The Detroit Pistons (21-17), following an impressive win over the Houston Rockets, will head south to face the New Orleans Pelicans (19-19). Despite the record discrepancy, the Pelicans are favored by 5.5 points in tonight’s matchup.
In that surprise win over the Rockets, the Pistons were without Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson, and Andre Drummond. It looks like Detroit will get at least one of those players back.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) January 8, 2018
Getting Drummond back is a huge plus for the Pistons. The Pelicans boast two of the best bigs in the league in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, both of whom are averaging over 25 points and ten rebounds per game. Going up against them without Drummond would’ve been extremely difficult to watch. Expect to see Eric Moreland as well, who had his two-way contract picked up by the Pistons. Stanley Johnson is reportedly less probable to play tonight than Drummond.
New Orleans is a bizarre team, but Davis and Cousins present matchup problems all over the court. In a league where guards and stretch forwards are in such high-demand, the Pelicans are going against the grain with two outstanding big men. They’re one of the best offensive teams, placing top five in the NBA in field goal percentage (2nd), assists (2nd), true shooting percentage (4th), and effective field goal percentage (3rd). Defensively, they’re in the bottom third of the league in overall rating. Similar with the Rockets matchup, the Pistons should be able to operate their offensive comfortably.
If the Pistons can sneak out a win down in the bayou, the following three games are quite favorable. After New Orleans, Detroit will face the Nets, Bulls, and Hornets, all of whom are not in the playoff picture right now. Weathering the injuries is critical for the Pistons right now, though a trade may be coming down the pipe.
(Featured image by Derick Hingle/USA Today Sports)