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Pistons vs. Nets preview: A(nother) Must Win Game

(Editor's note: This was written before Saturday night's game, but didn't get published, so we're posting after the fact for posterity's sake.)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons continue their make or break homestand by hosting the woeful Nets. A playoff berth is still hanging in the balance. The Bulls are playing the considerably more imposing Jazz. Cue line about "must win game." Aaaand... There it is.

Game Vitals

Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills
When: 7:00pm EST
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Pinpoint Analysis

At this point in the season there's not much we don't already know about a team like the Nets. They sport the 27th ranked offense and 28th ranked defense in the NBA. Now with Bargnani and Zombie Joe Johnson jettisoned the Nets from top to bottom have one of the most remarkably meh rosters ever constructed.

Brook Lopez, Shane Larkin, Thaddeus Young, Thomas Robinson, Wayne Ellington, Bojan Bogdanovich. If you squint just the right amount you can almost see something that makes sense in that as a rotation. The problem is collectively the Nets areas of strength top out at league average, and their weaknesses are bottom of the barrel bad.

SVG seemed to sort the Pistons rotation back out against the Kings, with some minutes deservedly being returned to Bullock, which should help some around the edges. But against a Nets team with a plodding center and no true lock down perimeter defenders, the hope is the Pistons don't have to uncork anything too fancy. At this point in the season, and with what is at stake for the Pistons vs. what's at stake for the Nets, a classic stanball recipe of PG/C Pick&Rolls and some open 3's as a result should hopefully suffice to secure a win.

Key Match-Up to Watch

Andre Drummond vs. Brook Lopez

Last time these two teams met the Pistons won behind a huge effort from Dre, despite Brook Lopez also playing well. Generally for the Nets to win, Lopez has to decisively win his matchup. If Dre can outpace or at least stay even with the Nets centerpiece player the Pistons should be in good shape.

Communal Query

Anyone have an NCAA bracket that hasn't been blown to bits?