Pistons vs. Knicks: 3 questions for Tuesday's game

USA TODAY Sports

In advance of tonight's game against the Knicks, I exchanged questions and answers with Knicks blogger Chase Thomas (@ChaseThomasSBN). Below are Chase's answers (and two of my own) -- check out KnickerBlogger.net for the rest of my answers.

Q: The Pistons and Knicks are both 3-6 coming into tonight's game. Which team should be more concerned about their rough start?

Chase Thomas: I think it's the Pistons. The Knicks have a lot of problems, but I don't think it's time to hit the panic button with the team's defensive anchor Tyson Chandler out of action. The Pistons went all in this summer in free agency to finally get back in the playoffs, but their big free agency acquisitions aren't gelling with one another.

Matt Watson: The Knicks are coming off a 54-win season; the Pistons, meanwhile, won 54 games in the previous two seasons combined. Simply due to expectations, the Knicks are in more trouble. All Detroit needs to do is win a couple of games and they’re back in the hunt for one of the final playoff spots, which is pretty much all Pistons fans are hoping for this year.

Q: I have to touch on the Brandon Jennings/Chris Smith/J.R. Smith Twitter spat. Is J.R. actually good enough to justify two roster spots?

Chase Thomas: Definitely not. Although, I don't think it's necessarily fair to blame J.R. in this situation. The Knicks' front office made the decision to bring his brother on to appease J.R., so even if he insisted on it the Knicks didn't have to oblige as he was probably going to re-sign with the team anyway. It's a bizarre situation, especially considering the Knicks need for more frontcourt depth with Tyson out, but it should be interesting to see how J.R. and Jennings interact with one another tonight.

Q: Who ultimately wins tonight and why?

Chase Thomas: The Knicks have been a better road team so far this season, but for the Knicks to win tonight they'll have to do a couple of things really well. The Pistons interior defense has been dreadful -- opponents shooting roughly 50 percent at the rim against Monroe and Drummond -- so the Knicks will need to exploit that and not settle for contested jumpers. The Knicks transition defense is abysmal and the Pistons do a really good job of forcing turnovers so if the Knicks get sloppy offensively the Pistons could runaway with this one. Ultimately, I think the Pistons win in a very high scoring game.

Matt Watson: Even though it’s clear the Pistons have problems, they’re also capable of playing extremely well for long stretches. I actually like their chances tonight, especially in their first game back home. Vegas says the Pistons are 4.5-point favorites — that sounds about right to me. I expect a competitive game, but Detroit’s efficiency scoring in the paint should be the deciding factor.

Thanks to Chase for participating -- head to KnickerBlogger.net for more. What do you think are the biggest questions tonight?

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