Pistons vs. Heat: Reality check for the streaking Pistons

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After beating up on a pair of tankers, the Pistons visit the champs.

Game tips: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

The Pistons broke a miserable losing streak with convincing back-to-back wins against two of the poorer teams in the league, the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers. At least, convincing by this squad's standards.

The Situation

For a team that has consistently looked like fool's gold even in victory, these two wins offered some signs of hope. After his worst game of the season in Dallas, Andre Drummond returned to dominant form putting up 17.5 points on 9 shots, 15.5 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks between the two games. Kyle Singler also broke out of a mini-slump to provide valuable bench production on the wing, averaging 16 points on 9.5 shots and 7 rebounds in the wins.

While the win against the Magic was helped along by Josh Smith jumpers, a proven recipe for losses, Saturday night's victory against the 76ers came in a way that the team can win sustainably. The Pistons used their size advantage to dominate on the glass, collecting 23 offensive rebounds to win the battle of the boards 58-44.

The Pistons have surpassed 20 offensive rebounds 6 times this season and are 5-1 when they do so.

It was thanks to their edge on the glass that they were able to come away with a convincing win in Miami earlier this season. The Pistons out-rebounded the Heat 46-34, led by 18 from Drummond. This is the Achilles' Heel of the Heat, as they're at the worst rebounding team in the league. They also have fallen off significantly defensively, dropping their eFG from the 9th best in the league last year to 28th this year.

Despite these weaknesses, they've still been dominant on their way to their 33-13 record. Offensively, they're having one of the best seasons in the history of the league. If they finish the year with their current 51 percent field goal shooting it will be the best in nearly 20 years, when the 1995 Utah Jazz shot 51.2 percent.

Keys to the game

Offensive rebounding: The only way the Pistons can keep up with the Heat offense is with as many extra possessions as they can get. It'll take another strong game from Drummond and...

Minutes for Moose: Greg Monroe has cracked 30 minutes only once in the past 11 games. Buffoonery.

Defense: In the their win against the Heat earlier this year, the Pistons held them to 52.6 percent true shooting. In their loss, it was 67.7 percent true shooting. No matter how many extra possessions the Heat spot an opponent, they'll win shooting the latter figure.

Question of the game

How far into last night's Super Bowl did you make it? We turned it off with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.

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