If you even made it to that point, by watching the first half I’d assume, you’re some kind of crazy basketball fan. The first half was borderline unwatchable. The refs were testing their whistles and then testing them some more. Everything was being called — travels, delay of games, fouls. Especially fouls. There were 30 combined fouls in the opening half. And Blake Griffin didn’t even play!
The second half turned out pretty good as Detroit’s bench got contributions from all over and the starters played a bit better than awful. Detroit outscored Cleveland by 14 in the second half and won 109-105.
About that bench, Tim Frazier checked in with around five minutes left and scored two buckets. Joe Johnson missed on all three of his 3-pointers, but otherwise made nice plays and kept the ball moving. Seven Detroit bench players scored at least two field goals.
Bruce Brown, who started, played a strong all-around game and led the team in minutes with 25. Reggie Jackson had his floater going tonight and scored a team-high six buckets (along with Derrick Rose’s six buckets). As preseason games go, this one wasn’t anything special, but Detroit came to compete in half number two and also showed they had the superior depth.
Wood is a NBA caliber big man. In each of the three preseason tilts thus far Wood has asserted himself and made good things happen. I’m not going to jump ahead and say he should be playing 15-plus minutes per game, but, you know, I was a big Wood fan before it became cool to be a big Wood fan. Back on September 10th yours truly was all over Christian and his oozing potential as a rotational player in the league. His overall energetic play isn’t exactly surprising, although his defense at times does leave a lot to be desired.
There’s this that was posted during the first half:
2019 NBA Preseason PER:— RealGM (@RealGM) October 11, 2019
1. Stephen Curry: 53.6
2. Christian Wood: 38.6
3. James Harden: 37.4
4. Lou Williams: 37.3
5. Steven Adams: 37.1https://t.co/MQAxPoQEHQ
He is still a heck of an athlete and such a quick player. He’s like an elite running back who can go around you, can juke you, and can even sometimes go through you. He missed some bunnies tonight but overall picked his spots and produced.
Mixed bag for Luke with five turnover in 22 minutes — though at least he looked slightly more assertive than we are used to seeing him.
Luke Kennard has the game and demeanor to be a league-wide fan favorite.— Mike Snyder (@M_James_Snyder) October 11, 2019
Who doesn’t love a sharpshooting southpaw that is growing as a playmaker and can finish with the off-hand?
Made a three from straight away and made a strong, decisive post move for a hoop. He also grabbed 10 rebounds in 17 minutes. Good minutes. He looked the part of a functional backup big. Perhaps he can string together a few more in a row.
Second year guard Collin Sexton was impressive getting into the lane and pulling up for controlled attempts. He was stroking it from downtown accurately as well. Brandon Knight made a few nice plays and drained a couple 3-pointers. Overall it’s a fairly crowded back court for first year NBA head coach John Beilein to work with. Matthew Dellavedova and Jordan Clarkson aren’t horrible, and Cleveland also has two very young and talented rookies in Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr.
Next up for Detroit is the 76ers on Tuesday.