This is a matchup of two teams going in completely different directions, as the Suns boast a West-leading 6-2 record, while the Pistons are in the cellar of the East with a 1-7 record. If you have plans for your Friday night, I would highly advise not cancelling them to watch this game.
Unless you want to relive some Devin Booker FOMO or want to watch DeAndre Ayton and imagine what it might be like to have a player like Evan Mobley on the Pistons next season. Or maybe, against all odds, this will be one of those fun, competitive losses Detroit has had a habit of pulling off so far this season.
When: Friday, Dec. 8 at 7 pm
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit
The Phoenix Suns are one of the best teams in the league. After going 8-0 in the NBA’s bubble last season and narrowly missing out on an improbable playoff spot, they have entered this season just as hot. However, this iteration of the Suns seems a lot more legit because of the addition of Chris Paul.
While his numbers, 13.3 points and 8.3 assists, are modest for a Hall-of-Famer, his leadership and command of the team has down wonders. The improvement is far beyond what the numbers show as proven by the Oklahoma City Thunder last season and the Suns so far this season.
The Suns have allowed the fewest points in the league and are 10th in the league with a defensive rating of 106.6. Mainly because of their frontcourt, which is anchored by Ayton, a very underrated defender. They also have Mikal Bridges, one of the better wing defenders in the league.
Outside of Booker, the Suns starting lineup features solid defenders at every position. Booker is the Suns’ shotmaker, and he is one of the better scorers in the league. His numbers are down this year, but he is still averaging 21.5 points per game and is a threat to go off on any given night.
And if you think you escape the solid defenders when the bench comes in for the Suns, you would be wrong, as bench players like Cameron Johnson, Jevon Carter, and Langston Galloway all provide solid defense for their position and an ability to knock down the long ball.
The Suns don’t have a ton of household names on their roster, but they are solid on both ends of the court, which is why they have gotten off to such a great start. Chris Paul was the leader the Suns needed to put everything together, and he is showing his value.
The Pistons likely don’t stand much of a chance in this one, but they could keep it close if Jerami Grant is his usual self and Derrick Rose and a couple of their young players step up, as usual.
You aren’t really hoping for a win in a game like this, but sometimes weird things happen when a team is traveling a long distance, like the Suns are after playing at home on Wednesday.
Detroit Pistons (1-7)
Delon Wright, Wayne Ellington, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, Mason Plumlee
Phoenix Suns (6-2)
Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, DeAndre Ayton
Suns 117, Pistons 99
I think the Pistons are going to struggle offensively with the Suns tough defense. The Pistons had a couple of pretty good offensive showings against the Bucks, but I don’t see it continuing. I see the Suns pulling away early and not looking back.
Question of the Day
Who will score more points in this game, Saddiq Bey or Sekou Doumbouya?