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Pistons vs. Heat: Showdown before Thanksgiving

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The Pistons and Heat showdown at the Palace on the day before Thanksgiving.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing showing Monday in Milwaukee in which the Pistons were blown out to the tune of 21 points, the Pistons are looking to rebound against the Miami Heat. There is not any one person to blame in that loss, as nobody looked good at all. Hopefully the Pistons can pull out a win before Turkey Day.

Game Vitals

Where: Palace of Auburn Hills-Auburn Hills, MI

When: Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 PM EST

Watch: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Analysis

The Pistons starters played a horrible game against the Milwaukee Bucks. As a result, they should be well-rested for this matchup because they were pulled out for the rest of the game with a few minutes left in the 3rd quarter. The Andre Drummond-Reggie Jackson Pick and Roll had rediscovered itself in the previous two games before the disaster in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee used contact on Andre Drummond to take him off his game, and it worked. The key to beating the Heat will be Jackson and Drumond getting back into their Pick and Roll connection. It should be a bit easier on Jackson to get penetration and get lobs over the top with Goran Dragic guarding him instead of the long Michael Carter-WIlliams.

The Heat come into this game off a win over the surprising New York Knicks. The Heat traded for Goran Dragic at the trade deadline last season, and gave up a much larger package than the Pistons gave up to get Jackson. Dragic signed a 5-year, $90 million contract to stay with the Heat during the offseason, but he has struggled a bit this year.

The key addition to the Heat is getting forward Chris Bosh back who had scary blood clots in his lungs last season. It will be a tough matchup for Ersan Ilyasova, as Chris Bosh is one of the premier stretch fours in the league. Another tough match up will be Dwyane Wade. He is one of the prolific scorers of this league, and is still effective even as he gets older. It will be interesting to see what KCP is able to do with him on defense.

Key Matchup

Stanley Johnson vs. Justise Winslow

Andre Drummond and Hassan Whiteside is another very intriguing mathup, but I'm going with the two rookies that will be forever linked to each other. As you know, the Pistons had the choice between Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow with their No. 8 pick, and went with Johnson. Many draft "experts" said that Justise Winslow was the better player and that the Pistons made a mistake. Both rookies are coming off the bench and posting similar numbers, but it will be interesting to watch them in their first matchup against each other.

Last Time We Met

Apr. 4, 2015 at the Palace of Auburn Hills-Pistons 99, Heat 98

The Heat were winning the whole game, but a furious comeback sparked by Reggie Jackson in the last couple minutes got the Pistons the win. The Pistons were down 96-85 with about 3 minutes left. The Pistons finished the game with a 14-2 run and pulled out the win. Reggie Jackson scored 9 of those points and finished the day with 29 points and 11 assists. KCP finished with 19 points, and Anthony Tolliver had 15

For the Heat, Goran Dragic had 21 points and 7 assists. Dwyane Wade had 24 points. Whiteside had 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Their efforts was no match for the furious comeback. This was a fun game.

Lineup Prediction

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

Heat: Dragic, Wade, Deng, Bosh, Whiteside

Score Prediction

Heat 99, Pistons 95

Community Question

Who will have the better game, Drummond or Whiteside?