The last time the Golden State Warriors faced the Detroit Pistons, they were in dire need of a win. They had suffered back-to-back blowout losses to start the season, then eked by the Chicago Bulls on a miracle play by Damion Lee. They needed some sign that they could jump out to a lead, hold it, and win, even against a bad team.
And that’s kind of where they are now. The Warriors last five games have featured three blowout losses, and two wins over the worst team in the NBA, sans its two All-Stars. They need a tune-up game, and the mediocre Pistons provide a great opportunity for that.
Who: Golden State Warriors (10-9) vs. Detroit Pistons (5-14)
When: 7:00 p.m. PT
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
Projected starting lineups:
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Pistons: Delon Wright, Wayne Ellington, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, Mason Plumlee
Warriors: Lost to the Suns 114-93 — 2-3 in their last 5 games
Pistons: Beat the Lakers 107-92 — 2-3 in their last 5 games
Prior to the baseball series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Steve Kerr adjusted his starting lineup by replacing James Wiseman with Kevon Looney.
It’s been a step in the right direction, but it’s clear that the starting lineup still just isn’t working at all. The Warriors are running out of time to prove that the lineup can work. Will Kerr tinker with it more, and replace Kelly Oubre Jr.? Will he put Wiseman back in?
Probably not, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. And more than anything, keep an eye on how the starting lineup does. They need to find a way to click, somehow or some way.
Players to watch
Warrior to watch: Draymond Green.
When Draymond Green first returned to the lineup after missing the first four games of the season, he looked utterly dynamic. He was playing sensational defense, setting up teammates, and directing traffic.
But the last few games haven’t been vintage Green. He’s been fine, but far short of dynamic. Especially against a team like Detroit, Green needs to return to star form.
Piston to watch: Jerami Grant.
Grant shocked a lot of people this offseason when he decided to leave a title-contending team to join the lottery-bound Pistons. But he claimed he wanted a bigger role, and that’s exactly what he found.
After averaging just 7 shots per game during his first six seasons, Grant is averaging a whopping 18 attempts per game this year. He’s the Pistons focal point, and he’s making the most of his opportunity, averaging 24.4 points per game — 17th in the league.
He’s a ridiculously good athlete who can beat you in transition, on the post, behind the arc, or on the offensive glass. The Dubs will have their hands full.
Matchup to watch: Eric Paschall vs. the Pistons bench.
After a borderline dominant stretch, Paschall has cooled off considerably as of late. But he’s still capable of feasting on the right matchup.
The Pistons bench features plenty of centers who struggle on defense, and Paschall could do serious work as a small ball 5. A big game from him could go a long way towards a win.
Keys to victory
- Take advantage of how big Detroit is, and get out and run.
- Steph Curry needs to look for his shot early and often.
- At least 15 made three-pointers from the team.
- Fly around the court on defense.
Back in the win column, yeah?