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Pistons at Lakers preview: Hello there, KCP, it’s us the first-place Pistons

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Friend of the program KCP and the baby Lakers are on deck for Detroit.

NBA: Preseason-Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Lakers Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, I know you!

To sign or not to sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (or #PayKCP for those well versed in endless Twitter arguments) was a default Pistons’ talking point for what seemed like forever. We all had a side and bear hugged our ardent reasoning tighter than a pair of hipster’s jeans.

In the end, the Pistons parted ways with KCP, and with no other suitors courting him he drifted off to La La Land with the glitzy Lakers. After dispatching that other L.A. team and the reigning champs in less than 24 hours over the weekend, the Pistons head back to Los Angeles to finish out a quick three-game west coast trip and visit their old pal in his new digs. Should be a fun game (that I’ll watch taped Wednesday morning).

Game Vitals

When: Tuesday, October 31st @ 10:30 p.m. EST
Where: Staples Center - Los Angeles, CA
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit (NBA TV)

Analysis

This should look familiar:

As should this:

In Caldwell-Pope’s first four games as a Laker, its been much more of the latter. After a relatively impressive 20-point debut, KCP has scored a total of 23 points on 8-of-29 shooting in the past three games. End of the world type stuff? Nope, but a slow start is a slow start.

Like defense, work ethic travels and no matter if it’s in Detroit, Los Angeles or anywhere in between, KCP is gonna bust his ass. We know this, we’ve seen this. He’ll be just fine.

****

I’m not in the business of telling people what to do but you should be excited to watch Lonzo Ball. Beyond the hype, the kid is for real. Once he fills out his 6-foot-6 frame, Ball’s body will be at the same level of his already capable NBA brain. Scary.

He’s a smart player in the way “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is funny.

Curb’s payoff comes at the end of the show when all the interweaving storylines greet Larry David in the most awkward way possible. No one joke has you howling in laughter but the build-up and execution is flawlessly funny.

Similarly, no one singular play made by Ball is going to knock you off your feet but by the end of the game, his collection of high IQ work will leave you genuinely impressed and wanting more.

****

Guess who else moved out west?

Brook Lopez. Don’t tell Andre Drummond.

Lopez’s 20 points per game average while playing the Pistons (in 22 career games) seems around 20 points too low. The ninth-year center had games of 34 and 29 points last year against Detroit including this game winner:

Jerk.

Like KCP, though, he’s struggled early on to find stable footing with the Lakers. Just shy of 24 minutes a game, Lopez is logging 12 points per game on 39 percent shooting.

****

Projected Lineups

Detroit

Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradly, Andre Drummond, Stanley Johnson, Tobias Harris

Los Angeles

Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brook Lopez, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr

****

Prediction

It’d be a shame to see the Pistons’ recent work get overshadowed with a let down against the 2-4 Lakers. I’m hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

104 - 100, Pistons