Many people were not up to witness it, but the Pistons blew a chance at a win over the Clippers last night. It was not a well-played game by either team, but the Pistons had themselves in position to steal a must needed win, but ultimately could not hang with the Clippers down the stretch.
The Lakers are a worse team than the Clippers, so maybe the Pistons will have a shot in this one. I don’t think the Pistons can shoot any worse than they did last night, so if the defensive effort is the same they might be able to put an end to their losing.
Where: Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, CA
When: Friday, November 18 at 10:30 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Lakers (-7)
On paper, the Lakers have a far better roster than the Pistons, especially without Cade Cunningham and Isaiah Stewart. Add to that the fact that LeBron James might be back tonight, and the Lakers should be able to win this game. Luckily for LeBron, Isaiah Stewart he will not have to worry about Isaiah Stewart trying to fight him if he does play.
To say that things have not been clicking for the Lakers this season would be an understatement. Anthony Davis has been healthy and playing like his usual self for the most part, Russell Westbrook the sixth man has been a better experience for the Lakers, and LeBron James is still LeBron James when he has been healthy. Despite all of that, the Lakers are only 3-10 and haven’t shown many signs of breaking out of their early-season struggles.
The Lakers are only shooting 30.7 percent from 3-point range this season as a team, which makes the Pistons 29th ranked 32 percent 3-point shooting look elite. The Lakers roster isn’t packed with elite shooters, but they should be far better than where they are currently at. The perfect recipe for a team shooting poorly is the porous 2022-2023 Pistons defense.
Last night’s game against the Clippers was an ugly affair, but the Pistons defense did look better. It was aided heavily by the Clippers shooting poorly and turning the ball over a lot, but they still looked better defensively.
If the Pistons can bring that level of defense against the Lakers, they have a shot in this game, but given the personnel they are currently starting, I think it was more of a fluke than a trend.
Jaden Ivey has been improving as a playmaker and offensive initiator since Cade Cunningham went down. He still has his issues with turning the ball over and making other mistakes, but he has been far better than I thought he would be. However, he could struggle with the annoying defensive pest, Patrick Beverley, guarding him.
The Pistons will need somebody else besides Ivey and Bojan Bogdanovic to step up on offense if they want to win this game. Those were the only two players that did anything against the Clippers last night, and it is not a winning formula for a young team with such a small margin of error.
Marvin Bagley is still working his way back into shape, but he has not been good at all since returning from injury and being inserted into the starting lineup. A matchup against Anthony Davis (he might not play and is listed as a gametime decision), likely doesn’t help him break out of his struggles he has had this season. His inside scoring could help this team a lot if he can get things back on track.
This is a winnable game on paper for the Pistons just simply based on how poorly the Lakers have played this season. But given the fact that the Pistons have been even worse and the Lakers might be getting back LeBron James, I would suspect that the losing streak will continue. This is probably the only “winnable” game for the Pistons on this West road trip, so they really need to put together an all-around performance and steal a win.
Detroit Pistons (3-13): Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Marvin Bagley
Los Angeles Lakers (3-10): Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker, Troy Brown, LeBron James, Anthony Davis
Question of the Day
Was last night’s game the beginning of an improvement defensively or just a fluke game caused by a poor performance by the Clippers?