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Pistons vs. Warriors Preview: Detroit takes on hottest team in the NBA

The Warriors are back, Cade Cunningham is playing well, and the Pistons are fresh off a win. This should be a fun game, even if it might get a little lopsided

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons are 1-1 on their 5-game homestand and are coming off of an impressive win over the Indiana Pacers. Wednesday’s contest against the Pacers was a hard-fought defensive game. Tonight’s game against the Golden State Warriors figures to showcase much more scoring, at least on the Warriors’ side of things. It might not be the night’s most competitive matchup, but it is a chance for the hometown crowd to bask in the glory of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and friends.

Game Vitals

Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
When: 7 p.m. ET
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +7.5

Going into tonight’s matchup, the Pistons’ storyline starts with their sensational rookie Cade Cunningham. In the last two contests, Cade Cunningham has taken his game to another level, averaging 20.5 PPG, 7 assists, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals. While Cade has increased his scoring and assists, it has not been at the expense of his efficiency. Over the last two games, Cade has shot 31.5% from three, 42% from the field, and he’s reduced his turnovers to 2.5 per game. These splits aren’t record-breaking by any means, but it does represent an increase of 4% on 3s, 7% on field goals, and a reduction of almost 1 turnover a game.

It’s a small sample size, but also hopefully a sign that the rookie is starting to turn a corner. The Pistons are a much better offense when Cade is playing well.

The Pistons will need Cunningham to continue his play of late, and in all honesty, the team will probably need even more from him tonight if they hope to compete with the Warriors. Golden State is much improved from a season ago. Steph Curry has regained his MVP-form and despite not having Klay Thompson available, the Warriors hold the NBA’s best record at 13-2.

The Warriors are the No. 1 scoring team in the NBA. The Warriors also lead the NBA in 3-pointers made, assists, and field goal percentage. Oh, and they are also the No. 1 team in the NBA in defensive rating.

Statistically speaking the Pistons and Warriors are almost polar opposites of one another and this game could get ugly really quick.

Of course, most Pistons fans (at least the rational ones), aren’t attending or tuning in to tonight’s game with the expectations of a win or even a close game. No, Pistons fans want to see Cade play well, and they also want to be entertained by the highlight real plays from Steph Curry and the Warriors.

We’ve talked about Steph, and we’ve talked about Cade, but as a Pistons fan, the matchup that I’m really excited to watch tonight is Steph vs. Killian Hayes. Hayes re-injured his shooting hand last game so we may not see much scoring from him, but that hasn’t stopped Hayes from playing excellent perimeter defense. I expect the Pistons to rotate Cade and Killian against Steph tonight, but I also expect Killian to take the most minutes against one of the best offensive players in NBA history.

Projected Lineups

Golden State Warriors (13-2)
Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevin Looney

Detroit Pistons (4-10)

Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart

Question of the Game

Will this game still be competitive in the second half?

Bonus: How many points does Steph Curry have by halftime?