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Pistons vs. Cavaliers Preview: Detroit welcomes NBA’s worst team to LCA

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Cleveland can’t score, or stop teams from scoring

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

The Cleveland Cavaliers entered this season with hopes of remaining competitive in the Eastern Conference and their eyes set on the playoffs. Now, fourteen games into the year, and with only two wins to show for their efforts, it’s clear that those goals were more so pipe dreams than realistic expectations.

Even with Cleveland’s season thoroughly down the toilet, that does not mean they cannot steal a win against a middling team like the Pistons. Just ask the Charlotte Hornets, who were recently throttled by the Cavs by 24 points.

Game Vitals

When: 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass

Analysis

Just like last season, the Cavaliers have not put much emphasis on the defensive side of the floor. They currently boast the leagues’ worst defense, allowing opposing teams to score 112.8 points per 100 possessions.

Unlike last season, they don’t have the offensive firepower to offset their dismal defense. The Cavs 26th ranked offense only manages to score 104.2 points per 100 possessions. Failing to score points and not having your best player in the line-up most likely have something to do with each other. Kevin Love hasn’t played since October 24th, and had surgery on his left toe earlier this month - he’ll be re-evaluated in 4 weeks, and is not available for Monday night’s tip against Detroit.

Cleveland does not have a player on their active roster that averages more than 16 points per game - and have only one player who manages to score in the teens, that player is Jordan “HEAT CHECK” Clarkson who’s averaging 15.4 points per game on 46% from the field and 28% from three (woof). Things are bleak in the 216.

The Pistons, who have won three of their last four games, should easily handle this depleted Cavaliers team - as they look to kick off a favorable home-heavy schedule on the right foot. They play eleven of their next fifteen games in Detroit, and welcome NBA bottom-dwellers including the Suns, Knicks and Bulls in three of their next six games.

Lineups

Detroit
Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Glenn Robinson III, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond

Cleveland
Collin Sexton, J.R. Smith, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Tristian Thompson

Community Question

With Thanksgiving a few days away, what about the 2018 Pistons are you thankful for so far this season?