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Pistons vs. Heat preview: Will Miami have anything to play for?

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The most important thing about today’s 8 p.m. game is a different game at 1 p.m.

Atlanta Hawks v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons limp to the finish line of the 2020-21 season tonight against the Miami Heat. The Pistons will surely be outmatched talent wise, but the big question is whether the Heat will have anything at all to play for. Sub-question: does that even matter? The answer to the first question will be made clear based on the outcome of the Knicks vs. Celtics game at 1 p.m. on ESPN. If the Celtics win, the Heat can jump the Knicks in the standings and will certainly have something to play for. A Knicks win ... well, then Miami will have nothing to play for and could rest everyone. A Pistons win would then likely force them into a tie in the standings with the Magic and the Thunder. Who knew the last game of the season would be so stressful!

Game Vitals

When: 8 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +8

Analysis

There isn’t much to cover here. Just dread and sadness. Oh yeah, and an injury report.

Isaiah Stewart — OUT
Jerami Grant — OUT
Cory Joseph — OUT
Sekou Doumbouya — OUT
Wayne Ellington — OUT
Dennis Smith Jr — OUT
Rodney McGruder — OUT
Frank Jackson — DOUBTFUL
Deividas Sirvydis — DOUBTFUL

That’s a lot of missing firepower. Could a team led(?) by Mason Plumlee, Josh Jackson and Hamidou Diallo really outplay even the Heat JV squad? Would #HeatCulture even allow for them to rest players in preparation for the playoffs? We’ll find out tonight. But in the meantime, it’s time to root for the Celtics as disgusting as it all sounds.

Projected Starters

Detroit Pistons (20-51)

Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Hamidou Diallo, Saddiq Bey, Mason Plumlee

Miami Heat (39-32)

Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Trevor Ariza, Bam Adebayo

Question of the Game

Good season or bad season?