clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pistons vs. Hawks preview: It’s time to feel the teal

The Detroit Pistons will debut their classic teal throwback jersey tonight against the Atlanta Hawks

The teal is offically back! Almost two decades since the franchise ditched the original teal color-way, the Detroit Pistons will debut the divisive jersey in their second consecutive match-up with the Atlanta Hawks.

Following a competitive showing on Wednesday night, Detroit is seeking to end a four-game slide against the high-flying Hawks. With starting guard, Jaden Ivey’s status questionable for tonight, Cade Cunningham and Bojan Bogdanovic will need to replicate their stellar play from two nights ago.

A win is particularly vital for the hometown Pistons as they face the leagues past two champions; the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks, in the three games following tonight.

Game Vitals

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where:Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +6


3 Things to Watch:

1. Will Cade continue to attack?

It took five games, but a portion of anxious Piston fans finally got a signature Cunningham performance on Thursday night. In the first half, Cunningham reverted back to his post-All-Star break ways, knocking down a slew of mid-range jumpers and attacking the rim relentlessly. He notched a career-best 22 first half points, on his way to a season-high 26 points.

Unfortunately for Detroit, on the second night of a back-to-back Cunningham was gassed in the fourth, not registering a single point in the final term. With a full days rest, the 21-year-old should be willing and able to provide persistent pressure on the rim. Cunningham’s floor game is at its optimal when he’s consistently probing the defense and making reads from within the painted area.

Atlanta Hawks v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

2. Will Bojan Bogdanovic ever miss?

Bojan Bogdanovic has been the best Detroit Piston through five outings. Plain and simple.

The 33-year-old is putting up a scorching 23.2 points on 51.2% three point shooting (8.3 attempts). He currently resides third in the NBA for total three point makes, behind only Steph Curry and Desmond Bane, with 21 makes from range.

While Bogdanovic’s shooting prowess was no secret, the Croatian has started his 10th season in career best form. Per Synergy Sports, Bogdanovic is currently shooting 46.9% on catch and shoot threes and a ridiculous 39.1% on triples off the bounce.

His ability to convert from distance via an array of shot types has been a godsend for the young Piston roster.

3. Killian Hayes has played his best vs Atlanta

After an encouraging preseason, Killian Hayes opened the regular season with arguably his worst four-game stretch as a pro. It took until midway through the third quarter of Wednesday night’s outing for Hayes to show some form of positive contribution. In 9 second-half minutes, the frenchmen put up 5 points and 2 assists, whilst providing stout defense against Atlanta’s backcourt.

When you look at Killian’s career on the whole he’s consistently produced his best basketball when facing the Hawks. In 6 career games, the 21 year-old has registered averages of 9.2 points, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals. Perhaps the most surprising element has been his efficiency from deep, shooting 43.8% from behind the long-line (2.3 attempts).

While he’s gotten off to a less-than desirable start, Hayes still has plenty of time to prove he’s worth keeping post the 2023 trade dead-line. Tonight provides the perfect oppriotunity, against a favourable match-up, for the former lottery pick to well and truely break out of his early-season slump.

Projected Lineups

Detroit Pistons (1-4)

Cade Cunningham, Cory Joseph, Saddiq Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart

Atlanta Hawks (3-1)

Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, DeAndre Hunter, John Collins, Clint Capela

Question(s) of the Day

Are you a fan of the teal? The flaming horse? Neither? Both?