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Pistons vs. Kings Preview: squandered leads and revenge on Pistons minds

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A dish best served cold

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Still thinking about that 18-point collapse against the Sacramento Kings from two weeks ago? It’s hard not to. The Detroit Pistons have a way of making games interesting that have no right to be.

Just one game ago, Detroit managed to squander a 16-point fourth quarter lead against the Washington Wizards. Had Marcus Morris not hit this ridiculous last-second tip-in ...

.... Pistons nation would be reminiscing about another win that slipped through the cracks. Luckily for Detroit, they were able to find a way to win when it mattered most. They’ll host the struggling Kings, looking for their fourth straight win, and sweet sweet revenge in the process.

Game Vitals

When: Monday, January 23rd 7:30 p.m. EST
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Players to Watch

Marcus Morris

Mook did not receive the most favorable player grades from our writers. In regards to last season’s starters, there’s no doubt that he’s struggled most since Reggie Jackson has returned. Good news for Pistons fans, Morris has seemed to turn things around, and has played some of his best basketball as a Piston the past few games.

In Detroit’s last three games (all wins), Morris has averaged 20.7 points, 10 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, all while shooting 40 percent from three. Read that stat-line again. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. It’s safe to say that this level of production is not sustainable for the rest of the regular season, nonetheless, an improved Marcus Morris dramatically betters Detroit’s odds at winning games on a night-to-night basis. It’ll be interesting to see if Morris is able to continue to do some of the little things that have led to his (and the team’s) improved play i.e. get in the paint and contend for rebounds, make quick decisions with the ball, either shooting if open, or passing quickly to encourage ball movement, etc.

DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins is a beast. One of the best (if not the best) centers in the league. He can handle, pass, bang on the block, and even shoot it from deep, all at an All-Star level. Speaking of bananas state-lines, check out Cousins’ numbers for this season- 28.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. He’s shooting 45 percent from the floor, and an outstanding 38 percent from three (by far his best 3-point percentage of his career). There’s not much Boogie can’t do.

He’s the motor to this Kings engine, and now that he’ll be out Rudy Gay for the rest of the season, due to an achilles tear, he’ll be tasked with carrying even more of the offensive load. If Sacramento is going to find a way to kill Detroit’s positive mojo, it’ll be at the hands of one Boogie Cousins.

Prediction

Yes, the Pistons have played better in their last three games, but there’s still major reasons to be concerned about this team moving forward. As they found out against the Kings the last time these two matched up, it IS possible to lose a game in which you have a damn near 20-point lead well into the second half.

The Pistons are fortunate to have won those games where they nearly collapsed in the fourth quarter (Charlotte and Washington). I’m hoping they’ll reflect on those nail-biters, watch some film from the Kings-Pistons game, and get reinvigorated to dish out some vengeance to the guys in purple.

Detroit 107, Sacramento 99

Community Question

What have you noticed on the floor that’s helped lead to Detroit’s newfound success?