Opponent Scouting: Atlanta Hawks. (Preseason)
Tonight at 7:00 pm EST the Pistons will host the Atlanta Hawks for their second preseason game after a loss to the Hornets on Wednesday.
The Hawks are among the number of teams who are figuring to be real bad this year. I'm not sure how many of their guys they are going to play or how much they will play as this is their 3rd preseason game.
The team that led to the moniker of “Spurs East” is dead and gone now with the trading of Kyle Korver and the departure of Paul Millsap and they are more or less in rebuilding mode. Dennis Schroder is probably their best player at point guard, and while he isn't great he has shown some real ability. Kent Bazemore is a very good defender who is looking to bounce back after a pretty miserable offensive year last year. Our old friend Ersan Ilyasova is in Atlanta this year as well and there is no reason to think he will do anything other than the good job of spacing the floor he has done his whole career. Taurean Prince is a wrecking ball who could end up being good, DeWayne Dedmon is a decent athlete, Marco Belinelli can still shoot. They have one of the bad plumlee's on their team as well. This team could end up being better than people think with the right combination of young guys getting better and good coaching, but their best case scenario is probably a nice story about chasing the last spot in the playoffs late into the season and they probably won't actually sniff that.
Matchups to watch:
Reggie vs. Playing: As of the writing of this, they have not decided if he will play or not. Seeing if he looks healthy or not remains the biggest thing I want to see from this preseason and until we start to get some actual evidence that he is going to be healthy this year, there will remain an uneasy energy around the team.
Andre vs Pink Eye: Andre apparently was isolated from the team in practice yesterday with a case of pink eye. As such there is a chance that he will not play tonight. As of now no decision has been made.
Pistons vs Shooting 3s: I brought this up in the recap of the last game, but I really don't want any more plays were a long two is the designed outcome. Avery Bradley and Luke Kennard should come off of screens beyond the long line, not a foot inside it.
Tobias vs Rage: I kind dig trash-talking Tobias getting a tech in a preseason game. I'm all behind Dark Tobias.
Pistons vs General cohesion: It is to be expected to an extent in preseason, but there was some definite cohesion issues on both sides of the court in the last game with dumb turnovers and bad communication. Look for it to hopefully improve.
NO ONE GET HURT: The Hornets lost their second best player for 8-12 weeks on Wednesday. Please don't let something like that happen to the Pistons.
So in conclusion...
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Reggie Jackson plays, and he looks real good.
The Pistons decide that taking, and hitting 3s is actually a good thing.
No one gets hurt.
Run for the hills if:
Someone gets hurt.
Reggie plays but doesn't look good.
LONG TWOS FOREVER BABY.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Its preseason who cares about these predictions anyways?
What do you think? What are you looking for tonight?