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Pistons vs. Nets preview: As playoff hopes fade, Pistons host NBA’s worst team

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Brooklyn owns Detroit.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons have found themselves between a rock and a hard place. They’ve found a way to turn the NBA’s easiest schedule (for the month of March) into an organizational nightmare. Where to go from here?

It all starts tonight against the league’s worst team, the Brooklyn Nets, who are currently 2-0 against the guys in blue and red. Will Detroit go to work, and try to overcome the 98.3 percent odds that they’ll miss the playoffs (per ESPN’s BPI), or is it time to put this baby to bed?

The Pistons are currently tied with the Charlotte Hornets, and have a realistic chance to fall behind both the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans before the season ends. If Detroit falls behind all of the teams mentioned, they’d be in the top 10 of the lottery, with a chance at drafting a possible superstar in this year’s loaded draft.

Game Vitals

When: 7:30 p.m. EST

Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI

Watch: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

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Analysis

We all know what happened the last time these two faced off. In case you don’t remember, or have blacked that sequence out of your memory, here’s a refresher.

Since Lopez has knocked in that buzzer-beating-bump-fade-floater/jumper, the Pistons have been in an absolute tailspin (not that it was going great beforehand). They’ve lost four in a row, two of which to guaranteed lottery teams (Magic and Knicks), and two of which to teams vying for the final spots in playoffs (Bulls and Heat).

There rankings and statistics have looked like this...

Last 4 games

30th- net rating (-17.7), true shooting percentage (48.1%), player impact estimate (37.9)

29th- offensive rating (95.7), points per game (93.3), effective field goal percentage (44.8%), field goal percentage (41.1%),

28th- three point percentage (28.3%),

27th- assists to turnovers (1.33),

24th- defensive rating (113.4)

There’s never been a more fitting no bueno, than the no bueno that describes the Pistons play down the final stretch. It’s been unwatchable, unmotivated or utterly heart-breaking.

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Projected Lineup

Detroit

Ish Smith, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Andre Drummond, Marcus Morris, Jon Leuer,

Brooklyn

Jeremy Lin, Randy Foye, Brook Lopez, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert

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Community Question

To tank or not to tank? If your answer is to tank; who do you realistically think the Pistons can and should draft?