Pistons fall to Grizzlies on ridiculous Barnes heave

Mar 17, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) during the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) during the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

What else is there to say really? When Matt Barnes rebounded the ball after the Pistons’ last real possession, I glanced at the game clock and thought, “drat, there’s enough time for him to get all the way to the other end.” Then he inexplicably heaved the ball from half court with more than two seconds to go and it looked like a Pistons win on a boneheaded shot. And then it went through. The Pistons got the ball back with 1.1 seconds and couldn’t run a good enough inbounding play to get off a decent shot. Game over.

64. 93. 211. Final. 92

The other major factors in this game were rebounding, turnovers, and free throws. The Pistons got beat up on the glass by a far inferior rebounding team. They can’t let that happen. They should have been able to salvage that because the Grizzlies played an uncharacteristically sloppy game and threw away the ball many times even without defensive pressure. But the calls really hurt Detroit. Apart from a really iffy foul that sent Steve Blake to the line at the end of the third quarter, most of the 50/50 calls and even some pretty obviously wrong ones went the other way–even though you wouldn’t know it based on Memphis shooting just 13 free throws. The Grizzlies were just not very aggressive. But this was winnable with just a little more effort on the glass.

Jackson played fairly well on the whole; but, as normal, played a bit too much hero ball. He almost iced it with a late three that was a terrible shot but went down anyway. But there were too many remaining possessions and he burned one of them by attempting another similarly awful three.. PG. Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON. B-

KCP continues to be ice cold shooting the ball. He’s still a net plus for the Pistons when he’s guarding a phenomenal scorer. But the Grizzlies just don’t have a particularly great perimeter player. So he didn’t help Detroit in this one.. SG. Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE. D+

SF. Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS. C+. Marcus Morris took a lot of really bad shots. And enough of them went down that he still had a good night. But this really wasn’t a repeatable performance. And with just two rebounds in 37 minutes, he was a significant part of Memphis killing Detroit on the glass, which was probably the biggest reason for this loss.

I have no idea how to grade Ilyasova. He worked so hard battling Randolph all night and the referees flat out missed several ZBo shoves. But Ilyasova was also hopelessly outmatched. He just got beat up by Randolph and was powerless to stop it. And he couldn’t make the Grizzlies pay on the other end because with Gasol down low, Randolph had no problem following Ilyasova all the way out to the three point line. Ersan needed a little more speed to burn Randolph for that. Morris was able to do it when they got a switch, but Ilyasova is too slow to have a chance of making some ground up on this matchup.. PF. Pistons. ERSAN ILYASOVA. C

Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND. B+. Drummond started the night having so much trouble handling the ball that he almost looked like Baynes out there. But he righted the ship and bounced back to have a really strong game. The post moves can still use some more work, but they’re improving. His defense on Gasol was really good. Every time Marc got the ball, he was looking to drive, and Drummond cut that off completely. In fact, he barely let Gasol put the ball on the floor without poking it away. But Gasol kept on being forced to resort to jumpers and sticking them in Drummond’s face. So the good defense didn’t actually accomplish much outside of a few steals he tapped to teammates. The 19 rebounds, while certainly nothing to complain about, need to be taken with a grain of salt. This game featured 97 missed shots. Drummond was on the floor for 76 of them. A 25% rebounding rate is actually a hair below average for him. There were just a ton of rebounds to be had. Which makes the work on the glass by his teammates (except Ilyasova) all the more unacceptable.. C

Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON. B. Stanley Johnson, as normal, looked out of control on the floor. But his energy was certainly more positive than negative. Especially a gorgeous spin move into an open layup that he hit to start the second quarter. I have no idea why he only got 17 minutes.. SF

C. Pistons. ARON BAYNES. C+. Baynes wasn’t terrible. He proved himself to be nearly immovable when Gasol tried to back him down. But he had a hard time playing good defense and then still recovering to go after the rebound. Also, he missed a couple bunnies the Pistons really could have used.

B+. Hilliard looked like a competent NBA player. He hit his only shot (a three) and wasn’t worthless on defense. It looks like he will be at least a minor part of the rotation until Jennings returns.. SG. Pistons. DARRUN HILLIARD II

F. Tolliver really needs to hit more of his wide open threes. And in this game, the Pistons really needed him to play a bit of defense and grab a rebound or two as well. Think of it this way: if Tolliver had done one thing right during his time in the game, the Pistons would have won.. PF. Pistons. ANTHONY TOLLIVER

A-. Steve Blake played like at least an average backup point guard, which constitutes soaring over his bar in my book. It’s weird how almost every other franchise’s broadcasting team has immensely positive things to say about Steve Blake. I have to assume that none of them have seen him play in a while and assume that he’s still the solid backup he was three years ago. The funny thing is that even then, he wasn’t really worth talking about. I guess commentators just like players who can carve out a role in spite of not really looking the part.. PG. Pistons. STEVE BLAKE

Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY. D. I sometimes dog Van Gundy for leaving his starters in too long in games that aren’t close. But this was a wight contest basically the entire game and he left the backups in way too long. What gives, Stan? And if he was worried about playing his starters too many minutes, he should have made a point of having Stanley Johnson on the floor more. He was at least putting some Grizzlies on their heels.. Head Coach