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Pistons at Nets preview: Detroit attempts to bounce back on a back-to-back against Brooklyn

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Not playing Boston every night will probably benefit Detroit

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Two Piston losses to the Celtics in a row aren’t fun, but they’re a better team than Detroit. There’s no shame in the Pistons losing the way in the heartbreaking way they did on Tuesday.

“What about Detroit losing the way they did on Saturday?”

...Yeah, let’s just be glad we don’t play Boston every night.

Game Vitals:

When: Wednesday, Oct 31, 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass

What to Watch For:

Pistons’ response to the first back-to-back of the year

It’s still early in the year and traveling from Boston to Brooklyn isn’t that bad, so you wouldn’t expect guys to be dead-legging it through this game. However, the Pistons traditionally have played sluggishly on back-to-backs, so we will have to see if that continues. In particular, I am curious to see what Blake Griffin’s minute load looks like on back-to-backs - Blake’s health remains a vital factor for the success of this team.

As the Rotation Turns:

Luke Kennard’s injury continues to cause ripples in an already choppy wing rotation in Detroit. Bruce Brown was the first man off the bench in Tuesday’s game against the Celtics, and he performed well in his 13 minutes (10 points, no turnovers, solid D, played within himself). Although he’s not a perimeter threat, Dwane Casey seems to love the energy and activity he brings on defense.

Wait, that sounds eerily familiar. Does Detroit have another guy like that on the roster?

Anyway, Jose Calderon played 12 minutes, Glenn Robinson III played 11 minutes, and Langston Galloway was the odd man out in the most recent game. It’s doubtful that particular collection of players sees the same distribution of minutes (In particular, I would be shocked if Calderon plays on a back-to-back), so watch what lineups Casey deploys tonight.

Waking of the Wings

Stanley Johnson has looked involved (for better and for worse) in the last two games. He played a game-high 35 minutes and had nine points on nine shots with four assists and six (eek) turnovers (in addition to his always solid defense) on Tuesday. Combine that with his season-high 16 points on 11 shots in the previous Celtics game, and you could be forgiven for the blooming hope in your heart that Stanley might begin to contribute offensively on a consistent basis.

Conversely:

Yeah, we just need to see it more than twice, Stanley.

Reggie Bullock finally appeared to find his shot late last night. He went three-for-seven from three, and the three he hit were big ones down the stretch that kept the Pistons in contention before ultimately losing. Bullock was an integral part of the Pistons’ offensive success last season, and his inability to make open shots had put a damper on the whole of the Pistons’ offense. But if he’s back to making shots like these, the Pistons are in business:

The Pistons could definitely use both guys’ production tonight.

The Brooklyn Nets continue to start Jared Dudley at Power Forward

So... Blake Griffin should eat again.

Look, no matter what happens tonight, the Pistons will finish the month of October with a winning record, and solidly in the middle of the East. If they maintain this level of health, chemistry, and play for the whole of the season, they’ll be in great shape. That is not something you can say for every East team that expected to make the playoffs this year:

See? There are scarier things out there this Halloween.