Game Preview: Pistons fly out West, face Blake Griffin & the undefeated Clippers
Tonight, the Detroit Pistons (3-2) face the only undefeated team left in the NBA, the Los Angeles Clippers (4-0). The Detroit Pistons will be looking for their first back-to-back victory of the year and they will have their work cut out for them at the Staples Center.
Probable Starting Lineups:
PG: Reggie Jackson SG: Avery Bradley SF: Stanley Johnson PF: Tobias Harris C: Andre Drummond
Los Angeles Clippers
PG: Patrick Beverley SG: Austin Rivers SF: Danilo Gallanari PF: Blake Griffin C: DeAndre Jordan
The Los Angeles Clippers are playing really good basketball right now and they are the surprise of the league. During the offseason, the Clippers traded their franchise superstar, Chris Paul, for a new beginning in Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and others. So far this season, Beverley and Williams have been great additions. Beverley’s tenacity on defense (2.8 steals per game, 3rd in NBA) has been contagious, as the Clippers are giving up the least amount of points per game (91.8) in the NBA. Lou Williams, the Clippers sixth man, has been instant offense off the bench, pouring in 14.3 points per game.
With Paul out of the way, Blake Griffin is finally able to lead the offense and he has not disappointed. Griffin has been nearly unstoppable as a point-forward, scoring 26.3 points per game (7th in NBA) while dishing 4.5 assists (4th amongst power forwards) and collecting 9.3 rebounds. Last game, Blake a hit a game-winning three against the Portland Trail Blazers.
DeAndre Jordan is currently doing his best Bill Russell impression as he’s averaging 18.3 rebounds per game and veteran forward, Danilo Gallinari, has fit very well into the Clippers selfless offense. Gallinari is currently averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
As a team, the LA Clippers have demonstrated excellent ball security, averaging the least amount of turnovers per game (13.0) in the NBA and they are shooting 46.5% from the field (9th in NBA) and 37.1% from behind the arc (6th in NBA).
Regarding injuries, Milos Teodosic, who remains out indefinitely with a plantar fascia injury in his left foot, will not be playing today. Austin Rivers, who suffered a gruesome dislocated pinky last game, is questionable as well as Jamil Wilson.
The Detroit Pistons are coming off a great win against the Minnesota Timberwolves (122-102) as Tobias Harris led the team in scoring with 34 points.
The Pistons are currently averaging 106.4 points per game (13th in NBA) on 46.3% shooting from the field (10th in NBA) and 34.3% shooting from downtown (16th in NBA).
Reggie Jackson continues to get back into shape, as he’s averaging 15.2 points and 6.2 assists per game. Avery Bradley is starting to find his stroke as he dropped 20 points last game and Andre Drummond has shown a lot more effort this year. Dre’s currently averaging 15.8 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. Off the bench, Ish Smith continues to be the catalyst of the offense. Last game Smith dished out 13 assists and finished with a +/- of 20 in 21 minutes.
No listed injuries for the Pistons and Reggie Bullock will be eligible to play for the first time this year after serving his five game suspension.
Featured Image: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill