Good news is they played really well. Shot fantastically for much of the game, played with tremendous toughness and guts, and never backed down or looked intimidated, a big deal for a team with 4 of 5 starters playing their first playoff game.
Bad news is it still wasn’t enough. Even on a day where Bron wasn’t totally dominant, it wasn’t enough.
Difference was down the stretch, Cleveland was the team with experience and know how and Detroit wasn’t. I think Reggie Jackson is a foundational piece for this team going forward, but he has not yet mastered the emotional end of the game. He kind of lost it late and on top of that, just didn’t execute offensively the way they needed him to in winning time. 7-20 from the floor in the 4th, so it wasn’t just on him but if you’ve been paying attention, you know he is the barometer for this team and that’s especially true in late game situations.
Still, overall I’m encouraged. Harris and Morris continue to look like a nice combination at F. KCP had a really, really strong game shooting the basketball. Stanley Johnson played his best game in about 6 weeks…went head to head with Bron and never backed down, and then he hit some shots to boot. Dre screwed around to a double/double.
They need to lose before they can win. That is the time tested NBA formula and I don’t think this team is good enough to skip any steps. Overall, encouraging though.