Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Link to Boxscore
Afflalo ( D+ ) -- there's some fight on defense still left in him, which keeps me from really tanking these grades, but basically out there to shoot threes, and bricked most of them on a night when Cuz was swarmed and kicking them. One wild stretch trying to create for himself was no more productive.
Cousins ( C ) -- not at all a vintage Cousins game, but a big rebound (he was on the glass in a big way this time) and tough sealing shot in the final minute helped erase the "-" that was sitting by this grade. Defense was not up to par, shot was off, and the Pistons swarmed him until he was out of rhythm. Should have had even more assists though if guys would just hit those kickout passes.
Koufos ( C+ ) -- an odd grade because in some ways his minutes were dictated by the Pistons' 3pt shooting matchups, and the effect that had on Cousins, more than they were by his own play. He did fine for his part, but Cuz was having trouble chasing Leuer and Morris at the 3pt line, and then Willie played well enough to steal minutes, so...
Temple ( C+ ) -- relatively quiet game where he didn't feel like the primary driver, even on defense where Caldwell-Pope just shot like crap without much help. Made a few headshaking bad fouls, and blew another break -- a real wart for such a smart player, blows more breakaways, and this one was 3 on 1. Hit a key late three.
Collison ( C+ ) -- got off to the ugly rhythmless start as we did our traditional not come out ready thing. But was better after half, and began to scoot in with timely scores. Just nowehere near as dynamic as Lawson tonight.
Barnes ( B ) -- best game in a good while. His forceful spastic offense actually fit in with our bench crew in the first half, and he created shots. He began to spazz into bad-Matt form late in the half, but was benched before too much damage was done. And he came back after half and was solid after half and helped get on the boards to make up for Tolliver's non-existent baordwork.
Tolliver ( D ) -- got in early to try to stop Jon Leuer from dropping 50 on us, but another barely productive game when he as by far the weakest of our frontcourt players and even overshadowed by Willie. Did make a good stop of Drummond down inside though.
Lawson ( A ) -- he's been playing great for the last month, but this was actually full on Denver-Ty. Minus the bars hopefully. In any case attacked the Pistons relentlessly, often sneaking his way to the rim, but also making the whole bench unit go, and never notching a single turnover. 19pts 6ast 0TO in 23 minutes? More of that works for me.
Richardson ( C+ ) -- made several more sophisticated offensive plays to the hoop, and dropped a smart assist showing the maturity to pass up his own shot. On the other end though got rooked several times in the first half.
Cauley Stein ( A ) -- this has been brewing for the last few games as Willie has suddenly started to come to life in the last two weeks. But today he wasn't just a contributor, he was actually an impact big off the bench who used his length to disrupt and showed more sophistication on offense than just tall guy who can dunk. Blew by Drummond for a highlight dunk.