Detroit Pistons must be active, smarter vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond and Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond and Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons will try to hit the reset button Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers and reestablish their identity after two straight losses.

The Detroit Pistons offense and defense were picked apart against both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Milwaukee Bucks.

For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t have to go off for the blowout. Milwaukee handed Detroit a swift 115-92 kick out of Fiserv Forum.

Good thing is, there are no extra losses in the column for a knockout. A loss is a loss. Just as with any other “L”, the Detroit Pistons (13-9) get to dust off and have an opportunity to reset at home on Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Luckily, the Sixers just came off of pretty rough loss to the Toronto Raptors themselves.

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It wasn’t as much of a statement as the Bucks’ win was over the Pistons. However, it was an indictment of the 76ers and things that teams can do to steal a win.

In the Detroit Pistons case, this story has already been written.

The Pistons have danced with the Sixers already. The biggest difference in this match-up is the arrival of Jimmy Butler in Philly. Detroit will have a new monster to tango with in Butler.

Although he and Joel Embiid have yet to establish a solid partnership on the floor, the play-making guard has created his own lane in both the Sixers’ offense and defense in a very short time.

There are a couple keys to the game that the Detroit Pistons need to watch out for that will help them topple this eastern conference giant.

Don’t expect Blake Griffin to drop 50

In their first game against the Philly 76ers, the Detroit Pistons had the pleasure of taking the game in OT, 133-132, on the back of a 50-point performance by Blake Griffin.

Now that teams are throwing almost all of their bodies in Blake’s direction, do not expect the same.

The Sixers showed in their next meeting that they were willing to commit to the constant double-team. Therefore, the Pistons need to be prepared to capitalize off of the lack of attention on everyone else’s game.

Their half-court offense to primarily predicated off of Griffin’s ability to bully less physical defenders or pull the penetrate-and-kick to find a shooter on the outside to hit a three-point dagger.

The Pistons have not been hitting their threes of late, however. Something has got to give.

The Pistons need to be more active. No more dishing the ball to Blake and standing around waiting for him to find the open man on the perimeter or bang bodies in the post. The continuous movement will allow defenses to shift and likely create easier scoring opportunities for the other players on the floor.

Detroit needs to start spacing the floor better to force alternative defensive schemes. Otherwise, teams are going to keep stalling the Pistons by stalling Blake Griffin out.

Andre Drummond has to be more

This isn’t some inside tract. It’s just easy to see that Andre Drummond feels it when he gets “dominated” by Joel Embiid.

Whether it is with a little help from the officiating or just because Embiid is a tough player to guard, Drummond’s shoulders begin to slump. Once that happens, players smell blood in the water – especially players like Embiid.

Luckily for Drummond’s sake, Embiid is not playing in tonight’s game. Brett Brown said he’s fatigued so the star big man is getting the night off.

With that being said, there’s no reason he shouldn’t have a monster game against the Sixers. He’s been largely absent in their last two games.

It’s not much of a coincidence that the Pistons have had their doors blown off in both of those games. He needs to Philadelphia to feel his presence tonight on both ends.

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Injuries to Detroit: Ish SmithReggie Bullock

Injuries to Philadelphia:  Wilson ChandlerMarkelle Fultz