Game Preview: Injury Plauged Pistons Travel to Philadelphia to Face Sixers

After picking up their first win of the preseason on Thursday against the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons(1-2) finish up their two-game road trip with a battle against the Philadelphia 76ers(1-4) tonight. The game begins at 7pm.

The Sixers are an exciting team. They are by no means a good team, but this will be a fun game to pay attention to.

Philly lost their last game to the Washington Wizards, 100-79. Rookie Joel Embiid had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the game. After being on a near 15-minute restriction throughout the preseason, he will play around 18 minutes tonight.

Point-guard, Sergio Rodriquez, will get his first start of the preseason for the Sixers tonight. He signed with them this offseason. Forward Richaun Holmes is averaging 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in the preseason. He is another reliable option for the Sixers in their frontcourt. Former Michigan star, Nik Stauskas, is active tonight for Philly. He recently came off an injury, so it is up in the air if he will play or not. Stauskas played 13 minutes against the Wizards, scoring two points. The player I am most excited to watch tonight is Dario Saric. He had six points and two rebounds in their last game.

Centers Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor are out for tonight’s game, along with point guard Jeryyd Bayless for Philly. 

The Pistons 99-94 win over the Hawks was a breakout game for multiple players on the team. Tobias Harris who spent most of the game at small forward with Aron Baynes and Jon Leuer starting finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 13 points in the game but continued to shoot poorly, shooting 4-13 from the field. Aron Baynes had 16 points and 7 rebounds in his first part of the preseason. Stanley Johnson had 12 points, four rebounds, two steals, and a block. Point guard Ish Smith had his breakout game of the preseason, scoring 18 points, dishing out eight assists, and grabbing seven rebounds. He shot 6-10 from the field, including 2-2 from the three-point line. He also had zero turnovers in 30 minutes.

Detroit may one again be without Andre Drummond, who has been battling illness. He is probable to play. 

Forward Marcus Morris, who has been battling knee tendonitis, will once again be out Saturday. Stan Van Gundy is hoping he can return for Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Mixing it up could mean Jon Leuer and/or Tobias Harris could sit out tonight’s game. Both have played in all three preseason games so far. Rookie Henry Ellenson could be in line for minutes tonight, as could Nikola Jovanovic, who is yet to appear in a preseason game. Stanley Johnson could replace Harris in the starting lineup if he does sit out. Reggie Bullock and Darrun Hilliard could also see an uptick in minutes.

Rookie guard/wing Michael Gbinije will make his debut tonight. He was supposed to on Thursday, but for an unknown reason did not.

Tonight Lorenzo Brown will play the backup point guard minutes tonight. Ray McCallum did on Thursday, scoring four points, picking up three rebounds, and assisting on two baskets. In Brown’s first appearance in the preseason, he posted nine points and four rebounds. Reggie Jackson will continue to miss time as he recovers from his knee and thumb procedures.

Probable Starting Lineups

Detroit Pistons

PG: Ish Smith

SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

SF: Tobias Harris

PF: Jon Leuer

C: Andre Drummond

Philadelphia 76ers

PG: Sergio Rodriquez

SG: Gerald Henderson

SF: Robert Covington

PF: Dario Saric

C: Joel Embiid

Featured image: Mike Mulholland/MLive.com

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