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Pistons vs. Knicks preview: As ship sinks, Detroit remains one game back from playoffs

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Tanking Knicks versus plummeting Pistons - who ya got?

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The week from hell. That’s the best way to describe the week that was for the Detroit Pistons. With untimely and unmotivated losses to the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, and Orlando Magic, Detroit are on the outside looking in of the playoff race and appear destined for the back-end of the lottery.

In addition to three straight losses, including two losses to the bottom-three teams in the entire NBA, Stan Van Gundy seems to have lost the locker room. He had tried to throw a save the season Hail Mary by inserting Ish Smith into the starting lineup, it hasn’t worked. Detroit has been blown-out in back to back games since SVG went with that move. Friday’s Orlando Magic game was probably the most deflating and uninspired basketball game that the Pistons have played in two years.

With all of that being said. Detroit currently finds themselves one game back from the eighth seed with nine games left to go. If Detroit is going to miraculously decide to compete, they may find themselves in the playoffs. Deciding to compete would have to start by dismantling a tanking New York Knicks team tonight at the Garden.

Game Vitals

When: Monday, 7:30p.m. EST
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

****

Analysis

In case you haven’t noticed, the Detroit Pistons have been unwatchable these last few games. Perhaps you have refused to watch; who could blame you? To fill you in, compiled below are some of the Pistons rankings and statistics from the past three games.

Last Three Games

30th- net rating (-18.8), three point field goal percentage (21.5%), true shooting percentage (46.4%)

29th- plus/minus (-17.3), offensive rating (94.8), effective field goal percentage (43.5%)

28th- points per game (92.7), field goal percentage (40.9%)

26th- assist percentage (49.6%)

25th- assists per game (18.7)

24th- defensive rating (113.6)

Things are not good. Luckily for the Pistons, the New York Knicks are in full-on tank mode. The Kazoos have lost ten of their last twelve games, including their last five. The last time these two faced off, sixteen days ago, Detroit walloped New York 112-92. Things were good back then, the Pistons have appeared to cement themselves as a playoff team. If Detroit is going to actually be a playoff team, it all needs to start tonight.

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Projected Lineups

Detroit

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

New York

Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Mindaugus Kuzminskas, Kristops Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez

****

Prediction

False hope is still hope, right!?

Detroit 102, New York 94