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Pistons at Cavs preview: The calm before the storm

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No Blake Griffin, no Tobias Harris, no Avery Bradley, no Boban Marjanovic equals plenty of problems

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

We interrupt your regularly scheduled flow of Blake Griffin-related #content to remind you of some very specific non-Blake Griffin related news — the Detroit Pistons have a game tonight. They play the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight and will be without the services of Griffin, Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson.

The Cavs, for all their current organizational drama, are still an elite offensive squad. Detroit, meanwhile, is down several bodies due to trade or injury and have one of the worst offenses in the NBA since Dec. 1. This could get ugly real fast.

Game Vitals

Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit MI
When: 8:00 p.m. EST
Watch: TNT
Odds: Detroit +6

Analysis

This losing skid could go all the way to 11. It currently stands at eight and is very likely to go to nine tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The only hope the Pistons have is:

  1. If any franchise has been more dysfunctional in 2018 than the Detroit Pistons it is the Cleveland Cavaliers. The owner loves Isaiah Thomas, Thomas and everyone else hates Kevin Love and LeBron James seems to be plotting his next move (and the Clippers are preparing for it).
  2. Avery Bradley is no longer a member of the Detroit Pistons. His team-leading 15.3 shots per game are distributed elsewhere and his 37.5 percent field goal percentage is no Detroit’s problem anymore (numbers since Jan. 1). I don’t want to kick a player while he’s down, but Bradley was really bad for Detroit’s offense.
  3. We will see the Pistons effusively praise the Pistons for grabbing a superstar like Blake Griffin when they had a chance. Chuck will scold other teams for not being willing to take a risk and most of the talking heads will focus a lot of ire on the Cavs. So that will be fun.
  4. The Cavs offense is turrrible and the Pistons will have no choice but to give big minutes to its bevy of 3-point shooters -- Anthony Tolliver, Reggie Bullock, Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway. Bombs away!

Projected Lineups

Detroit
Not Blake Griffin, Not Blake Griffin, Not Blake Griffin, Not Blake Griffin, Not Blake Griffin

Cleveland
Not LeBron James, Not LeBron James, LeBron James, Not LeBron James, Not LeBron James

Prediction