The Detroit Pistons face the Milwaukee Bucks for the fourth and final time this season. Detroit is coming off of a hard-fought 141-135 loss at the hands of Milwaukee on Saturday. In that game, the Pistons were let down by a few subpar performances from their starting lineup. Mainly, everyone except for Jaden Ivey was MIA, and Ivey had his share of struggles as well. Jalen Duren was a mess on defense, Bojan Bogdanovic was slow and missing shots, Kevin Knox was pretty much invisible, Killian Hayes was sans offense, and Ivey really struggled to find a groove.
It was a shame, because the Pistons got an A+ game from their bench. That hasn’t been the case much at all this season. Ausar Thompson had his best offensive game of the season, Alec Burks scored 24 in Burks-like fashion, and new additions Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari delivered exactly as advertised, hitting open shots and not being ball stoppers.
It’s tough to win any game when you allow your opponent to shoot 49 free throws, which is what Milwaukee managed to do. Part of that was by design — the Pistons obviously game planned to play Giannis Antetokounmpo aggressively, and he struggled from the line early (finishing the night 11-of-22 from the charity stripe), but they could have won the game if they could have prevented Damian Lillard from marching to the free-throw line 16 times (hitting every attempt).
Tonight, they will at least have a bit of defensive reinforcements in Isaiah Stewart, who missed the last game with a tender ankle. Hopefully tonight, we see some better defense down low, some more carved out minutes for one or both of Muscala and/or Gallinari, and a shorter leash on any of the starters who are completely unable to deliver one one end of the floor.
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +12.5
Detroit Pistons (4-38)
Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
Milwaukee Bucks (29-13)
Damian Lillard, Malik Beasley, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Question of the Game
How bout those Lions?