Brandon Knight probably must shift gears against 76ers

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Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (7-15) at Philadelphia 76ers (11-9)
  • Date: December 10, 2012
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit

What to look for

Let’s look back at what J.M. wrote before the Pistons’ last game against the 76ers:

Tonight’s game should prove to be intriguing because it will be a contest of weakness versus weakness.

Doug Collins’ crew runs multiple sets (curl screens, pin downs, screen the screener actions, etc..) on the offensive end with the intent of getting open mid-range jumpers. His players will occasionally put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, but this mostly comes in the form of fast break points. Thus, the 76ers score 34.3 points in the paint per game (28th in the NBA), which is aided by their 15.7 fast break points per game (ninth in the league). As previously stated, scoring on the interior is not an area of strength for Philadelphia.

Detroit makes this matchup compelling because one of their biggest weaknesses is their inability to stop opponents from scoring at the rim, as evidenced by their 49 points in the paint allowed per game (worst in the league). One can only wonder if Collins will deviate from his typical drive and kick philosophy to instead try to attack a Pistons team that’s been unable to provide any interior resistance so far this season.

This is why J.M. usually write the game previews. The 76ers shot jumpers, finished with a field-goal percentage under 30 and lost 94-76. Philadelphia has remained a poor shooting team, especially so lately. A repeat of that first matchup could very well be in store.

When the Pistons have the ball, I’ll be playing close attention to Brandon Knight. He had an excellent game against the Cavaliers on Sunday, but being covered by Jrue Holiday will be a bigger test. There was nothing discouraging about how Knight played against Cleveland. There just wasn’t as much encouraging as I’d from a 30-point, five-assist, one-turnover stat line. Knight did well to make the open shots Cleveland allowed him, but I suspect those same looks wont’ be quite so available tonight. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts.

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