Opponent Scouting: NO Pellies. (22-25)
Tonight at 8:00pm EST the Pistons will be on the road in New Orleans to play against the Pelicans. The Pistons are on one day of rest after losing to the Wizards on Monday, while the Pellies are on one day of rest after beating the Grizzlies.
The Pelicans have a roaring offense that ranks 4th in the NBA and a terrible defense that ranks 26th. They are also now without Anthony Davis for a few weeks. Being without Anthony Davis all but ensures that they will probably blow out the Pistons.
Even without Davis, Jrue Holiday is still an absolute killer (as the Pistons learned last time around) who plays at a high level on both ends of the court. His combination of size and speed sets him apart from many other guards in the league. With Davis out, Jahlil Okafor started and played 34 minutes and was actually pretty good so i guess that’s who will start tonight. Elfrid Payton is here, he’s pretty much the same guy as before, decent passer and can score inside a bit but not all that good. E’Twuan Moore is a nice swiss-army-knife wing, Julius Randle is bullying his way to a real payday this offseason. Nikola Mirotic and Daruis Miller provide shooting off the bench, Tim Frazier is a decent backup point guard.
I don’t know if this team has any staying power without Davis. They haven’t in the past. But who knows, maybe Jahlil will finally be awesome and Jrue Holiday can find a higher gear.
Matchups to watch:
The Pistons vs. Holiday: I would guess Bruce Brown spends a lot of his night on Holiday. Jrue torched the PIstons last time these two teams played and he is a huge problem for the slow backcourt of the Pistons. If they can keep him in check there isn’t a lot of threat from elsewhere.
Andre vs. Playing: He might play tonight coming out of concussion protocol, that’d be nice.
Blake vs. Randle: Julius Randle will make Blake work on defense, but doesn’t much like to play defense himself. Should be an interesting battle of two big strong power forwards.
Jose Calderon vs. Not playing: plz
Young wings vs. Doing it: (they all had duds last game) The young wings, Thomas, Kennard, and Brown, have all played well lately and provide a nice ray of hope for the future of the team. Please keep doing that.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Blake is scoring all he wants against a soft interior.
Andre Drummond plays and obliterates Okafor.
Jrue Holiday doesn’t score 40 points.
Run for the hills if:
Jrue Holiday scores 40 points.
Elfrid Payton has one of his 3 games per season where he is awesome.
The Pistons really are broken and can’t do anything right.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
I’m too sad to make predictions tbh.