Another slow start saw the Pistons trailing by twelve after the first quarter. Again, the Pistons dug themselves out of a hole and eventually put the Bulls away 109-95.
After being tied at 79 at the end of the third quarter, the Pistons started the fourth on a 12-3 run and held the visitors to 16 total points in the last frame.
Jackson scored 24 of his game high 26 points in the second half including these two right-to-left crossovers:
By most visual accounts, Jackson lost a lot of his giddy-up that made him such a threat to score in the paint. The crossovers represent a great counter to the ball penetration that Pistons’ fans got accustomed to last year.
Jackson couldn’t be bothered in the fourth quarter (Blaha voice):
The first sequence stands out; Leuer dives to the hoop as Bobby Portis shows hard which draws the attention of Robin Lopez. When Jackson takes another ball screen (from Andre Drummond), Lopez is too deep in the paint to contest the shot.
Six assists with only a single turnover certainly helps the cause:
Where do I sign up for more of that Reggie Jackson?
Aron Baynes kept the Pistons close after the ugly start finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds and was also on standby as the Bulls resorted to hack-a-Drummond in the third quarter.
Baynes cleaned up messes:
And recorded two plays that will forever be on his career highlight mix tape:
Jon Leuer doing exactly what Jon Leuer does:
An aggressive Drummond defending the PNR leads to an easy hoop.
Who woulda thought?
Well, lets not push our luck. It’s probably better if you just sit back next time.
Ok big fella, sit back and relax - let the play come to you.
This should be the default strategy for Drummond anytime there is a non-playmaking big setting the screen.
Ish Smith continues strong play with eight points, seven assists and zero turnovers.
Below, again Bobby Portis shows hard and Leuer cuts to the hoop:
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with only six points on two of nine shooting but this definitely took the wind out of Chicago’s sails:
My only beef is it seems KCP is looking to get fouled instead of looking to score. In this case, it worked out. Not so for Jimmy Butler earlier in the game:
You know what? No lows. The Pistons got off to a slow start but eventually beat an ailing team by double digits, it’s exactly what I asked for.
See you in Indiana.