Pistons host the Hawks tonight

Essentials

  • Teams: Atlanta Hawks (31-23) at Detroit Pistons (22-36)
  • Date: February 25, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Detroit Pistons just recently loss back-to-back games in a home-and-home set against the Indiana Pacers.

Indy flexed their muscles defensively much like they have all season, and held the Pistons to 82 and 72 points respectively in the two contests. With Detroit getting blown out in both games, it prompted us over here at Piston Powered to verify the trends involving Lawrence Frank teams getting routed.

The Pistons have had trouble scoring the basketball this season, consequently good defensive teams have given them a lot of trouble.

This is particularly pertinent going into tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks because they only allow 101.3 points per 100 possessions (tied for ninth in the NBA).

One might be inclined to believe that Atlanta might simply shut down Detroit and produce another route at the Palace of Auburn Hills. But not so fast.

On January 4th, the Pistons defeated the Hawks at home despite only producing 85 points. The odd thing about that contest was that Frank’s unit should have produced far more points but just consistently missed point blank shots at the rim.

The Pistons scored 52 points in the paint, thanks to a staggering 38 shots right at the rim.

The average NBA team takes 25.5 shots at the basket and converts 64.4 percent of those looks per Hoopdata. But in the case of the Pistons, they produced far more than the average amount of these said shots, but only converted half of them.

Brandon Knight and company generated these attempts by beating defenders off the dribble, cutting to the basket after pick-and-rolls, victimizing players in the post and pounding the offensive glass (17 offensive rebounds).

It’s worth noting that Josh Smith and Al Horford served as an impediment at the rim and altered a few shots here and there, but for the most part Detroit players manufactured some quality looks at the rim.

Granted, if the last two Atlanta games versus Sacramento and Milwaukee are any sort of indication, the Hawks may have very well made the necessary adjustments to take away the same shots the Pistons produced in their last encounter.

The Hawks were victorious against the Kings and Bucks thanks to stout defensive efforts that only yielded 40 points in the paint on average from both opponents. That figure is coincidentally the exact amount they allow per game on the season and represents the seventh best mark in the league.

Considering that Detroit is a subpar offensive team, it would behoove them to generate as many easy shot attempts as possible. If Frank can diagram a few sets to take advantage of the Hawks’ rotations and get a plethora of looks at the rim, the Pistons should have a great chance of defeating Atlanta at home tonight.

Read about the Hawks

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks THN-ATL