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Pistons vs. Nuggets preview: Detroit makes stop in Rocky Mountain State on Western Road Trip

The Pistons continue with their third game of a four-game Western road trip. This one against the Denver Nuggets.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

To call last game against the New Orleans Pelicans a disappointment would be an understatement. The Pistons looked tired on the back-end of a back-to-back, and no effort defensively. It resulted in Stan Van Gundy blasting his team as well as Brandon Jennings calling for a leader to step up.

Game Vitals

Where: Diet Pepsi Center (Get it because SVG likes Diet Pep...nevermind, I'll leave)-Denver, CO

When: Saturday Jan. 23, 2016 at 9:30 PM EST

Watch: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Highly In-depth Analysis

As mentioned above, the Pistons played a horrible game against the Pelicans. It looked like nobody cared. Tired legs were part of it, but the team also has a tendency to play down to lesser teams. Although the Pelicans were hot going into that game as they have gotten healthy, it appeared the team took them a bit lightly.

That cannot happen Saturday night against the Nuggets, a young team not really in a position to make the playoffs, but they do also have a win over Golden State. That shows that this team can play. If the Pistons come with the same defensive effort as they did against the Pelicans, you can count this one as a loss.

Brandon Jennings brought into light the team's leadership void. Somebody needs to step up. This could be the game where somebody, whether it be Reggie Jackson or Andre Drummond, steps up and gets the team playing with some effort on D. If the team can play some solid defense like they sometimes do, this should be a relatively easy victory.

Key Matchup

Nikola Jokic vs. Andre Drummond

Nikola Jokic is getting a lot of talk as a stand out rookie. I personally haven't gotten to see him play at all, and I'm sure not many others have seen him. What better way to see what he is about than against one of the best centers in the league. It should be a matchup that Andre Drummond dominates, but I am still interested to see how good Jokic is.

Projected Starters

Pistons: Jackson, KCP, Morris, Ilyasova, Drummond

Nuggets: Nelson, Harris, Gallinari, Faried, Jokic

Score Prediction

Pistons 110, Nuggets 92

Community Question

Who should step up and be the leader of this team? Should age be a factor?