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Pistons vs. Nets Preview: Detroit looks to bounce back vs. Brooklyn

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The Pistons look to bounce back in the second game of the preseason after a tough loss to the Indiana Pacers. Stan Van Gundy said, "We were terrible," defensively.

Stanley Johnson goes up for the dunk after a steal in the 2nd Quarter
Stanley Johnson goes up for the dunk after a steal in the 2nd Quarter
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It still feels like a dream, but basketball is back. Sure, it is just preseason, but basketball is basketball. Today, the Brooklyn Nets come to town to take on the Detroit Pistons.

Game Vitals

Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills, MI

When: Oct. 8, 2015 at 7:30 PM

Watch: A stream is available for free on Pistons.com, and you can also watch on the Fox Sports Go App (must be in the viewing area)

Analysis

The Pistons are coming off of a close loss to the Indiana Pacers. The loss didn't come without bright spots, as there were a few standout Pistons. Stanley Johnson came off the bench to play 34 minutes, and he scored 26 points on 8-for-17 shooting, shooting 3-6 from downtown. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was scorching in the first half, and finished with 22 points on 7-for-9 shooting, including 6-7 from deep.

It wasn't a perfect game for the Pistons, but there are things they can build on. The Pistons were forced to start Spencer Dinwiddie at point guard, as he was the only healthy one. They ran Stanley Johnson at the point a lot too. The Pistons were still able to score 112 points. If they tightened up defensively, they could have got the win.

The Brooklyn Nets come in after a loss to Fenerbahce Ulker. A lot of their core from last year, which got them the No. 8 seed, returns. The only notable player to be missing is Deron Williams, who was bought out and signed with the Dallas Mavericks. The Nets added Rondae Hollis-Jefferson from the University of Arizona, after a draft-day trade with the Portland Trail Blazers that trade sent away Mason Plumlee. The Nets also added former top-five pick Thomas Robinson.

The key for the Pistons will be to defend the 3 point line.  The Pistons cannot leave 3 point shooters open for the Nets, like Wayne Ellington and Bojan Bogdanovic.  Ellington had a solid game for the Nets vs. Ulker, as he scored 16 points and led the team in minutes with 31. These two cannot be left open like Paul George was last game, or it could be a long night.  Andre Drummond also needs to play solid defense on Brook Lopez, or he could use his offensive skill to have himself a day.

Players to Watch

Pistons: Stanley Johnson

This one is a no-brainer. Stanley Johnson looked phenomenal in his preseason debut. Turnovers were a bit of an issue for him, but remember that he is only 19 and that was his first professional action. He played point guard for much of the game, and looked pretty comfortable doing it. Stanimal was driving to the basket, and knocking down his outside shot. I can't wait to see what he has in store for an encore.

Nets: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

He was teammates with Stanley Johnson in college, now they will face each other.  Hollis-Jefferson is known for his defense, so it will be interesting to see how he does against Johnson when they are playing each other.  Will Hollis-Jefferson know some of Stanimal's tendencies because they played together in college? Will that give him an advantage?  I am excited to find out.

Last Time We Met

Jan. 10, 2015 at the Palace - Detroit 98, Brooklyn 93

It was a close game throughout. The Pistons won behind a 27-22 3rd quarter. Brandon Jennings led the Pistons in scoring with 20 points and had 11 assists. Greg Monroe finished with a double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds. Kyle Singler chipped in with 11 points, and he was joined by Jonas Jerebko with 11 on 3-5 shooting from three.

For the Nets, Joe Johnson led them in scoring with 17 points and was 3-6 from three. Bojan Bogdanovic had 14 points on 5-11 shooting. Brook Lopez had a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Former University of Michigan standout Darius Morris also had 10 points off the bench.

Connections

--Steve Blake was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets for Quincy Miller.

--Quincy Miller played for the Detroit Pistons last season.

--Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a college teammate of Stanley Johnson.

--Ryan Boatright is a college teammate of Andre Drummond.

--Justin Harper played for the Pistons in the Summer League.

Prediction

Pistons 103, Nets 88

Lineup Prediction

Pistons: Jackson, Caldwell-Pope, Morris, Illyasova, Drummond

Nets: Larkin, Ellington, Bogdanovic , Thaddeus Young, Lopez

Injuries

Pistons:  Jennings (Achilles), Thomas (Achilles), Granger (knee), Baynes (Ankle), Blake (Concussion)

Nets:  Johnson (rest), Jack (rest)

Community Question

Do you think the Pistons are set with the predicted lineup above?