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, MI
|Detroit||22-30||102.4 (18)||104.7 (19)||97.6 (10)|
|Charlotte||23-30||98.8 (25)||101.2 (7)||95.1 (21)|
Detroit: Chauncey Billups (DTD)
Charlotte: Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)
|PG||Brandon Jennings||Kemba Walker|
|SG||Kyle Singler||Gerald Henderson|
|SF||Josh Smith||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist|
|PF||Greg Monroe||Josh McRoberts|
|C||Andre Drummond||Al Jefferson|
|6th Man||Rodney Stuckey||Ramon Sessions|
Charlotte and Detroit will get together for the next two nights in a home-and-home swing. The Pistons stand just a half-game back of Charlotte in the east for the 8th spot and the season series between the two is only 3 games (Bobcats won game 1), so these next two nights are vital for both teams playoff hopes. Percy, Pietras and Kaskey-Blomain go in on Bobcats-Pistons, getting you ready for the next two nights.
1- Detroit is the worst 3-point shooting team in the league at 30.9%. This would be the type of offensive team that Charlotte could presumably feast on defensively by packing it in, but what Piston(s) pose the most dangerous threat in these next two games?
Spencer: With Detroit, the second chances are what horrifies me. The Pistons are the best offensive rebounding team in the league, yanking down 31.8% of their opportunities on that end. To that note, Charlotte is 2nd in the league in defensive rebounding (77.1%). Something has to give here and this will be a huge factor on which team gets a positive result in the next two nights.
Greg: Even though he’s somewhat limited offensively, Andre Drummond still has the potential to wreck things for the Bobcats. He’s an excellent shotblocker, and Charlotte’s post play generates most of their points. Drummond’s rebounding will cause issues, as well. The Bobcats rely heavily on defensive boards, ranking second in the NBA in DRB%, but Andre is the league’s best offensive rebounder (by far):
Michael: It is a good thing for Charlotte’s sake that Detroit struggles from deep, because you really need to pack it into the paint against an interior as strong as Detroit’s. Between Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, big Al Jefferson and the rest of the ‘Cats’ frontcourt will have their hands full. While Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith always serve as scoring threats, for the Bobcats to be successful in this series against Detroit, they really need to limit Drummond’s production. Drummond’s ability to hit the glass and secure second chance opportunities for the Pistons is big, and if he is able to get Jefferson into foul trouble, then Charlotte may be in trouble. They need to keep Drummond off of the offensive glass, and limit the amount of damage he does in the paint. If they are able to do that, the Bobcats should be in position to win both battles.
2- Charlotte will get the Pistons first round pick this summer if Detroit finishes outside of the top-8. Currently, the Pistons are 2 games ahead of being top-8. Would the Bobcats sweeping them in this quick back-to-back set vault Detroit into the cellar and prevent Charlotte from garnering that pick?
Spencer: With the recent firing of Mo Cheeks just before the all-star break, it does make me scratch my head about where this Pistons locker room is. If they drop two straight to Charlotte and fall 2+ games out of the playoff race then the Pistons could quickly turn into seller’s leading up to the trade deadline on Thursday.
Greg: It’ll be interesting to see what the Pistons do at the trade deadline. It’s rumored they’re looking to deal Greg Monroe, and that might by addition by subtraction if they can get pieces that fit together a little better. I think they’re still capable of making a run and winning a few games. But if it comes down to the last few weeks and they’re still on the bubble, I think we’ll probably see some phantom injuries crop up. A good pick in this draft is just too valuable.
Michael: There is still a decent amount of season left, so I don’t think losing this back-to-back would necessarily doom Detroit to falling into the top 8. Winning both games however, would help the Bobcats in the playoff push, so it could certainly have an impact either way. Getting the Pistons pick would be nice, but so would a playoff appearance.
3- We’ll start in Detroit tonight, before the showdown in the Queen City Wednesday night. You got a split, Charlotte sweep or Detroit sweep?
Spencer: Again, I’m not sure what to think about Detroit right now. They just fired their coach and have a locker room full of egotistical individuals. In other words, I simply trust the Bobcats more right now, so I’m going with Charlotte tonight + tomorrow night. This is seemingly the Bobcats chance to set the tone for what speed they’ll be traveling as they approach the finish line – what better opportunity than a back-to-back scenario against a very beatable opponent?
Greg: I think a split is most likely. Charlotte’s had some very encouraging wins, and have generally looked strong with a healthy starting lineup, but they’re still seven games under .500. They just don’t have much consistency yet, and Detroit is talented enough to take advantage of that.
Michael: I see a home-and-home split. Both teams should be well rested coming out of the all-star break, especially since neither team was featured prominently. At this point, both teams are still fighting for the playoffs, so the effort and enthusiasm will be there. It is a tall order to contain Drummond and Monroe in back-to-back games, so while Charlotte currently has the edge in playoff positioning, I expect to see the games split between the two teams.