The Pistons continue one of the roughest stretches of their schedule tonight by hosting the Golden State Warriors, who come with their own challenges. Andrew Bogut has been out for most of the month with his annual injury stint, this year an inflamed shoulder, while David Lee didn't travel to Detroit due to a stomach flu. The Warriors were able to sneak past the Nets without their starting big men on Saturday, but Ric Bucher said during the broadcast that Bogut should be ready to go for tonight's game and almost suited up over the weekend.
Tonight is the last of a long stretch of home games for the Pistons, as they've hosted 7 of their past 8 games while going 4-4 over the stretch. 56 games into the season, and they're still a team that looks unable to craft an identity between a tanking, bottom-five squad or legitimate playoff contenders. They continue to sit in the 9 seed in the Eastern Conference after wins for the Charlotte Bobcats and Atlanta Hawks and losing streaks for the Cleveland Cavs, Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks. The team remains in the no-man's land of no playoff spot or draft pick.
The Warriors come into the game with the league's eighth best record, the sixth best in the Western Conference. Stephen Curry has been lights-out since the start of 2014, putting up 26 points per game on an incredible 63 percent true shooting, along with 8 assists with 3.7 turnovers. It's coincided with a slump out Klay Thompson though, as he's dropped to 49 percent true shooting since the calendar flipped after starting the season at 57 percent.
Keys to the Game
Front court mismatch: With Jermaine O'Neal and Draymond Green looking like likely starters tonight, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond should be able to run wild. While it's been noted that interim head coach John Loyer hasn't changed much after taking the top seat, Moose has been a beneficiary of the switch, averaging 36.5 minutes per game while putting up 17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal. If Bogut is unable to play, Monroe should have no problem continuing his strong play.
Defense: Loyer identified the Pistons' weak defense as one of his targets to improve, but it's been to no avail so far. The team sat at a defensive rating of 107.3 when he took over and today is at 107.8. But it's on the defensive end that Golden State has taken the next step this season, jumping from the league's 14th ranked defensive rating last year to third this season.
Point guard matchup: Curry continues to build his credentials toward becoming the best shooter in the league's history while the Pistons can't figure out who belongs on the court between Brandon Jennings and Will Bynum.
Question of the Game
Will Curry be over/under 30 points?