Opponent Scouting: Brooklyn Nets. (1-3)
Tonight at 7:30pm EST. the Pistons will be in Brooklyn for a game against the Nets. The Pistons are on the 2nd night of a back to back after defeating the Knicks last night, and the Nets are on 1 days rest after getting thrashed by the Bulls on Monday.
The Nets are in basketball hell as they are not a very good team and they have no draft picks, however after this past offseason they do at least have some semblance of hope in the form of a few decent players for this year, as well as several young players with potential. They run a very odd rotation that is primaririly a 9 man rotation in which 8(!!!) guys all are over 20mpg and no one is over 30 (with Jeremy Lin leading the team at just under 30), with Luis Scola at the back end of the rotation at 17mpg.
Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez are good players, I personally think very highly of Lopez in particular. Lin is the team's primary creator and facilitator on offense, and when he is on the floor the Nets have some semblance of competency on offense, without him though they have very little offense other than “Brook plz score”. Bojan Bogdanovic is lowkey a really good offensive player who can shoot like crazy and also put it on the floor, Sean Kilpatrick is a solid rotation guy who can score points at a really high clip as well. Trevor Booker is a lunch pail kind of guy at PF who works his tail off and plays defense and gets hustle points, and while they have had him take a few 3s, he has yet to hit one. Joe Harris has looked like he may be somewhat competent as a 3 point shooter and hustle guy, I have no idea what to think of Justin Hamilton. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has looked absolutely miserable on offense but is a fearsome athlete on the defensive end. Luis Scola is still doing his thing with goofy post work and playing hard.
This is a team that does not have a ton of talent, but they do have a decent mix of solid veterans and hungry young guys. This team will play hard every minute of the game and if some of the guys other than Brook-Lin can manage to get some offensive game going they will be a tough team, if not a very good one.
Matchups to watch:
Andre vs. Lopez: Andre is the Pistons best player, Lopez is the Nets best player, and they both play center. Lopez is a behemoth who is skilled enough to give Andre some problems on both ends of the floor, but Andre has a major athleticism advantage so hopefully he can make good use of that.
Pistons vs. Lin: I hope that this is KCP, and if KCP is not spending the majority of his time on Lin then it means SVG just has no interest in putting Ish onto wings to allow KCP to take points, because this would be the game to do it. Regardless, he is their most dangerous creator and leads the team in minutes as well, so if the Pistons want to win they will have to keep him in check. (if Kilpatrick starts though, scratch the moving KCP thing.)
Pistons vs. Energy: The Pistons are facing their first back to back of the season, the Nets have a days rest and also use that wonky rotation which results in their guys playing crazy hard whenever they are on the floor. The Pistons will not be able to afford much of a letdown in terms of energy because the Nets will be playing really hard every minute.
Mobias: On an interesting note, Mobias will likely be facing the best defensive pair they have all season in RHJ and Booker. Both are really good defensive players and both figure to be able to switch onto the other guy as well. When the Nets dip into their bench there will be plenty of mismatches to go around, but against the starters the Pistons secret weapons will have a hard go of it.
Bench mobs: The Nets starters are not actually too bad, their bench is quite lacking however. The Pistons bench has actually been alright so far, and given how much they use their bench the Pistons starters will get to go at them as well. The Pistons have to capitalize against them.
So in conclusion...
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Andre is facing up and blowing by Lopez.
KCP swallows Lin completely.
The Pistons bench destroys the Nets bench.
Run for the hills if:
Andre is missing free throws badly.
Mobias is getting nothing going on the offensive end.
The Pistons look lethargic.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Andre bounces back, doesn't get to 20/20 but has a rock solid game on both ends.
Jeremy Lin scores 25 points.
Pistons ride a big game from Andre, Ish, and the bench to a comfortable win.
What do you think? Will the Pistons look tired? Can they handle Brook-Lin?