Pistons at Jazz preview: A meeting of two desperate teams

USA TODAY Sports

With the Jazz plummeting from the playoffs, they can't afford a loss to Detroit -- and the Pistons, they can't afford another blowout.

This may be the low point.

Last night's loss was the Pistons' third by more than 30 points in the past nine games. After Brandon Knight's posterization by DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe, Jose Calderon, and Brian Hill blasting the team's effort, it'd be tough for it to get much worse. I don't want to think about what "worse" would look like.

This brings the losing streak to five, with eight losses in the past nine games.

Things have been spiraling for the Jazz as well though, as they've lost four straight to fall behind the Lakers for the final Western Conference playoff spot. They haven't done it in quite as ugly of a fashion as the Pistons though, but they were surely painful as three of the losses have come by less than three points.

The good news: their struggles go back even longer than this current drought, with a three-game losing streak preceding it. The bad news: they broke that streak with a 30-point demolition of the Bobcats.

In their first meeting in January, the Pistons executed a textbook third quarter collapse to lose by three.

Paul Millsap is doubtful to go for tonight with a bruised knee and quad, and Jamaal Tinsley is questionable due to illness.

Keys to the Game:

Effort: After sleepwalking in Los Angeles, it'd be nice to see someone step up and be a leader to get the team at least playing hard.

Defense: This is going to need to be copied and pasted for the rest of the year.

Keep it close: Or at least don't lose by 30. This team really doesn't need any more demoralizing.

Star-divide

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