Tonight’s Pistons-Hornets match-up is one of two teams who have seen better days.
The Pistons look to start their first winning streak since February 9th and against a beat-up Hornets time they should have a solid chance to do just that.
The Last time these two teams played each other, about three weeks ago, New Orleans won pretty handily 105-86 behind a 31 point Ryan Anderson explosion.
It looks like NBA fans are going to are going to have to wait until next year to see an Anthony Davis-Andre Drummond match-up as both will not be in uniform tonight. It’ll be interesting to see how Monty Williams re-configures his big man rotation with not only Anthony Davis out but with the announcement that Jason Smith will miss the rest of the season. Expect Lance Thomas and even Al-Farouq Aminu to see minutes at the 4.
Although this game doesn’t have “must watch value”, there are a few interesting things to look for.
- Look to see how Brandon Knight plays after his career-high 32 point performance in his first game back from a knee injury. It’ll be interesting to see how the knee held up after last game and if there are still any lingering ill-effects.
- Will Frank continue to play the young guys? It was Jonas Jerebko, not Charlie Villanueva who was the first big off the bench last game. Kim English also played well.
- Look to see if the Pistons try to exploit Robin Lopez’s slow feet in the P&R game. Greg Monroe’s been pretty good as the roll man in those situations this year, shooting 54% on those attempts according to Synergy. And with Anthony Davis not playing, that’s one less long rim protector that the bigs have to deal with.
Both squads are all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but these games can be good opportunities give younger players extended minutes and see what they can do. As I reference earlier, Kim English, for example, has played in every game since the all-star break and the results, for the most part, have been positive. Though I doubt he’ll do it, right now would be a good time for Lawrence Frank to give more minutes to players like Khris Middleton and Jonas Jerebko.
Hopefully we see some of these things tonight in a Detroit victory.