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Pistons vs. Thunder: It won’t be easy to ... lose this one

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If there ever was a game this year in which Motown needed to reach deep into their bench, it’s today

Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

The schedule doesn’t spoil us. The Detroit Pistons host tonight Oklahoma City Thunder, visit Washington Wizards tomorrow and host Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. These teams have a combined winning percentage of 37.2%. It’s the type of schedule you want when fighting for a favorable playoffs seed, but not one you want when you … are developing young players. The Pistons’ youngsters have already proven they are up to face challenging opponents so there is no huge advantage to facing similarly bad opponents. The Pistons, however, need to feed as many minutes to the young players as possible as the season winds down.

Game Vitals

When: Friday, April 16, 2021, 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons -3.5

Analysis

With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out, the Thunder is 1-11 and on 8-game losing streak. During that span their starters frequently reach horrendous +/- numbers as the team is being demolished time after time. Now, other rotation pieces are questionable and OKC is field a G League squad.

It seems that the only thing that would make it competitive would be giving plenty of playing time to the lesser used kids on the roster — namely Deividas Sirvydis, Killian Hayes, Sekou Doumbouya and Tyler Cook.

As luck would have it, the Pistons seem to be fighting tank fire with tank fire, and will be sitting a number of players for today’s game. Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Cory Joseph, Wayne Ellington, Dennis Smith Jr. and Rodney McGruder are all out. That leaves plenty of times for the kids.

Dave, our current lefty Svi, playing against our former, original, righty Svi Mykhailiuk would undeniably be a fun duel to watch. The lefty didn’t get much playing time with Pistons deciding not to participate in G League bubble. But when he has found himself on the floor, he showed the shooting instincts that made him successful last year. And maybe watching his younger self, the original Svi, would finally right his shot this year.

No less fun would be Killian facing his teammate from French national teams, Theo Maledon. These two tall point guards also have similarities in their games. Killian is projected to be better of the two, but due to his long absence, it is Maledon who looks to be a little more seasoned at the moment.

Sekou vs. Aleksej Pokusevski – another fun would-be match-up to watch. They look and play different, yet they both carry quite similar boom or bust potential.

Finally, there’s this fun potential duel in the middle, between young big men, Tyler and Moses Brown. Those two also look and play different, but similarly they can develop into intriguing bigs for today’s game.

Projected Lineups

Detroit Pistons (16-39)

Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Sekou Doumbouya, Isaiah Stewart

LA Clippers (20-35)

Darius Bazley, Aleksej Pokusevski, Moses Brown, Svi Mykhailiuk, Theo Maledon

Have a good game fellow DBBers!!! May we have all the fun.