Wednesday the Pistons (21-27) return home after a short, but painful, two game road trip. They hope to right the ship against a Pelicans (19-30) who have been slightly worse than Detroit this season. The game is a 7:30 EST tip off.
Detroit: Jackson, Caldwell-Pope, Morris, Leuer, Drummond
New Orleans: Holiday, Hield, Hill, Motiejunas, Davis.
Of course when talking about the Pelicans you have to talk about their super star big man Anthony Davis. Pistons fans might still remember the monster game he had last year when he put up 59 points and 20 boards. Currently, Davis ranks 5th in the NBA in points per game at 28.0. He has solid post moves and has become a good shooter including 30% from three point range. On top of that he averages over 12 rebounds a night and is one of the elite defenders in basketball. To say he’s one of the best players in the game would be selling him short.
Luckily for Detroit, the rest of New Orleans roster is pretty manageable. They only have two other player who average double digit points a game in Jrue Holiday and Terrance Jones. E’Twaun Moore and Tyreke Evans are averaging 9.8 and 9.9 ppg respectively. Overall this a roster of role players that doesn’t have any major match up problems outside of Davis and Holiday.
That is reflected by the Pelicans recent success, or rather lack there of. While the are 2-3 in their last five games with wins over the Spurs and Cavs, they also game up 143 points to the Nets last week. In general their defense isn’t very good. They give up more than 106 points per game and they’ve given up more than that in four of their last five.
However, the Pistons don’t come in any better. Over the last 10 games they are 4-6, just like New Orleans. The one thing that plays in Detroit’s favor is they’re at him where they usually put up a better effort. They’ve won three of their last four at the Palace with wins over the Hornets, Hawks and Wizards.
In Detroit’s loss to the Celtics on Monday, we saw Andre Drummond absolutely dominate. 28 points and 22 rebounds in the four point loss in Boston. While I don’t expect him to put up the same numbers while going against Davis, I hope to see the same aggressiveness from him. He attempted 19 shots which was the most on the team. More than just lobs and put backs, Drummond carried the offense for portions of the game with his post moves. Even in a loss, that kind of confidence from him is critical for the Pistons future success.
Key match up:
Of course everyone will be watching the clash of giants between Drummond and Davis, but I’m going to go in a different direction on this one. Instead I’ll focus on the point guard battle between Jackson and Holiday. The Pistons cannot allow Holiday to be a second big scoring option. If Jackson can outplay Holiday, in both scoring and creating opportunities for his teammates, then I think the Pistons have a great chance to win this game.
Power forward Dante Cunningham is expected to miss tonight’s game for the Pelicans.