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Pistons vs. Hornets preview: The league’s two worst teams face off and some will be crazy enough to witness it all

No Cade, no LaMelo, no Hayward, no Livers, no Martin, no Williams, no Smith Jr.

New York Knicks v Charlotte Hornets Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets season has been a sad affair. The troubles started before the season even started with assault charges and disturbing photos released by his wife featuring injuries after an alleged attack. The Hornets then lost Cody Martin in October, Gordon Hayward is out indefinitely after a November shoulder fracture, LaMelo Ball missed the first 13 games, played three in November, and then went out with an ankle sprain, and rookie Mark Williams and feel-good reclamation project (and former Piston) Dennis Smith Jr went down in December. That has led to plenty of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Terry Rozier and plenty of losses. The Hornets have only seven wins this season, the same as Detroit. The vibes are not good, and not much better, in Detroit, honestly, as it is now finally official that Cade Cunningham is out for the season. Let’s watch some basketball!

Game Vitals

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +3.5


Just to put a finer point on things, the Detroit Pistons and the Charlotte Hornets combined have as many wins (14) as the Sacramento Kings, who have the league’s 12th-best record. That means with their powers combined, these two franchises are slightly better than mediocre.

If you thought the Pistons’ offense was bad, boy, you have not watched the Hornets this season. Charlotte has the league’s worst offensive rating, and the difference between the Hornets and Pistons is the same as the difference between the Pistons and Bucks.

The Hornets just don’t really have anyone who can reliably put the ball in the basket. The best shooter they have on their team who is 1. Currently available and 2. not a center is Theo Maledon, a bench player averaging four shots a game and shooting a sparkling 44% from the field. Again, does this sound familiar, Pistons fans?

Does this mean the Pistons are going to win tonight? I would never say that about the NBA’s worst team, and the Vegas odds reflect it. Still, there’s at least a decent chance all us sickos who actually watch tonight’s game will be “rewarded.”

Projected Lineup

Detroit Pistons (7-22)

Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren

Charlotte Hornets (7-20)

Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, Jaden McDaniels, PJ Washington, Mason Plumlee

Question of the Game

What is your Tankathon sim look like for these two illustrious franchises?