In the battle of two poor teams playing on a Monday night when most normal people are taking a break from basketball of any kind (hey March Madness), the Pistons prevailed over the Kings 106-90.
The Kings, playing their sixth game in nine days, didn’t shoot or pass the ball all that well against a rather pedestrian defensive effort from the Pistons. But the more that I think about it, the more I think maybe the plan all along was to let Garrett Temple take open three pointer after open three pointer. Stan Van Gundy totally wrote “please let Garrett Temple shoot open shots, guys” on the white board before the game. Temple didn’t hit a single one in six tries, but he’s actually a 40-percent shooter from three this season. Point being, most of his open shots were just so extremely open. And his teammates, shooting mostly open threes, didn’t fair much better either.
Make no mistake, the Pistons were pretty competent on the offensive end of the floor and their shots were going in more often than they have in recent weeks. Make your shots. It’s just really that simple sometimes!
Most importantly, no one on the Kings could check Blake Griffin, and he went to work accordingly, scoring 26 points (3-of-5 from downtown) to go along with seven assists and nine rebounds. Blake scored in a variety of different ways and for the most part didn’t settle for poor shots.
Lastly, Reggie Bullock continues to be Reggie Bullock, often making love to the ball before his perfectly fine-tuned shooting motion sends the ball into the air to then go make sweet string music love to the net. There’s just a lot of love making of sorts involved whenever Bullock shoots a basketball. Even his bad misses don’t seem all that bad — maybe it’s just some form of foreplay. Bullock finished with 17 points (3-of-6 from downtown).
Other thoughts and observations:
- With a three pointer in the third quarter, Vince Carter passed Patrick Ewing to move into 22nd on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list. Vince finished the game with seven points and a dunk.
- Note to self — watch more Kings broadcasts when they’re a better team in the future (that could happen if the Kings develop their young players and draft wisely). Jerry Reynolds and Grant Napear are pretty fair and had a lot of positive things to say about multiple Pistons players. I’m not very good at remembering quotes of any kind, but one quote from them that stuck out was just after Ish made his second three-pointer of the game (a step-back off the dribble three, no less), and one of them says exasperatingly, “Whew, Ish go on with yourself”. Well, just take my word for it... it was comical. I guess you had to be there.
- Speaking of Ish Smith and his long heaves — he shot 2-of-3 from downtown and his percentages are looking nice (in limited attempts) these past two months. Don’t believe me (or haven’t been watching much Pistons hoops recently?), go check his numbers. Shoot more threes, Ish! What the hell! Practice makes perfect.
- De’Aaron Fox and Ish Smith are fast. I think this game Ish was a little bit faster than usual because he didn’t want others to think that Fox was any faster than him. It’s a tough call. It’s pretty impressive considering Ish is 29 and Fox is just 20.
- Second-year big Skal Labissiere has a chance to be a legitimate NBA contributor. His jump shot looked smooth and he seemed confident in taking it. He’s been good at times this season. He just turned 22.
- Luke Kennard got it going a bit in the second half with that quick stroke of his. He’s also shown signs in recent games of moving his feet better on the perimeter and being more proactive in staying/moving with his man. It’s just good to see Luke continuing to play through the team’s struggles and not letting it affect his demeanor. Luke sure didn’t lose a whole lot in high school or college.
- Pistons shot 14-of-29 from the long line and 18-of-22 from the charity stripe. Feels good to type that.
- I know I’m not the only one who was disappointed as all get out that rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic wasn’t able to play for the Kings. If you haven’t heard, Bogdan is a good player. You should YouTube him. Just don’t make the common mistake of mixing him with Bojan Bogdanovic.
- I almost forgot to say it — the Pistons finally won a road game! What’s their prize?
No, tell me, WHAT’S THEIR PRIZE!?