Opponent Scouting: New York Knicks. (10-43)
Tonight at 7:00pm EST the Pistons will play their second straight game against the Knicks of New York but both teams have further changes. Both teams are on two nights of rest after the Pistons beat the Knicks in New York on Tuesday.
The Knicks are terrible. They traded away two of their competent players, Wes Matthews has now been bought out as has Enes Kanter. They are in full tank mode. They come into the game with the 27th offense and 28th defense in the NBA. They are very bad.
These days they are led by Dennis Smith Jr, who has been inefficient but he’s fun and scored a bunch against the Pistons. He can also jump very high. Frank Ntlikina and Emmanuel Mudiay are hurt, I think DeAndre Jordan survived here? The theory of Kevin Knox is a good wing player but he remains an outline of that guy, Noah Vonleh is a decent stretch 4.
Lance Thomas plays hard, Mitchell Robinson can jump high and blocks shots but also fouls a comical amount. Daymean Dotson can shoot.
This team is terrible, has been terrible all year, and is worse now.
Matchups to watch:
New guys vs. Playing: I mean, yeah. We all want to see it. As it stands now it looks like Svi is going to be ready to go, whether or not he actually plays is another matter. Thon is not likely to be all the way ready however, since that trade was only made official yesterday there will probably still need to be physicals and such done.
Rotation? Bullock, previously the Pistons best two-way wing, is gone. Stanley Johnson is also gone. Even without Thon in town, it will be interesting to see who Dwane Casey starts and who gets minutes, my money is on Kennard and Brown starting and filling in from there. The biggest beneficiary should be Khryi Thomas.
Blake Griffin vs. Minimal resistance: He killed the Knicks last time out, no reason to think it should be different tonight.
Pistons wings vs. Competence: The Pistons might have the worst wing rotation in the entire league as it now stands, certainly among non-tanking teams, (these Knicks probably have a worse wing rotation at this point) at least one of them stepping up to fill the void left by Bullock will be huge. Despite selling off a couple of pieces, the Pistons still want to win and make the playoffs. Since they are going for it anyways, may as well hope for the best.
Reggie Jackson vs. More life: He is still here, for better or worse. He’s also been really good over the last 7 games. If he can continue to produce like he has recently the Pistons will have a very good chance to make a run at a playoff spot. Especially with the gutting of the wing rotation, they will need him to carry that kind of load as well.
SHOOT IT LUKE: This is my guys shot. I’ve long been a huge proponent of Kennard’s abilities. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he is the guy who is most likely to be asked to step into Bullock’s shoes. This is your shot young fella lets see what you can do.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Blake Griffin has 20 points at half-time again.
Luke Kennard is bombing threes.
DeAndre Jordan looks totally disconnected.
Run for the hills if:
Anyone gets hurt.
The Pistons wings look totally helpless.
With such helpless wings the Pistons bigs are suffocated.
Opportunities for me to look stupid: