Young teams have a very small margin of error no matter who they are playing. They have an even smaller margin of error when they are missing so many regular rotation players, especially ones that are experienced and can help in clutch moments.
That is the reality the current Pistons are facing and it was obvious during their disappointing loss to the Bucks on Wednesday. The game was there for the taking after a double digit comeback in the 3rd for the Pistons, but they ultimately didn’t have enough down the stretch to win the game.
The Pistons had the fortune of a Giannis Antetokounmpo ejection in the 3rd to help them out, but they will not have that luxury tonight against the 76ers, who are off to an impressive start to the season after getting through the James Harden mess.
This game also kicks off In-Season Tournament play, which gives the 76ers even more incentive to play everybody and play hard.
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Friday, November 10 at 7 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons (+8.5)
The 76ers are looking like legitimate contenders this season. That is said pretty much every season, but things look different this year. They traded James Harden for a couple of veteran wing defendesr in Nic Batum and Robert Covington and have reached a new level as a team, which doesn’t really have much to do with their additions and more to do with addition by subtraction.
Tyrese Maxey has made the leap to being a 1B to Joel Embiid’s 1A. He is no longer a complementary player, but a co-star to lead the 76ers along with Embiid. He is currently averaging 25.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 7 assists while shooting 48% from the field and 41% from 3-point range.
If he keeps up this level of play, you can give him the MIP award right now.
It doesn’t even need to be mentioned, but Joel Embiid is really good. The reigning-MVP is picking up where he left off and he always seems to give the Pistons problems. The Pistons have nobody that can handle him, and even if they did, they would also have to deal with Tyrese Maxey and Piston-killer Kelly Oubre.
Oubre was signed towards the end of the offseason, and he has been a huge addition to the 76ers. He has always been a player that puts up solid numbers, but always seems to do it on bad teams, so it was tough to tell how impactful he actually is. He is proving to be one of the key cogs on the 76ers so far this season, and he always seems to be at his best against the Pistons.
Once again, the Pistons have a very long injury report so they will be relying on a lot of young players and 2-way players to try to hang around in this game. The Pistons will be without Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Monte Morris, Joe Harris, Alec Burks, and Isaiah Livers.
They have played the last couple games against solid teams in Golden State and Milwaukee and have been able to hang around, but this very well could be the game where they come back down to Earth. The 76ers have been dominant in every game this season and their only loss is a 1-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
It took 3rd and 4th quarter heroics by Cade Cunningham and Marcus Sasser to even make a game out of it on Wednesday night against the Bucks, but even that was not enough to win. The Pistons are simply relying too much on offensive explosions by players like Cade and Sasser to try to win games, and that just isn’t a sustainable strategy.
At the end of the day, young teams are going to make mistakes and miss shots when it matters and that has been the case with the Pistons.
I would love to be proven wrong, but it is looking like the Pistons will start off group play of the In-Season Tournament at 0-1.
Detroit Pistons (2-7): Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
Philadelphia 76ers (6-1): Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Kelly Oubre, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid
Question of the Day
Do you like the In-Season Tournament as is or do you think some changes should be made to the format?