Pistons can’t overturn a slow start in loss to Raptors

Jan 30, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris (13) scores a basket against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris (13) scores a basket against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons have a season low 9 assists in loss to the Toronto Raptors despite a late run.

Stan Van Gundy needed to call a timeout within the first 90 seconds of this game due to low energy levels and a slow start at both ends of the court.

From there on, it seemed that every time the Pistons brought the deficit to within three or four points,  the Raptors would answer with a run of their own.

Despite a big run late in the fourth, lead by Brandon Jennings and the Pistons bench unit, the Raptors looked in control for most of the game, getting to the free throw line at will. The loss leaves the Pistons in 8th spot in the East.

107. 64. 111. 81. Final

PG. Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON. D. There were reports during pre game warmups that Jackson was struggling through dehydration and it certainly showed. He only had one assist and although he score 13 points somewhat efficiently, it was his defense that lead to the grade. Cory Joseph absolutely had his way with him with very little resistance from Jackson.

SG. Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE. B+. Caldwell-Pope kept the Pistons in the game early with his shot making ability. He is really starting to take some strides on the offensive end and continues to work hard defensively. He was the only Pistons starter to begin the game with any sort of intensity.

Johnson struggled with his shot throughout the game. He finished with 12 points off 13 shots but like Caldwell-Pope, showed the required intensity even when those shots weren’t falling. I find when his shots aren’t going down he can try a little too hard to get going, occasionally taking bad shots. He was and integral part of the Pistons final run that brought the game close towards the end.. SF. Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON. C+

SF. Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS. C+. Morris continues to be one of the few Pistons that can really go out there and hit tough shots with a dwindling shot clock. His mid range jumper is consistent despite a hand in his face most of the time. He did take a team high 14 shots for his 13 points.

C. Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND. D. I’ll start with the good, Drummond had his 39th double-double of the season and was able to keep Jonas Valanciunas in check. Now for the bad, at half time he hadn’t picked up a single foul. He then had 4 fouls in the first six minutes of the third quarter and was fouled out early in the 4th. He also went 1-9 from the free throw line which is absolutely unacceptable and continues to limit his effectiveness in close games.

ARON BAYNES. B+. Alongside Jennings, Baynes continues to be a spark off the bench for the Pistons. He fills in behind Drummond very well and works as hard as anyone while on the court. His defense enabled the Pistons to get much needed stops during the fourth quarter rally. He is quickly becoming a fan favourite due to his hustle plays which is a testament to his work ethic as many were down on the contract Van Gundy gave him in the off season.. C. Pistons

D. 5 Points and 2 Rebounds in 35 minutes due to the absence of Ersan Illyasova. Clearly outmatched as a starter and provided little at both ends. PF. Pistons. ANTHONY TOLLIVER

C+. Played just 10 minutes but was another important part of the Pistons late rally. Finished with +11 in the 10 minutes he was on the court. SG. Pistons. DARRUN HILLIARD II

Pistons. BRANDON JENNINGS. A. It is great for the Pistons to be able to fall back on Jennings when Jackson is struggling. He scored 22 points in just 22 minutes going 5-11 from the three point line. He also had a block and two important steals late and showed how valuable he can be for the Pistons off the bench. The one negative that needs highlighting is his inability to get an assist in 22 minutes, although didn’t turn the ball over once either.. A

C. I must admit, I do struggle with grading the coach but Van Gundy called some well timed timeouts when the Raptors began pushing their lead towards double figures. He kept the bench unit on for most of the fourth quarter which proved to be a wise move with them bringing it back but it all proved to be too little too late.. Head Coach. Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY