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Pistons vs Sixers preview: Philly's not seeing the same team this time

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Detroit looks to square (yes square) the season series at one apiece in this Saturday showdown.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Game Vitals

Where: Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI

When: 7:30 PM EST, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015

Watch: FSD

Exceptionally Detailed Analysis

I could go on and on about our performance vs Indiana, but I think this little snippet from Greg Monroe's post game presser sums it up perfectly.

The Sixers come into this game in some reasonably good form, believe it or not.  They crushed a recent Pistons opponent, the Pelicans, by 15, 96-81.  For what it's worth, the Pelicans trounced the Pistons by 11 earlier this week, so, by that logic, the Pistons are doomed.  Michael Carter-Williams had 22 and 7 assists, Nerlens Noel had 17 and 11 rebounds, and Grand Rapids Star (of 1 game) Robert Covington had 18 points.  The Sixers are now 8-31 and have a better record than the abysmal NY Knicks (5-36, lost last 16) and rebuilding Minnesota Timberwolves (6-32).

Last Time They Met

Dec. 6, 2014, Philadelphia won 108-101

Quite possibly the lowpoint of the SE, the Pistons fell to 3-17 with an overtime loss in Philadelphia.  An unknown, miscast small forward who happened to be wearing Pistons blue, red and white somehow scored 23 points, with perhaps the Sixers defense thinking that Detroit was granting a dream for a Make-a-Wish foundation recipient.  Also, someone who was begging to be picked up by Detroit, Robert Covington, led all scorers with 25, showing off to his nearly employers.

Players To Watch

Pistons: Brandon Jennings

I like swag.

Sixers: Robert Covington

All Pistons fans will be hoping he flops hard this game so there's no regret that he was just sitting a couple of hours away in Grand Rapids.

Connections

-- Pistons G Jodie Meeks played in Philadelphia from 2010-12

-- Pistons G Brandon Jennings played with Sixers F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in Milwaukee from 2009-13

-- Sixers G Jason Richardson is from Saginaw, MI and played collegiately at Michigan State from 1999-01

-- Richardson also played for Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy from 2010-12 in Orlando

-- Sixers F Robert Covington was the 1st overall pick in the D-League draft by the Pistons affiliate, Grand Rapids Drive

Score Prediction

I think that the Pistons have improved too much to not win this, as they have made a habit in the PSE of winning the "easier" games on the schedule as of late.  That being said, fatigue may be a factor as the fixture list has been rather congested recently.

Pistons 117 - 102 Sixers

Lineup Prediction

Van Gundy stated after the Pelicans loss that a lineup shake up may be imminent, but he left things unchanged for the win in Indiana.  Expect him to stay with what's rolling recently.  The Sixers lineup has been pretty volatile this season, and as I'm writing this, they have not updated their gamenotes, so I'll go with the lineup which defeated the Pelicans.

Pistons: Swaggy Pope, One Man Fastbreak Turnover, Moose, Big Penguin

Sixers: Carter-Williams, McDaniels, Covington (sob), Mbah a Moute, Noel

Injured/In Doubt

Pistons: Datome/Dinwiddie (D-League Showcase)

Sixers: Embiid (foot), Richardson (knee), Wroten (knee), Kirilenko (not with team, probably drowning his displeasure at being traded to Philly in vodka and bosom, his wife does issue hall passes remember!)

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