The Pistons are looking to rebound after dropping the first game of its west-coast trip. Detroit couldn't keep pace with the Trail Blazers who shot a blistering 11-23 (47.8 percent) from 3. And now they are out of the frying pan and into the proverbial fire as the even hotter shooting Golden State Warriors come to play. The Pistons previous three opponents have a current record of 19-3 and now they must deal with the breakneck style of the Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back.
Behind Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors can light it up from deep.The two are shooting a combined 45 percent from 3 on nearly 15 attempts per game. In fact, the Warriors have an astonishing six players shooting better than 40 percent from 3.
But they are dangerous in transition as well, with new addition Andre Iguodala doing everything we hoped Josh Smith would do for the Pistons, only better, as well as established big men David Lee and Andrew Bogut to rebound the ball and ignite the fast break.
But the Warriors are scuffling a little bit. They've lost two in a row and are averaging just 82 points in their last two contests, one without Curry, and are shooting about 41 percent from the field.
Still, deadly 3-point shooting team + fast pace + second night of back-to-back for Detroit = Big trouble.
Keys to the Game
KCP -- Kentavious Caldwell Pope has been largely relegated to the bench since the return of Brandon Jennings, but this being the second night of a back-to-back means the Pistons might rest Chauncey Billups for all or part of the game. That is the opening Pope needs to get back on the floor, and he matches up well defensively against the Warriors.
Moose dominance -- Greg Monroe has been an absolute beast all year for the Pistons, and his transition to power foward couldn't be going better. He has improved his defensive effort and instincts on defense, and while he still lacks an outside shot, his quick first step and vastly improved footwork has allowed him to get whatever he wants in the paint. He should have an extremely favorable matchup against David Lee and Harrison Barnes when the Warriors' go small. Monroe must make them pay.
Bench must deliver -- If Detroit gets another no-show from the bench it might get blown out by 30 points. The reserve unit of (hopefully) KCP, Kyle Singler and Will Bynum have to defend, hit 3s and, importantly, not give up any big runs that set the team back. The Pistons might also throw out some time for Charlie Villanueva or Luigi Datome if they're feeling like they need to match GSW's 3-point shooting barrage. Now's a good time to improve on that 28 percent 3-point shooting, guys.
Where's the defense? -- Pistons' opponents are averaging 109 points in the past three games. Smith has individual moments but still loses track of his man on the perimeter as he gets enticed into the paint. Brandon Jennings, meanwhile, gambles too often for steals and Andre Drummond just hasn't been the oppressive paint presence the Pistons need him to be. And while Singler does a lot of really nice things on the offensive end (except, you know, hit open perimeter shots), he often gets abused on the defensive end.
Question of the game
What will be the total points scored between the two teams? Put me at 220.