Early on Rudy Gobert dunked it three times in a blink of an eye. Joe Ingles teased the Pistons with his slow-motion Australian style wizardry, and then jogged up and down the court with the most devilish of smirks after his done deeds. Jonas Jerebko scored four buckets in eight first half minutes. Jae Crowder was effective off the bench as well. Donovan Mitchell shot the ball just four times total in the first 24 minutes.
Jazz were up 25 at the half, having shot 9-of-18 from downtown. Pistons shot 2-of-15 from downtown.
For the Pistons, Andre Drummond had some nice moments on the glass and on offense, but didn’t show much effort on defense.
Luke Kennard was aggressive (4-of-6 from the field in the first half), which was just about the only prolonged positive trend in the half outside of streaky shooting from Blake Griffin (5-of-13). Reggie Bullock did not play in this one, still recovering from a car accident the other day.
More of the same. The lone bright spot was Kennard, as for the most part he was decisive, scoring in a variety of ways. He had at least a couple of strong drives that started with a quick and direct first step. Encouraging to see him take it to the hole. In 36 minutes of action he scored 18 on just 13 shots. He and Georges Niang sort of went at it during deep garbage time, making plays all over the court.
The Jazz usually have three excellent ball handlers on the court at one time, so it behooves them to spread you out or pick-and-roll you to death. Not surprising that their crisp ball movement and constant penetration gave the Pistons fits all night.
Jerebko finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Gobert scored a game-high 22.
SVG takes out Drummond after he picks up his third foul… down 19… 7 minutes left in the second quarter. If Stan wants to tank, then it’s a good move. If he wants to win, then what is he doing? If you can’t trust one of your best players to play with three fouls in a game that’s quickly getting away from you, then there’s a big time problem going on.
At least five first half dunks for Rudy Gobert. The Pistons defense didn’t really care for rotations or stopping the ball.
Dwight Buycks is still out with an ankle issue, so that means more Jameer Nelson in the lineup. Let’s keep it polite and just say 36-year-old Jameer should be playing rec ball, not NBA ball. There’s a very obvious reason Nelson has been on three NBA teams this season.
Even after this performance, the NBA will still likely allow the Pistons to play their next game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.