Whew, that was an exciting win over the Atlanta Hawks last night. The game had everything - an Andre 20/20 night, Reggie Jackson scoring a season-high, a Thon Maker game-winner, ...Bruce Brown jawing... with... Quavo?
So... Bruce Brown and Reggie Jackson were going back-and-forth with Quavo all game. Jackson secured the game-winning rebound, ran down to the other end of the court, and rolled the ball to Mr. Migo. Pistons escape with a 125-122 win. Jackson with 32 points, Drummond 26p and 21r.— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) February 23, 2019
When: February 23, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. EST
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass
Odds: Det +4.0
With the win and Miami’s loss to Philadelphia on Thursday, the Pistons now have a full game lead on the Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. These two teams play one more time after tonight, offering both a chance to seize the head-to-head tiebreaker that’s at the top of the tiebreaker list:
1. Division winner vs. non division winner even if teams aren’t from same division 2. Head to head 3. Division record if same div 4. Conference record 5. Record vs conference playoff teams 6. Record vs opposite conference playoff teams 7. Point differential https://t.co/4K2411Jm7X— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 14, 2018
Suffice to say, the Pistons could really use this one, without the oddities that have plagued Pistons-Heat games this season. To recap the weirdness that has occurred this season between the Heat and the Pistons:
- November 5: Blake Griffin fouls twice in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter, fouling out before overtime. Reggie Jackson scores 25 and weaves his magic in overtime, but the Pistons’ inability to defend any variation of the Spain PNR causes them to lose, 120-115.
- January 18: James Johnson whacks Andre Drummond in the face (NO CALL, btw), concussing Dre. In response, Blake puts up 32-11-9 and Luke Kennard puts up 22 off the bench to keep the Pistons afloat, and they win 98-93.
If the Pistons can finish the game with both Blake and Andre on the court, that’s a prelude to a Pistons win.
Miami was much farther ahead in the standings not too long ago, but the month of February has been brutal for the Heat. They have the NBA’s third-worst offensive rating in February, behind explosive offenses like... the Cleveland Cavaliers. An inability to score and their schedule toughening up have been the main culprits behind their slide; the Heat are 3-7 in their last 10 games. Help is on the horizon for Miami, though - Goran Dragic is listed as questionable for tonight’s game, and would give them another ballhandler and shot-maker to help out their offense if he were to play.
Pistons fans should be well aware what a healthy point guard can add to a team, because they’re seeing it right now in the stretch Reggie Jackson is having. 32 points and eight assists last night for Reggie, including the assist on the game-winner:
Reggie’s play has unlocked a new dimension of the Pistons’ offense, and that is driving them to wins: The Pistons have the fifth-highest ORTG in the NBA for the month of February, well outside what you would reasonably expect even at this team’s peak.
Last, but certainly not least, let’s hope Wayne Ellington A) has the revenge game he wants and B) snitches like Otto Porter Jr. :
Otto Porter Jr. on watching the #Wizards on film for the first time as an opponent:— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) February 10, 2019
"Yeah, I was telling coach everything there was to know about Washington. Everything. … I was snitching, yeah."
The Pistons could use a significant performance from their Significant Recruiting Victory.
Detroit Pistons (27-30):
Reggie Jackson, Wayne Ellington, Bruce Brown Jr., Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond
Miami Heat (26-31):
Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk, Hassan Whiteside
Detroit 104, Miami 100