The Pistons are looking for their third win in a row and have won five of their past eight but even with improved play they're big underdogs against the best team in the Western Conference.
Game Tips at 8 P.M. EST
The Grizzlies are wrapping up a five-game home stand and looking for their fourth win in a row. The Pistons, meanwhile, are looking for their third consecutive win but it will be a daunting task as the Grizzlies are probably their toughest competition to date. Austin Daye is sick and will most likely be inactive tonight. To take his place, and in the hopes of having some extra beef against Memphis' front line, the Pistons have activated Slava Kravtsov.
Memphis might be the most complete team in the NBA. They are a top-five defense and a top-five offense. They score in the paint, they score on the fast break, they get to the free-throw line and hit a high percentage from 3. They also are rated in the top 10 in just about every defensive category you can think of.
They have a quick, penetrating guard in Mike Conley, a tenacious defender in Tony Allen, a terrific finisher in Rudy Gay and a big man duo that can score on the block, shoot from range, pass if being doubled and rebound the ball in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
Keys to the Game
Bull - Moose - Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond need to play a lot. They need to play together. Monroe needs to get a lot of touches. Drummond needs to be a factor on defense and grab a bunch of offensive rebounds, one area where Memphis actually struggles.
Turn Memphis into a jump-shooting team - It is a tall task but the Pistons need to limit penetration and neutralize Gasol and Randolph down low. They need to force The Grizz into shooting low-percentage shots in that no-mans land between the 3-point line and the paint. They are not a team that likes to shoot a ton of 3s but they convert them at a high clip so the Pistons will need to guard against giving them open looks on the perimeter.
Don't be shy about shooting 3s - I'm recycling this from the Suns preview because just about the only shot the Pistons will have to win this game will be if they can continue their hot shooting. Knight's been hot from distance, Singler has been hot from just about anywhere on the floor and even Villanueva stopped front-rimming his hoists for 3 and practically couldn't miss against the Suns.
Questions of the Game:
How many official CAPS LOCK minutes will we see from the Pistons tonight?