistons bench shot 3-for-22), and there you pretty much have it — a 13-point loss to one of the worst teams in the league (also without their starting center Nikola Vucevic). Let’s get to some thoughts on the individual players.

Tobias Harris

Very soft touch on display and got to where he wanted to go on the court most of the game. Struggled a bit in the third quarter with a couple of not so pretty misses. Also let Aaron Gordon do some things, but Gordon is a rather sophisticated and talented player these days. Tobias scored 21 on 17 shots; it was just not quite lethal enough.

Andre Drummond

Defensively was quite active at times, challenging and impacting several shots. Other times he was completely out of position. Andre could learn a thing or three from Bismack Biyombo, who while only tallying a single block, really was an intense shot blocking intimidator for most of the 33 minutes he saw the floor. A lot of times it’s just about being in good defensive position. Also I might add - even Biyombo has developed a halfway decent jump shot. He knocked one down in Andre’s face in the second half.

Andre scored 11 points (a couple very nice post plays) and grabbed eight rebounds in the first half, and ended up with 17 point and 18 boards to go along with five assists and three turnovers. I noticed an extra amount of whining from Andre in the game. Sure, the referees weren’t great at all, but they’re hardly the only reason your team lost by 13.

Luke Kennard

Sloppy and hesitant early. He short armed a couple of shots, traveled and lost the ball more than a few times. Was abused on defense as well by Jonathan Simmons early on. Stan didn’t let him sit too long and wallow, as Luke started the second quarter too and promptly drilled a three. Then he hit another three after a miss. Though, not much good occurred after that for the rookie. The growing pains need to stop quick — Detroit needs this guy to show much more in midst of Jackson being out.

Reggie Bullock

Didn’t hesitate to let his pretty shot fly. For the most part he’s looking comfortable in his role right now. 5-for-7 shooting in 37 minutes - would hope the coaching staff and his teammates could look for him a bit more. Finished with fewer shot attempts than Stanley. Not the best use of resources.

Ish Smith

Was the main difference maker in the second quarter with eight points. Had some shining moments in the third as well (especially on the fast or secondary fast break), but overall his teammates didn’t help out enough. He didn’t attempt a three pointer in 32 minutes, which could prove damaging in the half-court offense going forward. I’m thinking that Ish might help the team more playing with the reserves throughout most of the game (before likely finishing the game of course). Elfrid Payton did beast on Ish and the entire Pistons defense at times, efficiently scoring 19 points with eight dimes.

Langston Galloway

For a point guard Galloway was a little shot happy in the first half, taking a couple ill-advised attempts without working the ball around on offense. Ended the night shooting 1-for-9 with just a lone assist.

Eric Moreland

Decent first half shift - he took a charge and blocked a shot in back-to-back possessions. Made a move to the basket but missed the shot. That’s A-OK in my book, as he should occasionally be some kind of threat outside three feet from the hoop.

In the third Moreland was quite active on the offensive glass, getting deflections on quite a few balls; however Marreese Speights went off against him a bit with a couple of savvy post maneuvers.

Stanley Johnson

A shot-taker, not a shot-maker. 2-for-8 for the game. Defensively he had some moments but also had lapses. It’s almost looking like Stanley is what he is on offense at this point.

Anthony Tolliver

The Magic kept right to the scouting report on Tolliver all game. They forced him to put it on the floor a few times and the results were just what they wanted. Tolliver only had one three attempt in 24 minutes.