I am sure the Pistons had a great time in Paris, but everybody watching that game did not have a great time. They were blown out by the Bulls in front of Killian Hayes’ friends and family. They now return home after only playing that one game last week to face a Milwaukee Bucks team getting back to full health.
Despite missing players like Khris Middleton and other rotation players at various points this season, the Bucks have managed to hang around the top 3 of the Eastern Conference pretty much throughout the season. It is because of Giannis Antetokounmpo, although he has been out the last few games and is probable to return today.
The Bucks have always been a nightmare matchup for the Pistons since Antetokounmpo has made his rise to stardom and it really doesn’t matter who has or has not been playing for the Bucks.
This game was already looking tough for the Pistons, but with Giannis and Khris Middleton likely returning, it is going to be even more tough.
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Monday, January 23 at 7 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons (+11)
I alluded to it above, but this tweet alone should be enough for the analysis of this game:
Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are listed probable to return to the lineup on Monday vs. Pistons. Antetokounmpo and Middleton have been out since Jan. 11 and Dec. 15, respectively.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 22, 2023
For those of you that cannot see it, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are both probable to return to the lineup against the Pistons. This isn’t the first time a player miraculously recovers from their injury just in time to face the Pistons and it won’t be the last.
I would have picked the Bucks to win this game even without Giannis and Middleton, but with both of them likely playing, you are probably going to want to find something else to do on your Monday evening.
Granted, both players will probably be on some kind of minutes restriction, but I don’t think it will really matter. The Bucks have always been a tough matchup for the Pistons even when they are playing under normal circumstances.
With the Pistons returning home from Paris after getting blown out by the Chicago Bulls, I would not be shocked if they are a bit off in this game.
One good thing for the Pistons is that they will probably be able to return to their usual starting lineup after Jalen Duren came off the bench in Paris after arriving there late because of a passport issue and still getting back from an ankle injury.
I am not saying that Jalen Duren can shutdown Giannis, as he absolutely cannot, but he at least has the size to maybe give him some issues at the rim. I am sure him and Isaiah Stewart will take turns guarding him and hope that they do not get into foul trouble too quickly.
Another thing to watch for is the turnover-prone Jaden Ivey matching up with Jrue Holiday, one of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA. The turnover issues have started to get a little better for Ivey in recent games, but this could be a nightmare matchup for him if he is not careful.
There is a lot working against the Pistons in this game, but maybe the time off in Paris will get them playing better. It didn’t help them while playing in a foreign location, but maybe returning home on a few days rest does the trick.
Milwaukee Bucks (29-17): Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Detroit Pistons (12-36): Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
Question of the Day
If you are one of our International Pistons fans that were fortunate to go to the game in Paris, how was your experience?