Opponent Scouting: Cleveland Cavaliers. (15-47)
Tonight at 5:00pm EST the Pistons will be on the road in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers. The Pistons are on two days of rest after losing to the Spurs while the Cavs are on one day of rest after beating the Knicks.
The Cavaliers are very bad, they come into this game with the 26th ranked offense and the worst defense in the NBA by a country mile. They have shown some signs of life since Kevin Love returned, having won 3 of 4 since the all-star break, but those wins were over the Suns, Grizzlies, and Knicks. Also Kevin Love is not playing tonight.
Without Love, the Cavaliers are led by Colin Sexton, who has actually been pretty effective as a scorer for the Cavs although his playmaking has been largely disastrous even by the low standards of young point guards. But he’s shot the ball better than expected and has had some really good games. Basically, Sexton still has some BIG holes in his game but there is real promise. After Sexton, Cedi Osman has actually been quite impressive, he’s often looked the part of a swiss-army knife wing on a good team despite the fact that the team around him is terrible.
After that it is an odd collection of random veterans and young guys who are hard to gauge. Pistons legend Brandon Knight is here, Ante Zizic is large, Marquese Chriss can jump very high, David Nwaba plays really hard on defense, Jordan Clarkson can score, Larry Nance Jr jumps really high. This team is bad.
Matchups to watch:
Blake Griffin vs. ????: Griffin has been pretty quiet since the break, this should be as good an opportunity for him to break out of that funk as any. Even if the Pistons are so comfortably ahead that he doesn’t play much, it’d be nice to see him look like himself again.
Andre Drummond vs. ????: Tristan Thompson is hurt, Zizic and Chriss are probably going to have to try and hold him I guess? That should work in Andre’s favor in a big way.
Pistons vs. Colin Sexton: I mean, look, Sexton isn’t very good, not yet at least. But without Kevin Love he is probably the biggest threat on this team. Maybe Clarkson?
Pistons vs Showing up to play: We’ve seen this team dick around with inferior opponents before, lets not do that here and get the win.
Pistons vs Not losing: The Pistons have been mostly fun and good lately, losing this game would really take the wind out of the sails. Lets not do that.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Blake Griffin is toying with the Cavs.
Andre Drummond has 5 dunks in the first quarter.
The Cavs offense is as bad as it should be.
Run for the hills if:
It is anything but very comfortable for the Pistons.
Opportunities for me to look stupid: