This game had a lot going on. LeBron James scoring 23 first half points. LeBron James having just seven second half points. Kevin Love getting dinged up in the first, and inconsistent play with a few nice scores on Ersan Ilyasova. The Cavs blowing a fourth quarter lead.
But it had too much of one thing for the Cavaliers, and that was Andre Drummond. The fourth year big out of UCONN dominated the game. His team won by a score of 104 to the Cavaliers 99, but the Pistons outscored the team from Cleveland by 17 points in his 39 minutes. At the start of the fourth quarter David Blatt brought in Love and James to try and take advantage of Drummond's short absence. They built an eight point lead, but couldn't sustain it when Drummond returned.
Drummond's impact on the game is understated by listing his 25 points and 18 rebounds. Reggie Jackson scored at will after token defense from Mo Williams, and Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson could hardly afford to leave Drummond for easy lobs. The Cavs didn't have an answer at any point in the night. It was a steady diet of pick and rolls, and if it wasn't that, Ersan Ilyasova made things happen while spacing the floor. The Pistons bench is awful, but they didn't need it tonight.
Taking a step back, it's a little disconcerting that a starting lineup with Kevin Love and LeBron James would struggle against a team led by Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. The Cavaliers pieces fit together just as the Pistons do. Frankly, though, the Cavaliers starting unit has struggled for some time now. The Cavs aren't getting a ton offensively from either Mozgov or Thompson, and down Kyrie Irving that's hurting the Cavs a little bit. LeBron James and Mo Williams have taken turns carrying the offense at times, but neither could get it going in the fourth quarter tonight.
David Blatt went with some interesting lineup combos, and might have stuck with Mozgov too long. Matthew Dellavedova couldn't take advantage of some easy offensive opportunities, and neither could Thompson. LeBron James seemed frustrated with Mozgov. Time will tell how much it all matters.
In the meantime, the Pistons win. See you in the comments.