The New Orleans Pelicans might not have Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram or even Herb Jones tonight as they face the Detroit Pistons, but they are still a dangerous team. CJ McCollum is a bucket-getting vet, Trey Murphy is the all-around young upstart, and Jonas Valanciunas is the reliable big man. The Pistons will certainly have their work cut out for them, but they are riding high after a throttling of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Pistons will need to bring that same energy, good decision making and willingness to play defense to tonight’s game if they want to escape with a win. The Pistons will once again be without Jalen Duren who is still dealing with an ankle issue, and Cory Joseph who is out for personal reasons. The good news is that Isaiah Stewart, who has missed two games with a shoulder injury, has been upgraded to questionable.
If Stewart is able to play, I imagine Dwane Casey will revert to starting Beef Stew at center and bringing Nerlens Noel off the bench. But I wouldn’t mind if he was crazy enough to start both Stew and Noel. Stewart could continue getting reps at power forward and Noel could help the team establish a defensive identity early in games. Just bring in Hamidou Diallo as a small-ball five? Who the hell cares?
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +6
Detroit Pistons (12-33)
Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Saddiq Bey, Nerlens Noel
New Orleans Pelicans (25-17)
CJ McCollum, Dyson Daniels, Trey Murphy, Naji Marshall, Jonas Valanciunas