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Pistons vs. Lakers preview: Isaiah Stewart is playing, but will LeBron James?

First contest since the big dustup between Lakers and Pistons players might not deliver the fireworks some anticipate

Los Angeles Lakers v Detroit Pistons

The only real question is this one — will LeBron James suit up for the game against the Detroit Pistons today? Otherwise, the contest between the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers looks to be a pretty sad affair. The Pistons are an awful offense and awful team at the moment, and the Lakers are sad, old, and struggling. Better than the Pistons, to be sure, but that is certainly not an acceptable bar for the Lakers to be clearing.

James is listed as day-to-day as he continues to manage his abdominal injury. The last time these two teams played, James elbowed Isaiah Stewart in the face causing a lot of bleeding and an irate Stewart. The young Pistons big man had to be restrained multiple times by teammates and staff. Both Stewart and James received one-game suspensions.

Game Vitals

When: 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Watch: Ball Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +10.5


Again, there isn’t much to say about the actual game. The Lakers are bad, below .500, coach Frank Vogel is on the hot seat, the team has lost five of its past seven games including an extremely depressing 3OT “thriller” against the Sacramento Kings on Friday. And the Lakers are still 10-point favorites as they should be.

The Pistons are pretty awful up and down the roster, fielding a poor-shooting team with no rim gravity and a struggling top draft pick in Cade Cunningham. None of it was unexpected, but it’s also just a little bit worse than anticipated and that compounds every issue into a truly sad state of affairs. But, hey, Killian Hayes is expected back tonight!

So again I ask, will LeBron James play? Do you even care? For what it’s worth, I don’t think there will be any theatrics or performative acts if both Stewart and James play, and even if they find themselves guarding each other. The moment has passed, and Stewart doesn’t strike me as one to hold a grudge. While James probably thinks the whole thing was ridiculous and beneath him in the first place.

Projected Lineups

Detroit Pistons (4-15)

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

Los Angeles Lakers (10-11)

Russell Westbrook, Avery Bradley, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, DeAndre Jordan

Question of the Game

Will LeBron James play?