The Detroit Pistons will take on the Los Angeles Lakers tonight in the first of back-to-back games against Western Conference playoff hopefuls.
The Lakers are currently the 9th seed and the Phoenix Suns the 6th, so these won't be easy road games for the Pistons, who are trying to incorporate six new players into their roster.
We got a glimpse of the first three, as Simone Fontecchio, Shake Milton and Troy Brown Jr. all made their debuts in the Pistons' loss to the Clippers. A loss is a loss, but there were some encouraging things from the Pistons side, including better defense, and a more up-tempo style that led to 28 fast break points.
Pistons fans are cautiously excited about their new-look team and eager to see Quentin Grimes, who was one of the main acquisitions they made during a busy trade deadline. Grimes talked to the media yesterday about what he can bring to the Pistons:
Hopefully, we'll see it soon, but it likely won't be tonight.
Pistons vs. Lakers: Is Quentin Grimes playing?
According to the NBA's official injury report, Quentin Grimes has been ruled out of tonight's game vs. the Lakers with a knee sprain.
Isaiah Stewart is also out, though it was recently reported that he will return directly after the All-Star game, so that is good news I suppose. Malachi Flynn and Evan Fournier should both be in uniform tonight, though we should probably hope Monty Williams doesn't make them a big (or any) part of the rotation.
Other than that, the Pistons don't have anyone else currently listed on the injury report, which must be a season low.
The Lakers, on the other hand, will be missing Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Max Christie and both LeBron James and Anthony Davis are listed as questionable, so the Pistons may get lucky and see a depleted squad in LA.
In the past, teams might have used the Pistons to get a night off for their stars, but with Detroit playing better of late and Los Angeles desperate for a win, I'd bet we see their two stars tonight.