It was a relatively quiet offseason in terms of player movement, but an exciting offseason of front office and coaching changes for the Pistons. Now we have reached the first preseason game where we can start to see if our irrational optimism was correct or not.
There are plenty of things to be excited for like Andre Drummond shooting threes! (Not everybody is going to be excited about that one). Or the development of Luke Kennard and hopefully Stanley Johnson and Henry Ellenson.
You will likely see players who won’t even be on the regular season roster and less of the guys who will be, but basketball is back and that is all that matters.
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK
When: Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 8:00 pm
Watch: Whatever fun way you come up with because it isn’t televised
It is difficult to do a lot of analysis on this game because it is preseason so both team’s starters are likely not going to play a lot. Oklahoma City is coming off of a disappointing first round loss to the Utah Jazz in the playoffs and return basically the same roster except for no Carmelo Anthony (that means they are better, right?).
The Oklahoma City Thunder still go where Russell Westbrook goes and he still has Paul George to help him out, who re-signed with the team in the offseason. I expect them to be a very solid duo this year after playing a year together and no longer having the presence of Carmelo Anthony. The West is tough, but I think Westbrook and George are enough for the Thunder to stay in the playoff hunt in the West.
The Steven Adams-Andre Drummond matchup should be a fun one for however long they are out there against each other. Players like Steven Adams tend to give Andre Drummond some trouble, but hopefully we can see the open scrimmage Andre Drummond in this game. The Thunder don’t really have anybody to handle Blake Griffin outside of Patrick Patterson, so it should be a good matchup for him.
I have no idea what players will or will not be playing for the Pistons, but I would expect Jon Leuer to be out and possibly Reggie Jackson. If Jackson does play, I would expect it to be very limited due to him only recently being cleared to play and the fact it is his old team and he might try to overexert himself.
Projected Starting Lineup
Pistons: Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond
Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Paul George, Patrick Patterson, Steven Adams
Pistons 101, Oklahoma City 97
I think the Pistons might play their starters a bit longer than Oklahoma City because they are still trying to get chemistry down between Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. They have had less time together than the Thunder starters, so they need as much time as they can get together.
How many threes will Andre Drummond shoot in this game? I will set the over/under at three.