If the Detroit Pistons have you down in the dumps, it’s understandable.
After all, they haven’t won a game since before Valentine’s Day. Believe it or not, things could be worse. They could be the Washington Wizards, a team that is perennially mediocre with no intentions on rebuilding anytime soon.
They’re a flawed team with an aging star in Bradley Beal who sit four games under .500 — yet they occupy the final play-in spot. The Wizards aren’t in the business of being good, they’re just trying to be good enough.
Good enough to win some games. Good enough to be a little interesting.
But not good enough to win anything of substance.
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Tuesday, February 7 at 7 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons (+8)
It’s hard to handicap this game because we have no idea who’ll play for Detroit.
If they’re relatively healthy, I think the Pistons can win this game. They’re definitely winning tonight or tomorrow against the LaMelo Ball-less Charlotte Hornets. But the shorthanded version of the Pistons got even more shorthanded late last night when Hamidou Diallo turned his ankle late in the loss to the Portland Trailblazers.
Detroit’s lack of size has been apparent in recent games, and Dwane Casey has been forced to start both of his healthy centers in James Wiseman and Marvin Bagley. The Wizards play big with Daniel Gafford and Kristaps Porzingis, but it’s gonna hard to start your only big men when the next man up is a guy on a 10-day deal in Eugene Omoruyi.
Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren are both likely out again.
The Wiz will be without point guard Monte Morris, a Flint native who always plays well in Detroit. That should create opportunities for Jaden Ivey to build on his 13-assist, 1-turnover performance last night. If the shots are falling and Ivey is dishing like he did last night, Detroit will be in a good place.
While the Pistons are short in the front court, they may get some perimeter help back. Bojan Bogdanovic, Killian Hayes and Rodney McGruder are all listed as day-to-day and could play tonight.
Isaiah Livers tied his career high with 17 points last night. He did it from downtown and on the drive, getting the Blazers to bite on an incredible amount of pump fakes from a guy who isn’t much of a ball handler.
I’ll be watching tonight with an extra eye on him for sure.
Detroit Pistons (15-50): Jaden Ivey, Alec Burks, Isaiah Livers, Bojan Bogdanovic, James Wiseman
Washington Wizards (30-34): Delon Wright, Bradley Beal, Anthony Gill, Kristaps Porzingis, Daniel Gafford
Question of the Day
Who wins a seven-game playoff series first: the Wizards or the Pistons?