Pistons host the champs

Essentials

  • Teams: Miami Heat (15-5) at Detroit Pistons (10-10)
  • Date: December 8, 2013
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Detroit Pistons have won four consecutive games and now sit at .500. That might not sound impressive, but only four teams in the Eastern Conference have won half of their games or more.

Also, the Pistons’ blowout victory over against the Chicago Bulls gave them a positive scoring differential, which is typically synonymous with winning teams. Detroit’s win streak includes three straight road victories, with the first one occurring against the Miami Heat.

Tonight, the teams reverse roles. Miami will be at the Palace of Auburn Hills looking for some redemption. In their first meeting, Detroit won by double digits because of their rebounding advantage and solid frontcourt passing.

Despite merely playing 22 minutes, Andre Drummond had an astounding eight offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith combined for nine assists. The tandem took advantage of the Heat’s aggressive defense by anticipating rotations and passing the ball to the open man for clean looks.

Kyle Singler was the primary benefactor with four made treys. With that said, tonight’s contest might be a more difficult proposition for Detroit even though the game will be played at home.

ESPN.com’s Michael Wallace spoke to Chris Bosh about the Heat’s rebounding woes and this is what the big man had to offer:

“Every time we step out there, we’re going to take pride in that,” Bosh said. “We’re in a new space now, where the microscope is there as far as rebounding is concerned. And we’re going to have to do a better job. This was really good for us. But we have our work cut out for us [Sunday] and after that [Tuesday] against Indiana. It’s not going to stop.”

Bosh shared his sentiments on the heels of a victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves in which they held their own on the boards. Granted, Kevin Love missed the game, but Miami’s effort was still impressive nonetheless.

The Pistons will probably still win the rebounding battle tonight, but the game will be determined by the size of their advantage. Also, one must pay attention to the Heat’s pressure defense in this one.

Given that the frontcourt picked it apart, the Heat might simply come out more aggressive and blitz every pick-and-roll and double-team every interior touch. If Smith and Monroe can adjust and again find open players, the Pistons might very well be celebrating their fifth consecutive victory.

Read about the Heat

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Tags: Miami Heat THN-MIA

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