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Pistons vs. Thunder preview: Detroit hosts Westbrook and ‘the rest of the Thunder’

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The Pistons will look to continue their success at home with two more road games on the horizon

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook, the fast-twitchy uber athlete, has made countless highlights over his career. Some are jaw dropping and others are downright mean. Below, is a combination of those two descriptions:

Like, why would you do that to someone? It’s just a game, man.

By now, we all know what he has to offer so lets take a look at the rest of the Thunder. And yes, contrary to popular belief, there is a “rest of the Thunder.”

Game Vitals

When: November 14th @ 7:30pm EST
Where: Palace of Auburn Hills; Auburn Hills, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Game Analysis

He’s not my Vydas, he’s not your Vydas, he’s Arvydas. Who could forget this handsome devil from his 90’s Portland days?

Arvydas Sabonis is a 7-foot-3 Lithuanian and his 6-foot-11 son, Domantas Sabonis, is a rookie with the Thunder. The Sabonii could probably compete with any father/son duo in a two-on-two hoops tournament.

Domantas was an efficient scorer while at Gonzaga and somewhere along the way, he added a 3-point shot to his offensive tool box. Side-to-side he’s a bit slow, but, like his dad, basketball smarts make up for a lack of quickness. He’s logging meaningful minutes for the Thunder and will most likely draw the start against our Pistons.

*****

Steven Adams

The Stache Brothers, Steven Adams and Enes Kanter.

With Serge Ibaka off to the Orlando Magic, Adams and Kanter become the Thunder’s most recognizable big men.

Adams really came into his own during the 2016 post season; he plays like your typical “love him if he’s on your team, hate if he’s not,” except that he’s so darn likeable. Maybe he falls into the lesser known category of “love him if he’s on your team but also love him if he’s not on your team because he seems like a really good dude.”

The Thunder don’t call a whole lot of plays for Adams but he’s still capable of scoring double digits through put backs and his nice little right handed half-hook. On defense, he’s able to hedge hard on a pick and roll and mobile enough to recover.

If you’re heading to the game and feel like giving Adams a hard time, make sure you are conscious of who your neighbors are in the crowd as he rolls deep.

Enes Kanter

Kanter is not coming to Auburn Hills to play defense, however, as the Thunder’s first big off the bench, he’s the guy they look for to put the ball in the hoop for their second unit.

He does most his damage in and around the paint but can knock down a 16-footer as well.

His precise offensive footwork doesn’t translate to defense, though, and depending on the match-up, the Pistons could take advantage.

Kanter mas made strides on defense but there is still tons of room for improvement. Here at DBB, we are a kind bunch and always willing to lend a helping hand - especially for a Western Conference opponent. With that in mind, I found this guy on the internet who can help out with Kanter’s footwork:

He guaranteed results on the full video; you’re welcome Loud City.

*****

Victor Oladipo

‘Dipo was part of the Draft Day trade that sent Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic - among other moving parts - giving the Thunder an athletically gifted backcourt.

With so much attention drawn towards Westbrook, it’s easy to lose track of who else is on the floor exampled by the miscommunication of the Suns’ Devin Booker and PJ Tucker.

Heading into play, Oladipo is hitting - what would easily be a career high - 40% from beyond the arc at nearly five attempts per game. I’m not sure I completely buy it.

*****

Jerami Grant

The newest addition to the Thunder roster came at the expense of our old friend Ersan Ilyasova (along with 2020 first-round pick) who was sent to Philadelphia in return for jumpy Jerami.

Grant isn’t shy about his intentions: dunk and block everything. With 21 points and eight rebounds, arguably his best game last year was against Detroit.

Well, guess what? Since then, Ilyasova is gone and Baynes has a new haircut so that won’t fly anymore.

Lineups

Oklahoma City

Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, Domantas Sabonis, Andre Roberson

Detroit

Ish Smith, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Andre Drummond, Macus Morris, Tobias Harris

Prediction

Detroit is finally home after four games on the road and the Thunder will be on the second night of a back to back (a loss in Orlando). This should bold bode well for the Pistons.

Caldwell-Pope had some (relative) success last year defending Westbrook and probably will be asked to do the same. With so much contract talk around KCP, these are the games in which he can help build his case for the $20+ million dollar/yr contract.

Pistons win at home and Reggie Jackson dresses for the final minute to celebrate.

OKC 91, Detroit 102

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