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Pistons vs Kings preview: No Cade, no hope

The Pistons return home from their West Coast road trip to face another Western Conference team.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Each and every game, the Pistons have very minimal hope of winning. And that is with Cade Cunningham playing at a very high level. If you haven’t heard yet, Cade Cunningham is out for the next 7-10 days due to a knee strain suffered against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

This means an already not very fun team with the small glimmer of fun in Cade Cunningham has now had all the fun sapped out of them. The show must go on, but this is not a show I am very excited about watching.

Game Vitals

Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Tuesday, January 9 at 7 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Kings (-11)

Analysis

What is there to analyze on the Pistons end? This team already stinks and now they will be without their best player. They are the worst defensive team in the NBA right now, and while Cade Cunningham definitely isn’t helping their defense; I don’t think Killian Hayes, who likely starts in place of Cunningham, is going to make that much of a difference on defense. However, the drop off on offense is going to be staggering.

The Kings, on the other hand, are a good offensive team that can score a lot of points quickly with a slew of guys that can get hot and hit shots. That is a recipe for a shoot out, but I don’t think the Pistons will have the offensive firepower to hang around in a shootout.

De’Aaron Fox has gotten even better this season, as he enters the game 6th in the NBA in scoring at 28.3 points per game. He also has a very good running mate in Domantas Sabonis who is 2 assists per game shy of averaging a triple-double, and is averaging 19.7 points while leading the NBA in rebounding at 12.8 per game. He is also hitting 38 percent of his 3-pointers, which means Jalen Duren is going to have to move out of the paint to defend him, which he struggles to do.

Those two players alone are enough for the Kings to run the Pistons out of the gym, but they also have solid role players around Fox and Sabonis like Keegan Murray, Harrison Barnes, and Malik Monk.

Unless the Kings absolutely sleepwalk through this game, the Pistons have no chance at winning. Even if the Kings sleepwalk, they still easily win this game.

It was not too long ago where the Kings were the Pistons of the West, stuck in the lottery with no way out. Now, the Kings are one of the better teams in the West while the Pistons are stuck on the treadmill of horrible basketball. All it took was taking a shot on an established high-end player when they knew they had a complementary star in place and adding role players around them. Somebody should tell the Pistons that.

Lineups

Detroit Pistons (3-33): Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Isaiah Livers, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jalen Duren

Sacramento Kings (20-14): De’Aaron Fox, Chris Duarte, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, Domantas Sabonis

Question of the Day

Do you think Cade’s injury is worse than the team is letting on, or do you think he will actually be back in 7-10 days?