The Detroit Pistons’ schedule was released yesterday, and as expected, the team is not featured heavily on national television.
The Detroit Pistons will play four nationally televised games this season: three on NBA TV and one on ESPN. If we prioritize team success and growth this season, which of these four games are most important for the team to win, and what should we expect from each game?
On November 29th, the Detroit Pistons will play the Los Angeles Lakers in Little Ceasars Arena
I expect the Lakers to be an up and down team again this season. Gabe Vincent and Jaxson Hayes are solid additions, and combined with extensions to Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves, the Lakers may have a team that can grow through LeBron’s last days. They are, however, one piece away from being true contenders. Without an elite point guard or wing, the Lakers will continue to focus on making the playoffs and then expect LeBron to pull a Willis Reed, throw down his walker, and take them to the promised land.
Which, if we’re honest, he may be capable of doing.
For the Detroit Pistons, a nationally televised game should be an opportunity to make Lebron and company’s goals harder to reach. They should circle this date as a game they can win and an opportunity to show the league how they’ve developed. Playing LeBron should always be fun, whether anyone bleeds or not, and competitors should relish the opportunity to put one of the greatest players ever on the bench in the fourth quarter.
This game is an opportunity for Detroit’s big men to show their skills. Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart should relish the opportunity to take turns defending Anthony Davis. Davis has an exceptional offensive skillset, and working each possession to make his life a little harder should be a point of pride. Davis has the ability to defend the post at a high level as well, which should give MB3 and James Wiseman opportunities to showcase their footwork and offensive post moves.
Rui Hachimura and Jaxson Hayes will both provide an extra element of hustle to this game, but it’s nothing the bouncy, big rotation mentioned above can’t handle.
The Pistons have new and improved point and wing defenders. Cunningham, Sasser, Ivey, and Hayes should be a strong rotation capable of making D’Angelo Russell work. Gabe Vincent and Austin Reaves both love to cut, and the guard rotation mentioned along with Ausar Thompson should cut down on those passing lanes.
No matter the final score, this game should be fun to watch, and it’s an opportunity for the Pistons to show their new and developing identity.