Game Preview: Pistons look to end 4-game skid against the Miami Heat
Tonight the Detroit Pistons (4-4) return home to take on the Miami Heat (3-5) at 7pm EST / 4pm PST.
The Pistons have now lost four straight games while the Heat have lost their last three. Most NBA analysts believed both teams would make the playoffs in the east so both teams are desperate for a win. Pistons Coach Dwayne Casey is rumored to make a change to the starting lineup and it will probably be either Reggie Jackson or Stanley Johnson to the bench.
Detroit’s biggest problem is that they simply cannot shoot and they are hoping either Glen Robinson III or Ish Smith may help the starting lineup. Pistons are currently ranked 27th in the league in overall field-goal percentage (42.9) and 28th in 3-point shooting (30.5).
“Everybody wants this really big formula but that’s what it comes down to,” coach Dwanye Casey said. “We’re doing a lot of good things and once we make shots, shots that we work on every day and guys make every day in practice, we’re going to be OK.”
Despite the teams struggles, Blake Griffin has excelled, scoring 28.6 points per game while grabbing 10.9 rebounds and dishing 4.5 assists. Last game against Philly Griffin dominated, posting 38 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists.
Andre Drummond has been on a little bit of a roller coaster lately but overall is having an excellent season averaging 17.6 points and 15.4 rebounds per game.
“Some games we’ve missed shots, some games we’ve been lackadaisical on defense, so you know it is important to be better out of the gate and getting down and defending,” power forward Blake Griffin said.
For the Heat, shooting guard Josh Richardson is having a breakout season, leading the team with 20.8 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from behind the arc. As usual Goran Dragic has the keys to the offense and is having his typical solid season, scoring 17.7 points with 5.0 assists. With Hassan Whiteside out, expect Bam Adebayo to have an uptick in minutes. Last game Adebayo played a season-high 31 minutes and scored two points with seven rebounds, two assists, and two blocks against the Hawks on Saturday.
Unlike the Pistons, the Heat are having no problem scoring but they cannot stop anyone on defense.
“We can score. Look, in any one of these games, we’ve had over 110,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve put enough points on the board where typically we’d be in the driver’s seat. But we haven’t been able to defend consistently enough throughout the course of the game to put ourselves in a real position to have some success.”
Overall, the Pistons have a great chance to win this game if they can simply hit shots. It will be very interesting to see how Casey changes the starting lineup to achieve this goal.
Regarding injuries, Pistons Reggie Bullock (ankle) is a game-time decision while the Heats Goran Dragic (toe) is expected to play. Hassan Whiteside and Luke Kennard are out.
Featured Image: Duane Burleson Associated Press