Golden State Warriors vs. Detroit Pistons
How to watch
Date: Sunday October 29, 2017
Time: 5:30pm PST
Location: Oracle Arena - Oakland, CA
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
Radio: 95.7 THE GAME
Last update 10/28/17
Warriors: Shaun Livingston
Pistons: Dwight Buycks
It's been a rough-and-tumble start to the season for the Golden State Warriors. But they have managed to build a three-game win streak, which they'll look to extend against the Detroit Pistons.
Pistons on the rise
The Pistons are not an Eastern Conference super-power, but early signs point to an improved Detroit squad.
Detroit small forward, Tobias Harris, is off to a tremendous start so far this season. He's leading his team with an average of 24.6 points-per-game, shooting 52.2% from the floor. Harris had an amazing performance last week against the New York Knicks, scoring 31 points as the Pistons came back from a 21-point deficit to topple the Knicks.
The Knicks are nowhere near as talented as the Warriors, but the Pistons' ability to dig themselves out of a hole that big is impressive. It's something to keep an eye on as the Warriors have consistently built healthy double digit leads this season, only to let opponents back into games because of some sloppy play.
Warriors Head Coach, Steve Kerr, is likely preaching to his team this week to crash the defensive boards. Not only because that has been an occasional problem for the defending champs, but also because they will be facing the league leader in offensive rebounds, Detroit Center Andre Drummond.
Detroit has been getting off to slow starts in their games this season so the Warriors should look to strike first, strike fast, and hold the lead.
Early surprise stats
It's still early in the season, and a six game sample size is small, but some Golden State players are leading the league in interesting statistical categories.
FIrst off, is Stephen Curry, who we're used to seeing lead the league in three-point field goals made (22) — which he is, tied with Klay Thompson and James Harden. But Curry is also leading the league in free throws made (50). He has seen much more time at the charity stripe and is starting to get some calls to go his way. He will inevitably be grabbed and held whenever he's running off-the-ball, but fans have to be encouraged with his uptick in trips to the free throw line.
Turning to Kevin Durant, it looks like Jerry West called it right on the nose when he told Durant that coming to the Warriors would help him elevate other parts of his game besides scoring. The Slim Reaper leads the league in total blocks (17). If he keeps this pace up for the rest of the season, he would end up with over 230 blocks. For some perspective, last season's defensive player of the year candidate, Rudy Gobert, led the league in blocks in 2016-2017 with 214.
Finally, from the old guard, David West is leading the league in field goal percentage (.778), effective field goal percentage (.796), and two-point field goal percentage (.800). An encouraging sign from the veteran forward.
There are a ton of games left, and if 2015-2016 taught us anything, regular season accolades mean little. But despite the Warriors' rocky start, these are just a few of several bright points for a Warriors team that is living up to their billing as a top-tier squad.
Detroit will serve as a good test for Golden State, as the Warriors continue to calibrate their game for their title-defense season.
Final Score: Warriors 115 - Pistons 107
High Scorer: Kevin Durant