Opponent Scouting: Brooklyn Nets. (2-5)
Tonight at 7:30pm EST the Pistons will be in Hipster Heaven to play against the Nets. The Pistons are on the second game of a back-to-back following a defeat to the Boston Celtics last night. The Nets are on one day of rest after losing to the Knicks on Monday.
The Pistons of course played against the Nets on opening night. Since then, both teams are in a similar place. The nets are competitive but not all that good, the Nets sport the 18th best offensive efficiency in the NBA by scoring 108 points per 100 possessions (which is one spot ahead of the Pistons btw) along with the 21st defensive efficiency by allowing 112.1 points per 100 possessions. Those combine to give the Nets the 22nd net rating in the NBA at -4.1 points per 100 possessions.
Despite their 2-5 record and generally not being an overly impressive team, there is some good for this Nets team. First off, its ok that they lose because THEY HAVE THEIR DRAFT PICK YAAAY. Seriously I feel so good for Nets fans that their terror is now over. There is some good news too within losses, Caris LeVert has continued where he started against the Pistons, scoring 19 points and dishing 4.6 assists per game. D’Angelo Russell has shifted into a lot more off-ball stuff and has been on fire from deep, he’s scoring 16.7 points per game and shooting 47% from deep. Joe Harris starts on the wing, he’s a really good shooter who tries hard in other areas, Jared Dudley is STILL starting at power forward, he can shoot a little bit form deep but not a whole lot else at his age. Jarrett Allen rounds out the starting lineup at center, he’s got good bounce and is fearless going for lobs and dunks. He has to bulk up a bit but could be a really good player.
Off the bench, Spencer Dinwiddie is shooting the ball well but has not managed to retain his best trait from last year of not turning the ball over ever. Allen Crabbe is back from injury, he’s a good shooter, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a bulldog defender and even though he can’t shoot from distance he’s got some really nice inside/short range scoring ability. Ed Davis is a rock solid backup center, as is Shabazz Napier at point guard.
So to conclude, the Nets are not very good, but they are not total pushovers. They are well coached, get up a ton of threes, and generally know what they want to do and have enough young talent to get you if you are not careful. And once again, IT’S OK IF THEY LOSE BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY HAVE THEIR DRAFT PICK.
Matchups to watch:
Blake Griffin vs. Basically nothing: The Nets will probably start Jared Dudley again, and they still have no good answers for defending against Blake Griffin. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will give them at least one guy who is especially tough, but even he will be very undersized. Blake should welcome a soft Nets interior after the terror of the Celtics.
Andre Drummond vs. Jarrett Allen: Allen is jumpy and fearless, he’s also still to skinny to really handle Andre Drummond. Drummond will have to beware Allen but he should be ready to go.
Pistons vs. Caris LeVert: This was a huge issue last time out. LeVert’s skills at the in-between game makes him a real problem for the Pistons current defensive scheme. They will have to be more ready for him.
Pistons vs. Energy: Second night of a back to back on the road after a tough and close loss along with going against a team that plays with a lot of energy.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
The Pistons are containing the Nets perimeter players this time.
Reggie Bullock is still hitting shots.
Run for the hills is:
The Pistons come out flat.
Caris LeVert is still getting everything he wants.
Reggie Bullock is not starting to get his shot back and last night was a blip in a continued slump.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Blake Griffin scores many points.
Reggie Bullock hits a bunch of threes.
The Pistons do not, in fact, come out flat.
The Pistons come from start to finish and do really well.
Pistons 118 - Nets 100.
What do you think? Can the Pistons avoid disappointment? Will Blake really get going?