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Pistons vs. Warriors preview: Steph is better

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Steph Curry’s first game back plus Detroit on the second end of a back to back means big trouble

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons have a brutal December schedule, and it begins tonight against the best team of the past 20 years. Oh yeah, and Steph Curry is returning from injury tonight. One last thing, the Pistons are on the second end of a back-to-back. This is a recipe for a shocking upset or plenty of time for Jon Leuer. We’ll see which one happens!

Game Vitals

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

Analysis

Since Steph Curry injured his groin on Nov. 8 the Golden State Warriors have a losing record and a negative point differential. In that same time frame the Detroit Pistons are 7-2 and have the seventh best point differential in the NBA.

I wouldn’t blame people for thinking the Pistons have a chance to sneak out of LCA with a win against the defending champs tonight.

I don’t really share their confidence. The Pistons struggle most against teams with elite perimeter players, and the Warriors have more than enough, including Steph Curry who is scheduled to play his first game back tonight.

The Pistons hope will rest on elite play in the paint. The Warriors score only 40 points in the paint per game and are a mediocre rebounding team.

Zaza revenge game?

There is also the chance that maybe, MAYBE, Steph has to shake off rust all game, and his teammates force feed him the ball in an effort to get him acclimated. That could help Detroit.

The Warriors also tend to foul more than average, and Blake Griffin is good about forcing the action and getting himself to the line.

Still, in a game that features two of the most prolific 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, I’d put my money on the team hitting 38.5 percent of those shots (best in the NBA) instead of the team hitting just 32.9 percent (26th in the NBA).

Help is on the way, however, with Luke Kennard playing his first game with the Grand Rapids Drive and scoring 27 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5 of 8 of his 3-point attempts.

Projected Lineups

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

Golden State
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, Damian Jones

Question

Who will be the primary defender on Steph Curry in crunch time?