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Pistons vs. Hornets preview: Detroit needs to get out of neutral, and fast

With an uphill climb toward the playoffs these are the games the Pistons must win

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons are still searching for answers and are running out of time in an apparent desperate attempt to make the playoffs. Fivethirtyeight currently has their projected record at 38-44 with a 12 percent chance to make the playoffs. That mark would put them 10th in the East with no playoff appearance and no draft pick. And perhaps with no coach and no GM. Can you tell this season seems to be feeling bleak?

Game Vitals

When: 1 p.m. EST
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +4.5


An up-and-down season for the Charlotte Hornets is currently on one of its upswings. The Hornets have won three straight including coming off of a 122-105 win over the Washington Wizards.

The Pistons, meanwhile, are on a sad, predictable, and potentially long descent. The team is still looking for its first win over a quality, well-rested opponent in the Blake Griffin era. The team has lost four of five with the only victory being a pathetic win against an Atlanta Hawks’ JV squad.

If the most recent game against the Boston Celtics is any indication, head coach Stan Van Gundy plans zero lineup or schematic adjustments to a team that can’t seem to score and is struggling to defend any quality opponents.

Enter Kemba Walker. The Hornets’ star point guard is averaging 27.4 points and shooting 48.9 percent from 3 in Charlotte’s last 10 games. Good luck, Ish Smith and .... Jameer Nelson.

Speaking of 3s, for a team like the Pistons who has been absolutely dreadful contesting open looks on the perimeter today could get ugly quickly. In that same 10-game span, the Hornets are shooting almost 30 3s per game and connecting on 42 percent as a team.

Walker, Nicolas Batum, Frank Kaminksy and Marvin Williams are all attempting more than four per game. If the Hornets go small and Kaminsky seems to be abusing Andre Drummond from the perimeter I wouldn’t be surprised if you see quick switch to Blake Griffin at the five.