The Detroit Pistons are back for another round against one of the best teams in the NBA, hoping to steal a win against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Pistons almost snatched away an unexpected victory Saturday in the first matchup against Philly, but fell 114-110. There was a ton to like about that game considering the huge minutes played be Detroit’s young players, but this game might not look too similar to that one.
Regardless of who plays within Detroit’s rotation, the Pistons will need to draw up some answers for Philly’s Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid has playing well enough to be mentioned in the MVP conversation, and he delivered against Detroit with 33 points and 14 rebounds. Simmons added a near-triple double with 20 points (including hitting 10-of-12 from the line), nine rebounds and seven assists.
UPDATE: Joel Embiid listed as questionable and Derrick Rose listed as out.
When: 7 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +7
Losses are losses, but close losses propelled by significant minutes and contributions from the Pistons’ youngest players — it is what is necessary to get fans through what is sure to be a godawful season.
The Philly game delivered thanks in large part to the absence of Detroit’s two biggest-name vets in Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose. Those two big holes in the rotation opened up more time for Sekou Doumbouya (18 minutes) and Saben Lee (12 minutes). Also seeing significant run was Josh Jackson, (24), Saddiq Bey (19), Isaiah Stewart (19) and Svi Mykhailiuk (17).
Rose remains out with knee soreness, but Griffin is expected back into the lineup, presumably for his customary 33 minutes per night. The young guys also got a reprieve when Mason Plumlee got beclowned by Embiid and fouled out in just 19 minutes of action.
Things might look a little different in Detroit’s rotation, and with the inclusion of Blake into the lineup, the way the team attempt to facilitate offense will likely be more methodical, deliberate, some might say plodding. So it might not be too much fun.
But, hey, maybe Griffin shows some signs of life tonight, Wayne Ellington continues his career-best pace from the 3-point line, Delon Wright does all the little things, and Plumlee is able to speed things up by about 15% so he doesn’t get saddled with fouls and his shot repeatedly blocked. That would help those minutes the young guys do get to be impactful as they can more easily fill in the gaps and rely on their young energy and hustle.
Also, there’s a decent chance Stewart does something that pisses a Sixers player off so much that a fight breaks out. Oh, the things we pay attention to in 2021.
Detroit Pistons (3-13)
Delon Wright, Wayne Ellington, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, Mason Plumlee
Philadelphia 76ers (12-5)
Seth Curry, Danny Green, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid
Question of the Game
Will Mason Plumlee foul out for his fifth consecutive game?