After a horrific offensive performance against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, the Pistons were able to rebound with one of their better offensive outputs against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
The Pistons now have a chance to defend their home court against the lowly Sixers. The Sixers are still one of the worst teams in the league, but these are not your “Trust the Process” Sixers. They have some promising pieces and a roster that is starting to at least take some form with decent NBA players.
It should still be a relatively easy win, but the Sixers are not going to roll over.
Where: Palace of Auburn Hills-Auburn Hills, Michigan
When: Sunday, December 11 at 6:00 p.m.
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit
The Sixers were already without their number one pick, Ben Simmons. Now, they will be without Joel Embiid, who did not travel with the team due to elbow inflammation. That takes away pretty much all of the intrigue from this 76ers roster.
Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, missed his first two seasons due to foot injuries. He is having an incredible season ion limited minutes, and it would have been cool to see him play because there is not much else to watch with the 76ers.
He is looking like he will run away with Rookie of the Year as long as he can stay healthy. He is putting up 18.2 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game in only 24 minutes per game. Those numbers are impressive, plus he is shooting 44 percent from behind the arc and blocking 2.5 shots per game.
Embiid would have given Andre Drummond some problems due to his shooting ability, but he will now have a bit easier of a matchup with Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel expected to play. Both are talented players, but are only exclusively low-post players who are not a threat to shoot like Joel Embiid. Plus, they are coming back from injury and will probably be playing limited minutes. That means we could also see some Richaun Holmes for the 76ers.
Former Piston Ersan Ilyasova has found his way onto the 76ers’ roster. He is one of the few reliable shooters that the Sixers have. I don’t see Tobias Harris or Jon Leuer having too many issues trying to guard him. To say he is limited athletically would be an understatement.
The 76ers finally brought Dario Saric over from Croatia. He is an interesting player, just not on the same level of intrigue for me like Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid. He is having a pretty good season averaging 10.2 points, 6 rebounds, and shooting 39 percent from 3. Him and Jon Leuer should be a pretty interesting matchup of pretty similar players.
Ish Smith is also facing his former team for the first time in the regular season. His play with the Sixers last year earned him a contract with the Pistons and an opportunity to stay on a team for a few years.
The 76ers backcourt does not instill much fear into opposing teams, especially without Jerryd Bayless.
Without Bayless, the 76ers will rely on Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson, Nik Stauskas and TJ McConnell for much of their backcourt minutes (shudders, not really).
I expect Reggie Jackson, KCP, Darrun Hilliard and Ish Smith to have huge games in this one. None of those players for the 76ers are on their level except for maybe Gerald Henderson.
Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris, Andre Drummond
Injuries: Reggie Bullock
Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson, Robert Covington, Ersan Ilyasova, Jahlil Okafor
Injuries: Joel Embiid, Jerryd Bayless
Pistons 111, 76ers 91
I will be at this game, and the Pistons usually win in blowout fashion when I am at the game (probably just jinxed it). I expected the 76ers to maybe put up a fight with Joel Embiid, but without him and Okafor and Noel expected to be limited, this game probably won’t be close. The Pistons cannot look past the 76ers or they could be setting themselves up for a letdown.
Will Andre Drummond keep his 20-20 streak going? What do you think his stat line will be?