The Detroit Pistons gave up 136 points to Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and now get to face the Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry. Yes, it could be even uglier, but the Warriors' defense has scuffled a bit as Golden State attempts to incorporate more young players into its primary rotation. Still, Steph Curry is Steph Curry, and he could easily drop 50 tonight against an overmatched and overstretched Pistons defense.
When: 6 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +7
The Pistons are stuck in a five-game losing streak, with their lone victory an opening-night win against the Orlando Magic. It’s been discouraging, yes, and the schedule ratchets up in intensity, but there have been some decent positives for the Pistons. Cade Cunningham is looking more comfortable and rounding into form. He scored a career-high 35 points with nine rebounds and eight assists in that lopsided loss to the Hawks. He is averaging 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists on the young season. The hope is the efficiency and ball security improves as Cade finds his groove.
Detroit’s rookies have also been a valuable lifeline so far this season. Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren are delivering in all the ways you’d hope two rookies could not even one month into their professional lives. They both look destined to be long-term starters and difference-makers. Then there is the continued growth of Saddiq Bey, who is using some craft and some power to bully his way inside and score at an efficient clip. Lastly, Bojan Bogdanovic is delivering the high-volume 3-point marksmanship this team was desperate for when they stole him away from the Jazz for a song (though I don’t think they have any complaints about Kelly Olynyk’s addition to the lineup).
That is where the positives end, and if we’re talking negatives, there is no better place to start than team defense — it’s awful. Partly a coaching issue, partly a personnel issue and partly a “just give it time” issue, the defense is the league’s worst and the primary reason Detroit sports the NBA’s worst point differential in the young season. The Pistons are allowing opponents to shoot 57.3% from 2-point range this season and allowing opponents to shoot 68.4% at the rim this season. The drop coverage has been a mess, the switching has been a hodgepodge, and rebounding in clutch situations has been among the worst in the league.
The Warriors won’t be a tonic for everything plaguing Detroit, but if they can manage to corral Steph Curry even a bit, it should be a good test for the Pistons. The Warriors do not dominate the boards and the bench minutes could be a good battle between players like Duren vs. James Wiseman and Isaiah Livers vs. Johnathan Kuminga.
Detroit Pistons (1-5)
Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart
Golden State Warriors (3-3)
Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Question of the Day
Do you think Jordan Poole trash-talked Draymond Green about the U-M vs. MSU game, or do you think he decided to leave well enough alone?