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Pistons at Heat: Pistons starting backcourt gets outplayed by the bench

Ish and Avery shot a combined 9-for-29 from the floor.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat shot a dizzying 17-for-34 from 3-point range in a win against the Pistons Wednesday evening. Some of the Heat’s trifectas came from the Pistons late or non-existent rotations, yet others were simply from NBA players just hitting tough shots in the faces of their defenders. It’s going to happen and tonight it happened just a little more than usual. Give Miami credit.

Let’s get to some thoughts on each Piston performance against the Heat.

Boban Marjanovic

Boban got the starting nod with Drummond out, and the beginning was pretty encouraging:

Boban outplayed Hassan Whiteside for the first five or so minutes of the game. Once Whiteside went out with foul trouble, Boban’s lack of foot-speed was all she wrote against Kelly Olynyk. Kelly drained two triples that Boban couldn’t come out on, let alone contest.

Boban put together 11 first half minutes with 9 points and 8 rebounds, yet was a negative 7 plus-minus. In the third quarter he again outplayed Whiteside, getting deep, comfortable position. Whiteside only played 17 minutes in the game. Also to point out - Boban made a couple of heady passes for buckets:

Tobias Harris

Only 13 field goal attempts on the night (positive: eight free throw attempts). With the squad down much of the fourth quarter, Tobias could have been more selfish and no one would have given second thought. Do give the Heat (especially James Johnson) a lot of credit for taking away Tobias at key times, allowing him just seven points in the final three quarters.

Ish Smith

Ish did a little bit of everything as we are accustomed to seeing from him, even blocking a shot. However, the offense came to a grinding halt late in the fourth and the Heat practically begged Ish to sling up a couple jumpers, and he sure did. Ish didn’t convert. Let’s give the Heat credit for corralling him most of the night.

Avery Bradley

Avery’s first game back from injury was a tough one to watch as his rust showed on both ends of the court in 38 minutes. He shot a manageable 4-for-10 in the first half but was worse in the second half with just two makes in nine tries. I can say quite definitively that it will not be enjoyable getting used to Bradley’s long twos with all the time in the world left on the shot clock again.

Reggie Bullock

Moves well without the ball and is a shot-maker. Perfect combination. 6-for-10 shooting, five triples. The Pistons are putting him in positions to succeed and teams aren’t really making him put it on the floor very much.


Luke Kennard

Six first half points. Finished the game with 13 points and only one missed shot in seven tries. Played a healthy 24 minutes -- would have been nice to have him get a few more and to see Avery’s 38 come down a little. Seven shot attempts just isn’t close to being enough for arguably the best shooter on the team.

Anthony Tolliver

Three first half turnovers. Was the lone Pistons big on the floor for much of the fourth quarter.

Dwight Buycks

Buycks made three first half jump shots and couple of drives to the cup that were a bit careless. But I give Buycks credit for his aggressiveness. Buycks then scored four in the third and four in the fourth. Needed to play some more minutes because Ish didn’t have much going on tonight, but hindsight is 20-20. Van Gundy went with the more trusted hand.

Another couple of solid efforts from Buycks and fans should try a little harder (you know who you are) at spelling his name correctly. Although, I think we can get used to using Mr. Buckets just fine.

Eric Moreland

Missed a couple of shots in the first half and was generally ate up by Olynyk, Johnson and anybody else that wanted to get in on the action.

Here’s an update on Jon Leuer: