Detroit Pistons set to take on Utah Jazz


After losing by double-digit points on U.S. national television last night, the Detroit Pistons (18-23) are looking to bounce back tonight against the Utah Jazz (24-16).

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The Detroit Pistons are coming into Salt Lake City following a 127-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors on TNT Thursday night. The Pistons were able to keep the Warriors within reach for most of the first half (they were down 60-58 at halftime). Golden State soon ran away with the win, outscoring Detroit 67-49 in the second half.

Detroit is also dealing with an injury-plagued roster at the moment. Not only are they without big man Jon Leuer (out with a knee injury) and forward Michael Gbinije (listed as doubtful with a forearm injury), the team also saw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope go down with a shoulder injury during the first quarter last night.

He has been diagnosed with a rotator cuff strain in his left shoulder, according to Detroit News’s Rod Beard. He will be out for tonight and is doubtful for their final game of their western road trip Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving Detroit without one of their top offensive options for at least the short term.

Reggie Bullock is also scheduled to return to the team in Utah after recovering from a torn meniscus, but he’s unlikely to play, possibly leaving the Pistons with a lack of depth at the wings:

That lack of depth could cause problems as they take on the Jazz for the first time this season, who are coming off a 100-92 win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday.

Tobias Harris and the Pistons will need to find a way to keep players such as Gordan Hayward – who is having a career year – at bay.

Andre Drummond will also have to try and perform well against Rudy Gobert, who leads the NBA in blocks, ranks in the Top 10 multiple statistics including offensive rating and rebounds per game and has the top true field goal percentage. He also has the league’s top defensive rating at 97.6.

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Overall, Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy has a fairly big challenge ahead of him for tonight. If the team is able to adjust well without Caldwell-Pope in the lineup, stick to their defensive gameplan and keep focused (which Van Gundy felt was the main reason for the loss to Golden State), it should be a close and defensive game.

If they don’t make the proper adjustments stop Utah’s balanced offensive attack – four players average double-digit points for the Jazz coming into tonight – it could be a long night.