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Pistons vs. Grizzlies: Severely shorthanded Grizzlies make this a must-win for Pistons

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

This Pistons have been in the driver’s seat for their playoff destiny for weeks. But they took a hard right turn directly into the ditch. If they can’t manage to drive out of it tonight, then they might as well get out of the car and start walking home.

They tip off at Little Caesars Arena against a Memphis Grizzlies team that has long since thrown in the towel on their season and who’s priority is now to try earning a few more lottery balls than the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards, all of whom are currently at the 32 win mark.

Even more notably, the Grizzlies are with out * deep breath * Mike Conley, Jaren Jackson, C.J. Miles, Joakim Noah, Jonas Valanciunas, Avery Bradley, and Kyle Anderson. Yeah, that just about represents what would otherwise be their starting five and two key rotation players.

Don’t sleep on them though. They’ve won more games over the past two and a half weeks than the Pistons have.

And one of my long time favorites Delon Wright has been setting the woods on fire. He has triple doubles in the past two games and has averaged 14 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals since the start of March.

Blake Griffin is still questionable with a sore left knee and it would be awful nice to be able to have this playoff berth clinched so he could get some rest. If he’s forced to miss tonight’s game, keep in mind the March 18 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There’s no such thing as a gimme in this league or with this team. But this should be as close as it gets.

For scoreboard watching, the Hornets take on the Cavs tonight.

Game Vitals

When: Tuesday, April 9 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit, League Pass

Projected Lineup

Pistons (39-41)
Reggie Jackson, Bruce Brown, Wayne Ellington, Blake Griffin*, Andre Drummond

Grizzlies (32-48)
Delon Wright, Justin Holiday, Bruno Caboclo, Tyler Dorsey, Ivan Rabb

Prediction

Heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, Pistons 104, Grizzlies 100