The Pistons enter the All Star break on somewhat of a high note after their 98-91 win against Dallas but it was a little too close for comfort after being up 27 points at halftime.
To the tape!
Where would this team be without Reggie Jackson?
You know what, don’t answer that.
Against Dallas, though, Jackson played his most efficient game of the year scoring 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting including some timely makes in the fourth. It was the Reggie Jackson we became familiar with last year that led Detroit to the win.
Three of four beyond the long line:
And one awkward dunk:
Jackson was limping the remainder of the game after this dunk but finished the night.
After blowing the large halftime lead, things got a little tight. Andre Drummond finding Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the corner certainly eased worries:
Big pass, big shot.
Dirk Nowitzki (God bless him) isn’t the most fleet of foot and Pistons took advantage by making him defend the pick and roll, especially KCP:
With Drummond in foul trouble, Aron Baynes stepped in and played 26 physical minutes.
That was his only bucket but he did collect 11 rebounds and swallowed Dallas’ defenders in the pick and roll.
Ish Smith with the transition defense:
And like all good shot blockers, he keeps the ball in play.
Want a shot at an easy basket? Follow Smith on his way to the hoop.
Jon Leuer did just that and was rewarded with a trip to the line. Leuer finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds.
There is good hustle and there is bad hustle. Below is an example of bad hustle:
Hate to knock a guy for diving on the floor but Dre had very little chance at getting that ball. The end of this sequence saw Dre collect his second foul with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Scroll back up and watch Baynes establish position against Dirk.
Now watch Drummond let Nowitzki off the hook:
Notice a difference in aggression?
Harry Barnes with the nice back screen:
Tobias Harris has got to recognize what’s going on.
Turnovers happen but don’t compound the mistake by reaching at a ball, again, you have very little chance of getting:
Get back on defense.
Dirk went off in the second half:
Those look to be contested, though. Maybe I’m getting soft but tip your cap and move on.
All Star break!