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Pistons vs. Jazz preview: Detroit looks to zone in on another victory

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Pistons showed a little defensive life against the Suns, can they repeat the feat against the Jazz?

Utah Jazz v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons allowed only 110 points to the Phoenix Suns, and that might sound like a lot. I mean, it is a lot. But for this team during this crazy season it was a welcome sight. And it propelled Detroit to its second victory of the season.

They dd it behind an extended run of zone defense the Suns couldn’t seem to crack and an exceptionally cold shooting night from Phoenix from the 3-point line (hitting just 3-of-24 from the perimeter in the second half. Detroit is going to look to repeat that against the scuffling Utah Jazz. We will see if it works nearly as effectively when tried against Donovan Mitchell and friends.

Game Vitals

When: 3 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +7

Game Analysis

The Utah Jazz were scorching the nets in the NBA Bubble, but they have been scuffling so far this season. The 5-4 Jazz have struggled much more this season with star Donovan Mitchell shooting just 39% overall and 33% from 3. He’s averaging 22.4 points per game, but he’s taking a lot of shots to get it, a career-high in usage and he is struggling to get his teammates involved into the flow of the offense.

Mitchell is shooting more than 20 shots per game, nearly seven more than Mike Conley and with Royce O’Neale and Rudy Gobert largely afterthoughts in the offensive scheme. Their struggling offense isn’t getting any help at the charity stripe as the team is among the worst in the NBA at getting to and converting from the free-throw line.

They shoot more than 40 3s per game and convert at a quality 38% clip. We know that above all else, Dwane Casey’s defense tries to take the perimeter shot away from their opponent, but it’s also something his young squad has struggled with throughout the early part of the season.

Detroit tried to counteract those struggles and the ... current condition of Blake Griffin, by relying heavily on a zone defense against the Suns. It worked. I imagine Casey will try the same thing again against the Jazz. Will it work again or was it simply a gimmick and Phoenix had a tough shooting night from 3? We’ll probably find out!

On offense, it will be difficult for team leader Jerami Grant to find success in the lane with Rudy Gobert protecting the paint. That could either force the Pistons to find some offense elsewhere or it could mean Grant jacking up a bunch of contested jump shots. Again, we’ll find out!

Projected Starters

Detroit Pistons (2-7)

Delon Wright, Josh Jackson, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, Mason Plumlee

Utah Jazz (5-4)

Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, Rudy Gobert

Question of the Game

Can you believe we almost have to play the freaking Bucks again?