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Pistons vs. Nets Preview: TELEVISION RULES THE NATION

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A televised preseason game? It’s almost like we live in the 21st Century

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game will be brought to you by the musical stylings of Daft Punk:

Game Vitals:

When: Monday, October 8, at 7 p.m.
Where: Little Cesear’s Arena, Detroit, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass (probably, if it’s televised they usually put it on LP Broadband)
Listen: 97.1 FM The Ticket

Analysis:

We’re two games deep into the abbreviated NBA preseason. Pistons fans have really only seen the team for 1.5 games, and they haven’t seen the expected starting core (Reggie Jackson, Blake Griffin, and Andre Drummond) on the court together since the team scrimmage in Ann Arbor. So, here’s the questions I’m hoping get answered tonight:

Do Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson play?

Blake is ostensibly perfectly healthy, yet Dwane Casey has held him out of both preseason games. Maybe it’s an abundance of caution, maybe he wants a deep look at Henry Ellenson, maybe Blake isn’t actually healthy.

Whatever the reason, you’d hope to see how Blake operates in the Pistons’ new defense, with more of an emphasis on being able to switch on the perimeter, in the preseason, where the results don’t matter. You’d also like to see if Blake and Andre have translated their off-court chemistry into on-court chemistry in Casey’s three-point heavy offense.

Until someone tells me it’s a big deal that Blake isn’t playing, I won’t make a big deal out of it, but it’s getting more and more curious.

Reggie is still pain free, but recovering, so I don’t expect to see him anytime soon - and the more time he gets to recover, the better for him and Detroit.

Update: Blake’s playing tonight - and so is Reggie Jackson:

Well, then. I expect Reggie’s minutes to be SEVERELY curtailed and you all should keep an eye on how he moves.

Is Luke Kennard still hesitating?

The offense’s new focus on shot spectrum, which Casey has advocated for since Day 1, puts less of an emphasis on those step-in mid-range shots Luke likes to take. In the preseason so far, you can see the gears in his head turning, giving the defense valuable seconds to recover and contest his drive. Luke should figure out a balance as the season goes on, but fans should look at how quick he is on the trigger tonight.

Stanley still putting ‘em up from deep?

Stanley Johnson is shooting seven (!!?!?!) threes per game in the preseason. It’s great that he is so much more confident from that area of the court, right?

Unfortunately, he is averaging 28.6 percent on those shots this preseason. That is... sub-optimal.

Casey promised to “Love his guys harder,” and this is absolutely the time to get Stanley’s confidence up. Stanley was quite good in the Oklahoma City game, for the first three quarters.

Then, in the fourth quarter, all of this happened:

Fatigue had to be a factor in Stanley’s play (thirty-seven minutes in his first preseason game? Did someone replace Casey with Tom Thibodeau when we weren’t looking?). Hopefully, some of those shots actually go in tonight, and Stanley makes better decisions with the ball in his hands.

(Of course, he would have the ball in his hands more if he came off the ben... ok, I’ll shut up now.)

Prediction:

ESPN: Pistons 208, Nets 200

Reality: Pistons 104, Nets 100

Community Question:

What’s your favorite Daft Punk song? I know everyone loves “Technologic,” “Harder Better Faster Stronger,” and “Get Lucky,” but I’m partial to Veridis Quo, myself.