The Houston Rockets have been neck and neck in the standings for years. Until this year, that is. That is when the Detroit Pistons decided to do next to nothing to improve a 17-win roster, and the Rockets decided to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on NBA veterans. The Rockets sit at .500 and are in the thick of the play-in race in the Western Conference. The Pistons sit at 3-35 and are a franchise that is trying to stave off the worst season in NBA history.
The two teams have already played once this season, with the Rockets easily dispatching the Pistons 136-113. That game saw the Pistons being led by Alec Burks with 21 points off the bench and Jaden Ivey contributing 19 and hitting 3-of-4 from three and Jalen Duren with the efficient 12-point, 14-rebound double-double in just over 20 minutes. There is no saying that can’t all happen again. Of course, they’ll need to learn to play a modicum of defense and somehow figure out how to slow down Alperen Sengun (26 points, nine assists, only 13 shots in the previous matchup). Having Isaiah Stewart back should help.
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +8.5
Detroit Pistons (3-35)
Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
Houston Rockets (18-18)
Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, Jae’Sean Tate, Jabari Smith, Alperen Sengun