(Photo credit: Michael Barera)
The Pistons are coming off a 111-91 win against Portland on Monday, in which they won all four quarters. Andre Drummond continued his spectacular form with 17 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and three blocks, while Blake Griffin had 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
The win was their fourth on the trot, and their third in three games since acquiring Griffin. They are now 26-26, in ninth place in the east and just half a game behind the 76ers.
They will hope to move into a playoff position on Wednesday when they host a Brooklyn team coming off a 113-123 loss to Houston. Spencer Dinwiddie went 5-7 from downtown on the way to 18 points and nine assists.
Brooklyn are now 19-36, and are in 12th place in the east.
Three keys to the game
Pistons with Griffin - So far since acquiring Griffin, the Pistons are a clean 3-0. He has transitioned relatively smoothly into the lineup, proving a passing and scoring presence, and filling the stats sheet. He is averaging 17 points, 9.3 rebounds and six assists in Detroit colors, and the early signs are that he makes them better.
Brooklyn’s defensive form - The Nets have now lost seven of their past eight games, and have hit somewhat of a roadblock. During this stretch, their offense has actually improved slightly, but their defense has regressed significantly. Their defensive rating for the season is slightly over 107, but in the past eight games it has ballooned out to 116.
Andre the Giant - Drummond has been a force to be reckoned with of late. In his past seven games, he averages 19.1 points, 17.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.3 steals, and three blocks. Crazy numbers, and concerning for Brooklyn is the fact that they have struggled against dominant bigs this season. With the talented but skinny Allen at center, Drummond will be looking for a big one.
Matchup to watch
Andre Drummond vs Jarrett Allen - This will be a huge job for the rookie Allen. With a wingspan of 7’5” he has plenty of length, but he will be giving up 50 pounds to the Detroit big man. Allen has actually been very good of late, averaging 13.7 points on a ridiculous 77% shooting in his past seven games, while also grabbing just under seven boards. These numbers pale in comparison to Drummond though, who has been unstoppable of late. His last ten games have yielded an average of 18 points, 17.3 rebounds, four assists, 2.2 steals and 2.4 blocks. Unstoppable against the best of them, and Allen, for all his potential, might struggle in this matchup.
Detroit Pistons predicted starting lineup
PG - Ish Smith | SG - Reggie Bullock | SF - Stanley Johnson | PF - Blake Griffin | C - Andre Drummond
Brooklyn Nets predicted starting lineup
PG - Spencer Dinwiddie | SG - Allen Crabbe | SF - Quincy Acy | PF - DeMarre Carroll | C - Jarrett Allen
In the first game between these two sides this season, Drummond dominated with 22 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in just 31 minutes of action. The second time around, the Nets negated him as he scored just seven points to go with 13 rebounds. Generally, though, he has been good against them throughout his career. In 19 career outings he has put up 14.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, a steal and 1.6 blocks.
Detroit are expected to win this one, and win it comfortably. They have been given a nine point handicap in this game, and despite Brooklyn’s recent poor form, the Nets should be able to cover this line. They will likely lose the game, but they should be able to do it by less than nine points.
Detroit should be too strong in this game. In what has been a roller coaster season, they appear to be once again trending upwards having acquired Griffin. Most concerning for the Nets, however, will be Drummond, who will be looking to monster the significantly lighter Allen. Expect Allen to put up decent numbers himself - he is a competitor and has a lot of upside - but he will be no match for the in-form Drummond.
Behind Andre and Blake, the Pistons should have enough talent on the floor to take care of the Nets, particularly at home. They’ll run out 111-101 winners.
The game will be broadcast locally on FS Detroit and YES Network. Tip-off is at 7pm ET.