Tonight the Pistons (35-43) travels to Houston to play the Rockets (53-25). The game is an 8:00 EST tip off.
Detroit: Smith, Caldwell-Pope, Morris, Ellenson, Drummond
Houston: Beverley, Harden, Ariza, Williams, Capela
Well, the Pistons season is basically over. The playoffs aren’t happening, so now we go through the formality of playing the last four meaningless games of the Pistons schedule. However, there are still reasons to tune in and catch the action. Tonight, I’ll be watching two things specifically. For the Pistons side of things, I’ll want to see rookie Henry Ellenson.
Coach Stan Van Gundy said the rookie power forward will get an “extended” look in these last four games. It turns out he will actually start for Detroit. This is very exciting to me, someone who has wanted to see more of the big man all year. It’s particularly important considering that he could be a part of the Pistons regular rotation next season. I want to see how he looks getting significant minutes. Can he rebound against NBA players? Can he consistently hit threes in this league? Can he defend at all, in the post or on the perimeter? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but hopefully we begin to get some kind of an idea what Ellenson can bring to the table at an NBA level. I hope to see him start and play 25+ minutes in these last four games, just to see where he is at in the developmental process.
The other reason I’ll be watching tonight is MVP candidate, James Harden. Harden has put the Rockets on his back this year and is having one of the greatest seasons you’re ever going to see. He’s averaging 29.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per night. you can’t even rank up those kind of insane stats in video games. If it weren’t for Russell Westbrook rewriting the NBA record book for most triple doubles in a season, Harden would be the hands down, no question MVP. So even though he’s going to be playing against then Pistons, let’s just all take this opportunity to sit back and really enjoy greatness as it’s happening before our eyes.
Pistons: Reggie Jackson will be out for the rest of the season
Houston: Sam Dekker and Ryan Anderson are expected to be out for the Rockets