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Pistons vs. Rockets GameThread: Game Time, TV, Odds, and More

Can the Pistons really lose to a Rockets team missing three starters? Yes, of course they can. But maybe they won’t!

NBA: Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll be honest, I don’t follow the Houston Rockets closely enough to know if the fact that three starters are out for tonight’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons is to be expected or is more of the artful tanking strategy that teams facing fellow cellar-dwellers often deploy.

Regardless of intent, the fact is the Pistons will face a Rockets team missing avid Detroit hater Jalen Green, the player drafted with a pick the Pistons traded away in Kevin Porter Jr., and a player that would be drafted ahead of Cade Cunningham in some bizarre redrafts I am seeing on Twitter in Alperen Sengun.

That means the Pistons really don’t have any reason to drop this game at home, even if you think the absence of Porter is addition by subtraction. But I say, never doubt the Pistons to be absolutely embarrassing this season.

I expect Detroit to run with the same starting lineup that proved effective against the Nets. That is Jaden Ivey using this lost season learning how to be an NBA point guard — and we’re already seeing some positive signs as a lead ball-handler — and the veteran Alec Burks alongside him to help steady the ship. That leaves Killian Hayes to be the team’s backup point guard, and I hope he doesn’t let this demotion shake his confidence or his assertiveness. Excelling as a backup who finishes games is his future if he is to have any sort of long-term future in Detroit.

Game Vitals

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons -5

Projected Lineups

Houston Rockets (11-38)

Eric Gordon, Joshua Christopher, KJ Martin, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun

Detroit Pistons (12-36)

Jaden Ivey, Alec Burks Bojan Bogdanovic, Saddiq Bey, Jalen Duren