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Pistons vs. Warriors preview: The Pistons might be in danger

The Pistons travel to San Francisco for the only time this season to face a desperate Warriors team.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Detroit Pistons David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors are a desperate team coming off a 4th quarter collapse last night against the Nuggets, which means the Pistons are going to receive a strong effort from a team that has been disappointing so far this season.

The Pistons have played the Warriors pretty well the last few years, but I don’t think it will matter for this one. The Warriors are a playoff tested team that has gotten off to a slow start and a young team that plays no defense like the Pistons are the perfect team for them to victimize.

If the Warriors had won last night, we may have seen a night off for players like Steph Curry on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, but after blowing a 16-point lead with 5 minutes left to the Nuggets last night, you are probably getting a full Warriors rotation and maximum effort on both ends.

Game Vitals

Where: Chase Center in San Francisco, CA
When: Friday, Jan. 5 at 10 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Warriors (-9.5)

Analysis

The Warriors enter this game 16-18 on the season, which is definitely a bit of a surprise. I don’t think anybody thought the Warriors would be competing for the number 1 seed, but it definitely felt like they had 1 more run left in them with this core. It very well could still happen, but it has pretty much been the Steph Curry show this season and he has not been getting the help that he needs.

They are currently dealing with a 2nd suspension for Draymond Green this season, this time being an indefinite one. Klay Thompson is shooting a career-low 38% from 3-point range this season (what a crazy thing to type out), and only averaging 16.9 points, which would be his lowest mark since his 2nd season in the league.

Outside of their “Big 3” it has been a rotating cast of veterans and young guys that simply haven’t provided enough to compete with the better teams in the West. Chris Paul has reached the game manager portion of his career where he is basically just a passer. Jonathan Kuminga has finally started to get consistent playing time and has even started in Draymond’s absence and has started to tap into some of the potential that made him a top prospect in the 2021 draft, but outside of him nobody else has really elevated their game.

Andrew Wiggins’ play has fallen off a cliff, as he enters this game with career-lows across the board.

For the Pistons, they are coming off a tough loss to the Utah Jazz, but it was an encouraging effort on offense as the veterans that are being paid to knock down shots, Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic, finally started to consistently hit shots. The Pistons are a completely different team on offense when those two hit their shots. They still turnover the ball too much and couldn’t defend a high school team, but they can at least hang with teams with the offense of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey combined with the shooting of Burks and Bogdanovic.

They are going to be getting maximum effort out of the Warriors, so I don’t think it will be as easy to score as it was against the porous Jazz defense. The Pistons also don’t have anybody in the backcourt capable of keeping up with Steph Curry, so this game has the makings of a Steph Curry masterclass.

Outside of the absolute stinker against the Houston Rockets, the Pistons have been competitive in 3 of their last 4 games, which includes a couple of overtime losses to Boston and Utah and a win over Toronto. These aren’t the 28 game losing streak Pistons, but they still aren’t a team that can be trusted to hang around with the Warriors, even if they haven’t been that good this season.

Lineups

Detroit Pistons (3-31): Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Kevin Knox, Jalen Duren

Golden State Warriors (16-18): Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Jonathan Kuminga, Trayce Jackson-Davis

Question of the Day

The Pistons have lost 2 games in a row since their win to end the losing streak, does this current losing streak make it up to double digits?