*** A NOTE FROM OUR SPONSORS: THIS IS TONIGHT'S GAMETHREAD ***
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY
When: 6:00 p.m. EST
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit plus, NBA TV
Brooklyn is in a dogfight with the Knicks for most depressing team in the NBA. Believe it Pistons fans, there are somehow at least two teams out there in this world that are even more soul crushing. Things could be worse.
Brooklyn features a roster constructed by a series of moves that would have been at home in the collected works of Isiah Thomas, NBA General Manager. Arranged by minutes played, the Nets rotation is [adjective] old - of the top seven players, five are over 30 (and a sixth is 29).
The Pistons are [adjective], but if you squint just right there might be some glimmer of [word] in the fact that of the Pistons top five in minutes played, four are 25 or younger. Maybe. Or not. But, maybe.
Both teams bring three-game losing streaks into this evening's game.
The Pistons are finally at "full strength" and SVG has responded by opening up the rotation in a "throw things against the wall and see what sticks" style. Things are mostly not sticking. Or the same wrong things are sticking. Or there is no wall.
The Pistons are no longer last in the league in 3pt%, but are still the least efficient scoring outfit in the league by eFG%. Brooklyn is also very bad offensively, but has squeaked out some wins due to their defense. Though their defense isn't really that great (11th in league by DRtg).
Brooklyn's vets actually haven't been bad - Garnett, Deron Williams and even Joe Johnson have all been above average this season. But none produce at their previous star levels, and because they're supposed to be the stars of the team, the results haven't been pretty.
In a happier world where the Pistons and SVG had figured out a rotation that worked from the beginning of the season, maybe one that used the various strengths of the players and deemphasized their weaknesses, where each player was put in a position to succeed and be productive, perhaps also it would be a land where if a player didn't seem to be producing they would have their minutes and role reduced, well in that [adjective] world this would be one of those games where Pistons fans could ruefully but politely shake their heads in the general direction of the Nets as evidence of what can go wrong when short term thinking gets mistaken for long term strategy. Alas, that's not the world we live in. Maybe someday.
Players to Watch
Greg Monroe: Because I will forever not like Garnett, it would be nice to see Monroe go to work on him in the post.
Deron Williams: It feels like he tends to rip the Pistons to shreds. Stop that from happening, and this could be a win.
Will these two teams be trade partners in the next few weeks?