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Pistons vs. Grizzlies preview: Post-deadline action against one of West’s best teams

The Pistons could be looking at a smaller roster or the exact same roster depending on what they do by 3 pm.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Trade deadline time is always a fun time for fans as they see what their team is going to do to improve their roster. Or in the Pistons case, how they can make their roster worse so they can ensure the best possible position in the lottery.

Trade deadline day is not fun when you have to write a preview for a game that starts 4 hours after the trade deadline. The Pistons could have a full roster of players tonight, or they could be short-handed depending on who they send out.

The Grizzlies look pretty set with their roster as they sit at 3rd in the West. It is nice to chill out at the deadline because your team is in such a good position. Maybe the Pistons will get there in a couple years.

Game Vitals

Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons (+12.5)

Analysis

The Grizzlies come into this game as the 3rd seed in the West, a development that I don’t think a lot of people saw coming. Ja Morant has made the jump to superstardom as he has found himself as an All Star game starter and will also be in the MVP race.

The Grizzlies have surrounded Morant with very good complementary players that they have mostly added through very good drafts and opportunistic trades.

The Grizzlies are 7th in the league in defensive rating at 108.3. They are also 6th in the league in offensive rating at 112.5. Basically the opposite of the Pistons as they are getting it done on both ends of the court.

Beyond Ja Morant, the Grizzlies are also benefitting from a breakout season from Desmond Bane. The 2nd year guard is 2nd on the team in scoring at 17.5 points per game. His breakout along with Jaren Jackson Jr. finally being healthy has been the formula for Memphis to be in their current position.

Their bench led by Brandon Clarke, DeAnthony Melton, and Tyus Jones has dominated opposing bench units and it should be a fun matchup with the Pistons, who also have a very good bench unit (if everybody plays).

Cade Cunningham is still listed as questionable, and I think his status could largely depend on who the Pistons do or do not trade today. If the Pistons move a couple players and have a smaller roster tonight, I could very well see Cade Cunningham playing. If they don’t make any moves or maybe one small move, they will probably hold out Cunningham since they also play tomorrow.

Ja Morant is a tough matchup for anybody, and I could very well see the Pistons putting Hamidou Diallo on him since he at least has the athleticism to keep up.

Beyond this, it is tough to do any kind of analysis for the Pistons because I don’t know who they will have tonight. For the sake of something to talk about, I hope it is a small roster, but I have a feeling we are going to be looking at pretty much the same roster.

Lineups

Memphis Grizzlies (38-18): Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Jaren Jackson Jr, Steven Adams

Detroit Pistons (12-42): Cory Joseph, Hamidou Diallo, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart

Question of the Day

If the Pistons don’t make any trades at the trade deadline is that a failure by management or not that big of a deal?