The streak has to end sometime, right? The Detroit Pistons, coming off a pair of disappointing losses that extended their losing streak to 10 games, will look to break out against another bottom-feeder — the New Orleans Pelicans.
When: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +6.5
The Pistons face off another of the Western Conference’s red-headed stepchildren in the Zion Williamson-less Pelicans. Despite the Pellies playing without their star, this team still boasts a number of talented guys.
It makes you wonder how they’re 6-20 under rookie head coach Willie Green, a star at Detroit Mercy in his college days.
Brandon Ingram is the big gun. The lanky forward has really expanded his game this year, averaging 23 points and 5 assists per night. He’s still a good scorer and shooter, but it’s the playmaking that really has him at his best this season.
Jonas Valanciunas, a longtime Pistons killer, is the other problem. Detroit can throw Jerami Grant on Ingram and hope for the best... I think prayer is the only way they’re going to stop Jonas tonight. He’s playing some of the best ball of his career averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds per game.
He’s even added a legit 3-point stroke to his game, hitting 46 percent on 2.5 attempts per game. Valanciunas unleashed seven of them against the Clippers, so he’s not just a talented post scorer anymore — he can do it from all three levels.
I’m interested to see how Isaiah Stewart, Trey Lyles and probably Luka Garza handle this task. Big men like Valanciunas aren’t a common site these days.
New Orleans, like Detroit, is horrendous at guarding the 3-point line. Both are bottom five and the Pelicans allow opponents to shoot 37% from deep. The Pistons could win this game with a hot shooting night from Cade Cunningham, Frank Jackson and Saddiq Bey.
Bey, woooo boy, he needs a good game tonight. After being benched for much of the fourth quarter and overtime against the Wizards, the maligned forward needs to rediscover his shot. It looked like that started against Washington as he it 3 of his 6 shots, ratcheting down the wild attempts until an above-the-break airball triple saw him benched late.
New Orleans gives up 23 points and 8 assists per gam to opposing point guards, a problem that might stem from undersized starter Devonta Graham. Cade has a chance to have a nice game tonight — as long as the threes are falling vs this suspect defense.
The one wildcard here is Herb Jones. The rookie from Alabama is a freak athlete and a great defender. He’s been a bright spot for New Orleans and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him guard Cade and Grant tonight.
New Orleans Pelicans (6-20)
Devonta Graham, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones, Jonas Valanciunas
Detroit Pistons (4-20)
Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart
Question of the Day
How do the Pistons match up with Brandon Ingram, who is quietly putting up All-Star numbers?