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Warriors vs. Pistons preview: Golden State welcomes Detroit to the Bay

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The Pistons make their lone appearance in Oakland on Monday night. How does this young upstart team match up against the undefeated Warriors?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Matchup

Golden State Warriors
7-0 (4-0 Home)

vs.

Detroit Pistons
5-1 (3-0 Road)

Details

November 9, 2015

Oracle Arena - Oakland, CA

7:30 p.m. PST

Local TV: CSN - CA, Bay Area | Radio: KNBR 680 AM

Blog Buddy: Detriot Badboys

Projected Starters

Stephen Curry

G

Reggie Jackson

Klay Thompson

G

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Harrison Barnes

F

Ersan Ilyasova

Draymond Green

F

Marcus Morris

Festus Ezeli

C

Andre Drummond

Key Injuries

Andrew Bogut (Questionable) – Concussion

Kevon Looney (Out) — Hip surgery

Brandon Jennings (Out) — Achilles

Jodie Meeks (Out) — Foot

The Warriors: Nobody could say that the Warriors looked sharp on Friday night in Sacramento. With easily their worse performance of the year, they let an undermanned Kings team stay in the game all the way into the fourth quarter. As Boogie Cousins stared on from the sidelines, the hungrier Sacramento squad not only kept the Warriors honest, but kept them working up till the end of the night. Sacramento has always been a tough place to play, and new editions like Rajon Rondo filled up the stats sheet against a tired, disinterested Warriors squad who kept throwing up bricks like they had forgotten you could still shoot layups.

We cannot expect Golden State to blow out every opponent. There will be nights when they don't bring their A-game, and the sign of a truly great team is that they don't allow their off nights to turn into losses. They still felt in control when the buzzer sounded, never allowing the Kings to pull away. I actually like a few of the things that I have seen out of coach Walton: his interest in mixing in the younger talent with a short leash with the starters. He brought in Jason Thompson to run with the ones during the second quarter on Friday, and though the results weren't fantastic, you have to try to see the best fit for everyone. Look for more of this going into Monday's match up with the Pistons, especially with the beast Andre Drummond out there. He will need all healthy bodies on deck to go against the big man as it appears we still don't have a time table for Andrew Bogut's return. They will have to evoke the same group rebounding that we see against DeAndre Jordon or other of the league's big men.

Also, it was great to see contributions continue to come in from players not named Stephen Curry. As Klay Thompson continues to shake off the offseason cobwebs that come from Vegas trips and Instagram girlfriends, he has yet to have the breakout performance that we are looking for. That, along with the continued search for Harrison Barnes' consistency have left the team often looking to Steph Curry to continue to hit big shots when things are hard. But guys like Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green have supported just enough to help get by. To think what this team can do when more of it's key parts are hitting on all cylinders.

The Pistons represent a young up-and-coming team rounding out and starting to control their place in the East. They have gotten off to a solid start, and will look to prove to people that they belong by throwing their best challenge at the defending champs. They bring a balanced attack to their opponents - 4 of their 5 starters average in double figures points-wise. Stan Van Gundy has his guys playing good defense (2nd in Defensive Rating, 2nd in Points Allowed per game). KCP has emerged as a legitimate gunner and scorer after his late-season surge in 2014-15, and Detroit has every reason to believe they will be a legit contender in the weak Eastern conference, possibly looking at a top 5 seed after missing the playoffs last season.

Their weakness? After their starters, they quickly drop off from a quality standpoint. Stanley Johnson is still a rookie, and though he is contributing on the wings he is shooting under 30% to start the season. The Pistons can only go as far as their starters can take them unless they get a shock from a consistent bench producer (old friends of the bay Anthony Tolliver and Steve Blake are big minutes guys off the bench), they will have a clear ceiling. It's possible when Brandon Jennings makes his eventual return (or maybe a trade?) that Detroit can find more weapons, but until then they will continue to lean on those starters for all they can get.


Predictions:

Since the Niners won an ugly game on this past football Sunday, we will predict the results of this game using football analogies:

The Pistons are a team with a solid running game that like to control the clock. They don't have the strongest roster in the NFL, but they get great production from their core guys and skill players. They win by forcing your team into playing their game and control the ball as much as possible. They would rather keep the score low because they don't have the players to out-gun you, but still have enough weapons to keep you honest if it is close.

The Warriors are a highly efficient high powered offense who will run you off the field. They not only bring a league-leading defense to the field, but their offense, lead by the MVP at quarterback, can beat you in so many ways it's hard to keep up. They are chameleons: they can play your ground game just as well as they can force you into playing their fast paced game. They get contributions from everywhere, and often it is the secondary guys in the field that do the small things right that usually wear you out. They don't feature the big bodies in the middle, but they counter this by running circles around your front line and wearing them out, making them useless.

The Pistons might match up well against many teams in the NBA, but the Warriors are not one of them. Count in that the Warriors simply don't lose at home anymore, and I have a hard time seeing Detroit keeping this one close (especially coming off a road back-to-back).

Win Prediction: Warriors win it by 22, 110- 88 with many of the starters staring on from the bench early into the fourth