Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
When: Tuesday 10 March 2015, 10:30PM EST
Exceptionally Detailed Analysis
The Detroit Pistons have the worst current losing streak in the NBA, dropping their last six. These included winnable games against Charlotte, Washington and New Orleans, and theoretically an impossible game to lose against New York, which they lost. The second worst streak in the league? The LA Lakers, losers of their last five, against a strong schedule including Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Miami, Memphis and Dallas. To them, the Pistons represent an "easier game" on the schedule, a chance to recover and bounce back with a win against a team reeling since the trade deadline.
The Lakers roster is constructed in the Hinkie model. That is, a hodgepodge of mismatching, D-League level talent. Their roster isn't quite so bad, with actual recognizable NBA players such as Nick Young and Carlos Boozer, but it really says something about your intentions when neither of those guys are starting for you. Wait until you see the starting lineup later -- you might need to Google a couple of them. Their last game, a 100-93 loss to Dallas, included their 11th different starting lineup this season. The strength is definitely in their interior presence, as they outrebounded Dallas 47-33. Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, Tarik Black (the casualty of the Josh Smith Houston Experiment LOL) and Carlos Boozer are all glass-eaters, so the notoriously poor boxer-outer Andre Drummond will need to be on his guard tonight.
Detroit's last game was a 108-101 disappointment to Charlotte. A half-decent crowd of 15,673 witnessed a total and utter collapse in the fourth quarter, as the Pistons led 84-78 after three, and at one point late in the fourth had only scored six points, finishing with 17 as they were outscored in the final stanza 30-17. Reggie Jackson did some positive things, including 25 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds. However, 21 of those points were in the first half, as Charlotte switched Michael Kidd-Gilchrist onto him, nullifying his impact. It says a lot about the offense lately that one man can be tightly marked and our attack turns to excrement. In the first half, Detroit scored 62 points. In the second half, 39. Reggie needs to do a better job of getting his teammates involved so that the offense doesn't become a predictable, one-man show.
TRIVIA TIME!! The Lakers have had 6 four-point plays this season. Nick Young has 4 of them, while 2 others have one each. Who are the other two? Answer as always after the community question.
Players To Watch
Pistons: Reggie Jackson
See default "I hope he plays more efficiently and controlled this game" answer. Just pass the ball earlier please?
Lakers: Nick Young
Our bench defense is pretty repulsive, and the fact that likely Caron Butler or Jodie Meeks will be guarding Young...ugh.
UPDATE: Nick Young is out. So I guess...Ryan Kelly?
Last Time We Met
Dec. 2, 2014, Lakers won 106-96 (season series 1-0 LA)
In the depth of the throes of the JSE, the Pistons lost their 9th consecutive game, and 7th consecutive home game, to the Lakers in an early December showdown. The Lakers led by as many as 21 while the Pistons' biggest positive margin was a whopping four. Josh Smith had a good game (without looking at the shooting percentages) with 18 points and 10 rebounds. D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler made solid bench contributions with 13 and 11 points respectively. Jordan Hill killed the Pistons with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Honestly, in the last six games, I've predicted wins, losses and draws, and they've all been losses. I don't know what else to do.
Pistons 35 - LA Referees 271
Pistons: Same sadness as last six games
Lakers: Jordan Clarkson, Wayne Ellington, Wesley Johnson, Tarik Black, Jordan Hill
Wait 'til you see the Lakers' injury list.
Pistons: Jennings (Achilles), Anthony (groin - questionable)
Lakers: Boozer (ankle - probable), Bryant (rotator cuff), Nash (back), Ronnie Price (elbow), Randle (leg), Young (knee)
If the Pistons let Reggie walk, and Jennings is not ready come the start of next season, who starts at PG?
(EDITOR'S UPDATE: Answer: Reggie Jackson, because they're not going to let Reggie walk. Enjoy that pre-game reading.)
Trivia answer: Ryan Kelly (3/4 at Miami) and Wayne Ellington (1/27 vs. Washington) are the other two Lakers to have completed four-point plays.
For an enemy perspective please visit Silver Screen and Roll.