New York has Detroit’s number this year. During the season, the Knicks have won two games the teams played so far. But they’ll be on a SEGABABA, and the good guys will have additional enforcement in already strong backcourt as Killian Hayes will make his long awaited comeback from injury. So…
When: Saturday, April 3, 2021, 8:00 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass
Odds: Det +1.5
In previous games, the Pistons especially had trouble dealing with the Knicks leading offensive duo of Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett. In the two games, the duo scored a combined of 96 points on 38/63 shooting. Combined, they were +62 in the plus/minus column against Detroit. Both were able to play to their strengths, scoring from two primary places in today’s game – around the basket and outside – with Randle also making a lot of happen from midrange, which he likes to utilize too.
Another source of Motor City’s struggles with tonight’s adversaries were the Big Apple’s defense. In the first game, Knickerbockers effectively eliminated Pistons leader, Jerami Grant, and franchise’s perimeter shooting. In the second, they make sure Detroit didn’t get too much from any player, so, even though Motown were able to put 8 players in double figures, neither was big enough convincingly to keep the team close. Knicks paid special attention to Pistons’ point guards, allowing them to score only 17 points on 6/14 shooting and dish out only five assists against three turnovers.
However, now Detroit should have more firepower at the one spot with Killian being back. Although the guard had a rough start to the season, the injury at least provided him with some rest, which, as it seemed, was the most glaring need for the Florida-native Frenchman then. So now, after a few months break during which he could observe the game from the side, maybe it’ll finally slow down for him and he’ll start to live up to his potential… Yea, I know it’s a lot to expect in the first game in almost three months from a rookie, but so many encouraging signs delivered by three other Pistons rooks this year doesn’t lead you to expect anything less.
In addition, Knicks have been playing unevenly for some time now, especially the noted Pistons killers of Randle and Barrett are having big ups and downs. So, there’s a big chance that this time Detroit will be able to make it interesting.
Detroit Pistons (14-34):
Saben Lee, Josh Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee
New York Knicks (24-25):
Elfrid Payton, R.J. Barrett, Reggie Bullock, Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel
May we at least see the Pistons get to the second base of being competitive against those Knicks, so we have a good game, fellow DBBers!!! And may the Killian Hayes era finally begin.