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Pistons vs. Bucks preview: Giannis and friends look to get right by way of Detroit

Milwaukee is just 3-3 but its record is deceiving

Milwaukee Bucks v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks host the Detroit Pistons for a pair of Central Division matchups with the Bucks looking to separate themselves from their mediocre 3-3 record. While just sitting at .500 in the early going this season, they are the No. 1 offense in the NBA thanks to an unrivaled 3-point attack that sees Milwaukee make the most 3s at the league’s highest efficiency.

The Bucks also sport the best fastbreak offense in the NBA and are on of the league’s best rebounding teams. Oh, they also have back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetounkoumpo. Detroit has its work cut out for it.

Game Vitals

When: 8 p.m. EST
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Game Analysis

The Bucks will always be the team that absolutely trounced the Pistons and extended their egregious playoff losing streak until that losing streak is snapped. That seems like it might happen in, oh, maybe 2024? So in some respects, it’ll always be a bummer to face off against Milwaukee because I can’t help but expect the worst.

Ironically, the Pistons now sport a roster that is best-equipped to handle a player of Giannis’ considerable talents since the young Greek phenom entered the league. Detroit has doubled down on length and switchability headed by its newest two-way threat Jerami Grant. Josh Jackson will presumably be unavailable, but he also would have gotten the lion’s share of GA minutes. Add to that Isaiah Stewart and big Mason Plumlee in the middle and Saddiq Bey on the wing.

Also helping Detroit’s defense, hypothetically, could be the team resting Blake “business decision” Griffin on the second half of a back-to-back. In that case, the Pistons slide Grant down to power forward and can get Saddiq Bey and Delon Wright or Svi Mykhailiuk into the starting lineup.

But slowing down the Bucks is about more than just slowing down Antetounkoumpo these days. Following GA, the next seven men in minutes played sport true shooting percentages with the highest being Donte DiVencenzo (a blistering 74.6%) and the lowest being Brook Lopez (59.2%). By contrast Detroit has three players above Lopez’s mark — centers Jahlil Okafor (71.4%) and Plumlee (65.9%) and Delon Wright somehow (62.6%).

I will consider this exhibit A in Wright taking backup point guard minutes from Derrick Rose since I wouldn’t even consider Wright’s offense particularly effective at this point.

Detroit will have to pay special attention to old friend Khis Middleton who is canning nearly half his 3-pointers and two-way terror Jrue Holiday whose offense has never been better now playing the friendly confines of a Mike Budenholzer system.

Projected Lineups

Detroit (1-5)
Killian Hayes, Delon Wright, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee

Milwaukee (3-3)
Jrue Holiday, Donte DiVencenzo, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez

Question of the Game

Will. Blake. Dunk?