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Pistons vs. Clippers preview: Why not end a tough west-coast swing by facing your toughest opponent?

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Detroit plays fifth game in seven nights to end extremely demanding road trip, but will see some familiar faces with the Clippers

Indiana Pacers v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons are in the middle of the second half of their schedule (that only looks easier on paper) in which they’re playing 36 games in 74 days. They are currently in almost certainly the most difficult stretch of this half or even the entire season. In the span of seven days, they’re playing five games, playing them on the road, and playing them against demanding opponents from among the Western Conference elite. Today, being on the second night of back-to-back and playing against rested opponents, they’re about to face the toughest competition of the swing, the Los Angeles Clippers.

Game Vitals

When: 10:00 p.m. EST
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +12

Analysis

The Clippers are on four-game winning streak, and fighting for the top seed in the West (currently they’re third). The team is helped by a substantial group of former Pistons. Motown legend, Chauncey Billups is one of the main assistant coaches. Two more assistants – Larry Drew and Roy Rogers – were also briefly assistants in Detroit. And there’s a trio of recent Pistons players: Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris.

I’m not sure if any of those former players are looking for a revenge game, considering they were treated pretty well by the organization. But the hoopers with whom Detroiters will probably have most work to do will no doubt be Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. As of today, the latter is the 12th leading scorer in the NBA, and the former is 22nd. Dealing with them will be more difficult if Jerami Grant is still sidelined by right knee soreness. On the other hand, some more burn for Motor City’s novel starting forwards duo of Josh Jackson and Saddiq Bey and for Sekou Doumbouya, who is showing plenty of signs of life on this West Coast trip, would be welcomed.

But no matter how tough tonight’s game is and how good is the opponent, Detroit Pistons mash of youngsters have shown themselves eager to prove themselves. They have also shown plenty of playoff-bound, veteran teams they are up for any challenge ... even if they come up short in the end. It should be interesting game (hopefully) …

Projected Lineups

Detroit Pistons (16-37)

Dennis Smith Jr., Cory Joseph, Josh Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Mason Plumlee

Los Angeles Clippers (36-18)

Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Ivica Zubac

Have a good, interesting game, fellow DBBers!!!