The 3-6 Pistons are back home after a 1-3 West Coast swing to face the 3-6 New York Knicks. The Knicks and Pistons share a common theme, although it was assumed the Pistons’ wouldn’t be as bad as its been, in that they have putting disjointed lineups on the floor while searching for the right combination of defense to go with their offense. While the Pistons have all their players healthy for the most part, the Knicks are hurting for big man help with Tyson Chandler being out with a broken leg and Amare Stoudemire relegated to 12th man status for Coach Woodson.
- The good:Home sweet home, finally… The Pistons have struggled in recent seasons on trips to the West Coast. They’re currently 2-2 at home, with 2 of their losses coming in competitive contests against 2 of the league’s best teams in Indiana and Oklahoma City.
- The bad:The Pistons are shooting 28% from 3 while their opponents are shooting 39%. A lot of the opponent percentages has to do with Josh Smith and Jonas Jerebko sagging off of their man to provide help D in the paint. As former PF, it’s only natural for them to sag back to their natural spot to help Monroe or Drummond. Detroit’s shooting is a problem we knew would be there, but the percentage differential is the likely cause of 1-2 losses so far in this early season.
- The unknown:Can Josh Smith stop Imam Shumpert and can Greg Monroe guard Carmelo Anthony effectively? The Knicks are a team that likes to get up and down, while the Pistons are running a more traditional lineup of big men stuck on the block. Coach Cheeks may need to get creative with his rotations tonight in order for the Pistons to not get killed in transition.
Some familiar faces will be on the floor for Pistons fans tonight. Tim Hardaway Jr., standout rookie from Michigan, will see time as the backup SG and SF position for the Knicks, and let’s not forget Metta World Peace is now a Knick as well. The matchup to watch is not necessarily 2 guys who will be guarding each other. Brandon Jennings and JR Smith have made waves on twitter in the last week, leading to a $25,000 fine for JR Smith for the language he used. The last thing we need is a confrontation, especially with a team that has Amare Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace on the bench. In other news JR’s brother, the center of the twitter controversy, has been assigned to the D League and will not suit up in street clothes for tonight’s game.
Tip off is at 7:30 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports . If you can’t catch the game on TV, catch it on the radio over at 97.1 the Ticket.