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Pistons vs. Spurs preview: Expect a healthy dose of Killian Hayes and second game of a back-to-back shenanigans

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The Spurs are battling for the pstseason, which is great for the tank.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

In what will undoubtedly be a far cry from the matchups we saw 16 years ago, the Detroit Pistons visit the San Antonio Spurs in a game that means very different things to each team. Detroit has no real motivation to win games the rest of the year while San Antonio seeks to hold onto the final play-in spot. Both teams are playing their third game in four nights.

Game Vitals

When: 8:30 p.m. EST
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit Plus
Odds: Pistons +8.5

Analysis

The Pistons haven’t released their injury report as publication time, but based on recent trends, we can expect to see Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee rest on the second night of a back-to-back. Killian Hayes rested last night against the Dallas Mavericks, so he should be good to go. A welcome sight for Pistons fans who want tonight’s game to have some sort of intrigue.

Sekou Doumbouya is coming off a neck/head injury, and despite not being on yesterday’s injury report he did not see the floor. Again, if recent trends continue, he’ll see more minutes tonight while the veterans rest. He could find his way back into the starting lineup after the great performance Detroit put on against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a lineup full of youth.

If the Pistons put out a similarly young lineup tonight, they’ll face a great test against a top-10 defense. Dejounte Murray and Derrick White both make life difficult for opposing guards with their length and activity. Killian Hayes struggled a bit against longer defenders earlier in the year, so the Spurs will be a good measuring stick as to just how far he’s come.

San Antonio enters the game as a bottom-third offense, though they shot exceptionally well en route to an easy win against Detroit in the teams’ first meeting. And that was without DeMar DeRozan who is back in the lineup and producing the second-most efficient season of his career.

If Isaiah Stewart starts and plays big minutes, you could see a less efficient outing from the Spurs. Stewart has been on a tear recently and continues to show tremendous progress in defending the paint while batting away a huge amount of lob attempts. If he can continue to control the paint defensively, the rest of the young Pistons can stay home better and more often, which should help them contest shots a lot better than they did in the first matchup against the Spurs.

Projected Lineups

Detroit Pistons (18-41)

Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Tyler Cook, Isaiah Stewart

San Antonio Spurs (28-29)

Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl

Question of the Game

Will we get another fun outing from the young guys?