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Pistons vs. Heat preview: Traveling to South Beach for the first time this season

The Pistons head back out on the road this week after a brief stay in Detroit

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat enter this game off of losses to the Grizzlies. For the Heat, it was the second quarter that killed them against the Grizzlies, while it was a poor first quarter that doomed the Pistons.

With both teams looking to bounce back, it is clear that a better first half is going to be necessary to win. The good thing is that neither of these teams are as good as the Grizzlies, so that should be an easier task.

Game Vitals

When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: FTX Arena in Miami, Florida
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +8.5

Analysis

The Heat overachieved a bit last season en route to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. They would eventually fall in a hard-fought 7 game series against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

In the early parts of this season, the Celtics have picked up where they left off, while the Heat have struggled a bit out of the gate. They currently sit at 11-13, which is 9th in the Eastern Conference. They would still be a play-in team if the regular season were to end today, but I am sure they had higher aspirations than that.

The thing about the Heat is that their roster is largely unchanged. They did lose PJ Tucker in free agency, but outside of that, they basically have the same roster. Things just are not clicking as well as they did last year.

Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry are both a year older, which actually matters when you get into your mid-thirties. For Butler, his numbers are mostly the same and he hasn’t really experienced any drop off. However, he has only played in 15 games this season.

Lowry has been able to stay healthy, but he is only shooting 40 percent from the field.

The Heat are starting Tyler Herro now instead of bringing him off the bench like last year. It makes sense after he signed a 4 year, $130 million extension in the offseason. However, he was the 6th man of the year last season and the Heat’s bench is weaker as a result of the lineup change.

The Heat were a hard-nosed team that played tough defense last season, and while having Herro start improves them offensively, they are not as good defensively with Herro and Caleb Martin starting while losing PJ Tucker.

The Heat have been playing a lot better recently as they are healthy and able to play their full rotation. They are not as much of a threat as they were last season, and the Pistons have played them tough the last few years.

In terms of talent and veteran experience, the Pistons are overmatched by the Miami Heat. However, the Pistons have been able to keep pretty much all of their recent games close with the exception of the game against the Knicks last week. Given how tough the Pistons typically play the Heat, this is a winnable game.

The Pistons frontcourt should matchup pretty well with the Heat’s. Bam Adebayo is very good, but he is not a towering presence, which have been giving the Pistons problems this season. And the wing tandem of Caleb Martin and Jimmy Butler should be able to be handled by Bojan Bogdanovic and Isaiah Stewart.

Jimmy Butler is a physical player and Isaiah Stewart should actually be able to handle that pretty well. Martin is athletic and could give Bogdanovic some problems, But Martin also isn’t a huge scoring threat.

The Pistons bench might actually have an advantage against the Heat’s bench and could play a huge role in who wins this game.

If the Pistons can control the glass, which they have been able to do a lot better in recent games, they have a shot at pulling out the win.

Projected Lineups

Detroit Pistons (6-19)

Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley

Miami Heat (11-13)

Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo

Question of the Day

Do you expect Saddiq Bey’s shooting struggles to end soon or will it be an issue all season?