Who: Detroit Pistons vs Charlotte Bobcats
What: NBA Basketball – Pistons Home Game
When: 7:30 PM ET
Where: Live at The Palace of Auburn Hills
|Detroit||13-22||100.9 (17)||103.1 (18)||92.6 (27)|
|Charlotte||8-24||98.8 (26)||108.0 (30)||93.5 (8)|
Charlotte: Byron Mullens (OUT)
|PG||Brandon Knight||Kemba Walker|
|SG||Rodney Stuckey||Jeffery Taylor|
|SF||Kyle Singler||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist|
|PF||Jason Maxiell||Hakim Warrick|
|C||Greg Monroe||Bismack Biyombo|
|6th Man||Tayshaun Prince||Ramon Sessions|
Detroit comes into tonight with confidence, something that they’ve lacked for the majority of the season. The Bobcats had an impressive win in Chicago on New Years Eve, but came home on Friday night and lost a tough game to a team they should’ve beaten- Cleveland. The Pistons look to keep their momentum going tonight and the Bobcats continue to search for answers on how to put together 4 solid quarters of basketball. Brett, Greg and I try to figure it all out for tonight.
1- STATS: Charlotte likes to play fast — PACE (95.3; 8th) and Detroit likes to play slow (92.6; 27th). Difference here is that the Pistons have an impressive rebound rate of 51.1 and Charlotte struggles at 48.3. What will be the turning point, statistically in this matchup?
Spencer: The Pistons tend to turn the ball over a bit more than Charlotte — 14.1% of Detroit’s possessions end in a turnover while about 13% of Charlotte’s end in one. If the Bobcats can cause at least 15 turnovers and have less than 12 turnovers themselves, I like the Cats chances to have a chance in the 4th. Charlotte is turning the ball over 15.4 times/game in their past 5 — that has got to come down significantly if they want a chance to compete.
Brett: It’s tough to choose from between defensive rebounding, turnovers, and threes – all three categories have been problem areas for the Cats in various losses. The Pistons shoot threes well, but don’t take that many. Neither team forces many turnovers, though the Pistons are prone to giving up a decent bit. The Bobcats are the 2nd worst defensive rebounding team in the league, and the Pistons are in the top 10 in offensive rebound rate. I’ll go with that one.
Greg: As Brett points out, there’s a lot of areas where Detroit has the edge. If you’re looking for a silver lining, though, it’s Detroit’s turnover rate — they rank 22nd in the league. Charlotte’s ability to force mistakes has declined over the course of the season, and they’re currently ranked 24th in that category. Still, the Bobcats seem to operate best on the fast break, so if they can force Detroit to play sloppy and increase the pace, that would help.
2- OPINION: Andre Drummond or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Drummond has a top-20 PER of 21.68 and MKG has a PER of 16.92. MKG plays 7 more minutes/game than Drummond, but who would you rather have moving forward and why?
Spencer: Andre Drummond has been quite a pleasant surprise for Detroit in his rookie season. There were quite a few questions marks about Drummond’s work ethic leading up to the draft, but right now the stats are somewhat speaking for themselves. Drummond is 6th in the league in Total Rebounding Rate (21.1). There’s no question that Drummond is a rare type of athlete that every team needs — borderline 7-footer that runs like a deer and is a freak athlete. If Drummond develops some kind of offensive arsenal around the post then there really is no ceiling to just how good he can become.
MKG, on the other hand, is more of ‘what you see is what you get’ in the sense that he’s going to be a guy that will always have an extremely high motor, be an elite defender and be limited offensively, but also great at finishing around the rim. If you’re a conservative person then I’d think you’d go with Kidd-Gilchrist between these two — I would concur with that way of thinking.
Brett: Watching MKG play night after night, it is very difficult to pick against him, as he shown a very impressive ability to score around the basket, through transition, drives, and post ups. But…he’s a small forward. And Drummond is huge. The primary concern about Drummond coming into the draft was a weak motor – and so far, everything out of Detroit has said there have been no issues. So, I’m probably leaning towards Drummond – though, his free throw shooting is a concern. If he doesn’t improve into the 55% to 60% range, he may develop issues like Andris Biedrins who avoids attacking the basket for fear of going to the line, severely limiting his importance.
Greg: I’ve only been able to watch Drummond a few times this year, so I’m mostly working off his stats. In that regard, both players have been impressive so far: Drummond is top ten in rebound percentage, leads his team in defensive rating, and ranks fifth in block percentage. MKG’s stats are less eye-popping, but he’s about as well-rounded a player as you can ask for. His defense, efficient scoring and overall versatility will make him a very valuable piece moving forward. Each has a significant flaw or two (Kidd-Gilchrist’s jumper, Drummond’s free throw shooting), but they’re still great prospects.
If both players hit their theoretical peaks, I’d give the edge to Drummond. Tyson Chandler and Dwight Howard have shown in recent years the incredible value of having a big man that can play elite defense and score efficiently. But, given Kidd-Gilchrist’s already legendary work ethic, I have a little more confidence that he’ll maximize his potential. Both would be great to have on your team.
3- PICK IT: Detroit has won 6 of their last 7 games while the Bobcats, well, have continued to lose the games they should win. What’s new? The game is in Auburn Hills, so does anyone have the guts to take Charlotte tonight?
Spencer: Pistons — They’ve found their groove in the last 7 games. In their past 5 games, the Pistons are shooting 48% from the field and 43.4% from 3. I don’t see that stopping tonight against the worst defensive team in the league.
Brett: I’ll be taking the home team. While the Bobcats showed resilience in battling back against the Cavs, the way they got so far behind was very troubling, and a better team like the Pistons (I said better, not good) at home would probably not be so forgiving towards that uninspired start. Drummond and Monroe both impress and the Pistons win.
Greg: You nailed it. Detroit seems to have figured out some of their rotation issues recently, and they play significantly better at home (10-8 in Michigan vs. 3-14 on the road). As for the Bobcats…7-5 seems like a long time ago.