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Preview: Warriors continue road trip against Detroit Pistons

Warriors travel to the Palace for the second game of this road back-to-back

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Game Information

Golden State Warriors (26-4) vs Detroit Pistons (14-17)

How to watch?

Date: Thursday December 23, 2016

Location: The Palace — Auburn Hills, MI

Time: 4:30pm PST

TV: CSN Bay Area, TNT Radio: 95.7 THE GAME

Blog buddy: Detroit Bad Boys

http://www.detroitbadboys.com/

Team Metrics Comparison

The Golden State Warriors enter the second of this road back-to-back against the Detroit Pistons. The Warriors are coming off a double-digit win against the Brooklyn Nets without Draymond Green. The Pistons have underperformed so far this season, with a 14-17 record, and have lost their last four games.

The Pistons made the playoffs last year for the first time in eight years and were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. The series against the Cavaliers was closer than the record indicates and the Pistons have individually talented players in Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, with Stan Van Gundy at the helm, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has proven himself one of the leagues most capable perimeter defenders.

The Pistons record is a little deceiving, as Reggie Jackson missed 20 games due to injury, but they have lost their last four games, including double-digit losses to the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers. The latest Pistons losing streak is the third time this season they have lost at least three games in a row, and has led to a players-only meeting, and a very public criticism of the team’s effort by Van Gundy.

The Pistons have notched home wins against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers, and teams have rarely failed to play with effort against the Warriors, so expect the Pistons to come out with energy and try to change the narrative about their season with a big win against one of the premier teams in the league. The Warriors have shown in their performance against the Nets that they are prone to coasting defensively for quarters or halves at a time, especially without defensive dynamo Green and on the second game of a back-to-back.

Even without Green (who may not join the team after the birth of his son), expect the Warriors to not repeat their first-hand performance against the Nets. The team will want to set the tone going into their marquee matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day, and a big win on the road is the perfect way to do so. Javale McGee played limited minutes against the Nets so he will be rested for a tough matchup against Drummond.

The Warriors held the Nets to just 36 points in the second half, a little more than half of the 65 allowed in the first half. Pistons are certainly a tougher matchup than the Nets. They do not want to lose five games in a row and will defend home court in front of what is sure to be a sell-out crowd, but expect a Warriors grind-it-out win.

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