The Detroit Pistons will play the Philadelphia 76ers for the second half of a ‘home and home’ series. Detroit will need to put forth a season-best effort if they are to challenge the hometown 76ers tonight.
After barely registering a punch in Sunday’s 123-111 loss to Philly, the short-handed Pistons will be without their leading scorer and best player in Bojan Bogdanovic. Detroit News reporter Mike Curtis reported the 33-year-old sharpshooter will be absent with left calf soreness. Curtis also confirmed rookie big-man Jalen Duren will miss his second straight game while he recovers from ankle soreness.
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +10
Following a lifeless performance at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday afternoon, the No. 1 priority for this young Detroit team has to be effort. In the aftermath of their double-digit loss to the 76ers, starting center Isaiah Stewart said, “We took our foot off the pedal. Didn’t defend. Missed some shots. Shot ourselves in the foot.”
This admission from Stewart confirms everything fans saw on Sunday. In an injury-ravaged season most level-headed fans can deal with high-turnover games from one of the NBA’s youngest rosters. What they can’t stand is players exerting sub-par effort.
Without their leading scorer (Bogdanovic) and rebounder (Duren), Detroit will need to push the tempo by creating chaos on defense and scoring in transition. With Bey likely to remain in the starting lineup in place of Duren, Hamidou Diallo could get a look as the starting wing in Bogdanovic’s absence.
Diallo has struggled to find a consistent role within Dwane Casey’s rotation, however, long-term absences from Cade Cunningham and Isaiah Livers have opened up minutes for the 24-year-old wing.
In his five games since returning from a one-game suspension, Diallo has provided the Pistons with a much-needed jolt at both ends of the floor, averaging 10.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 stocks (steals + blocks).
His spastic style of play typically isn’t a feature of most winning rotations, but with the struggling Pistons, the unpredictability of Diallo is a gamble worth taking. Especially in a game like tonight, where the odds are heavily stacked against Detroit.
Killian Hayes’ shot creation and playmaking abilities will be heavily relied upon tonight as well. If there was ever a night for the 21-year-old to set a new career-high, tonight is it.
In his two prior meetings with the 76ers this season, Hayes has put up an average of 19 points and 5 assists. Even better, he’s shot the ball with great efficiency, converting on 40% of his three-point tries and 53% of field goals overall.
From a team perspective, aside from overall effort, the two main areas Detroit will have to improve up are limiting turnovers and minimizing opponent second chance opportunities.
In their generous 12-point defeat (which should have been more) on Sunday, Detroit coughed up 23 turnovers, gifting the visitors 23 points. They also allowed Philadelphia to register 20 points via second chance opportunities.
The combination of the aforementioned numbers is simply a recipe for defeat.
Sixers star-center Joel Embiid has been upgraded as questionable for tonight's game, per Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer.
Whilst we wish Joel the best of health, for the sake of a watchable game, lets hope Philly handle the MVP-candiate with ‘extra’ caution and sit him for tonight.
Detroit Pistons (11-32)
Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Hamidou Diallo, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart
Philadelphia 76ers (24-15)
James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Tobias Harris, Montrez Harrell
Question of the Day
Who would you like to see start in place of Bogdanovic tonight?