Tonight the Pistons welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to the Palace at 6:00pm est. The Pistons are coming off of a trouncing of the Magic and the Bucks a narrow win over the Nets.
The Bucks are alongside the Pistons as a young and upcoming team, and they are led by the ever exciting Greek Freak, who has been spectacular through two games playing point guard, scoring tons of points and getting lots of rebounds. Jabari Parker is an intriguing player who still isn't much of a shooter, but he can score at the hoop and is a excellent back door cutter. Matthew Dellavedova, is still doing his thing as a secondary ball hander to Giannis, shooting 3s and defending point guards. Miles Plumlee is starting at center and is a decent rim runner and protector. Mirza Teletovic can shoot and is fairly irresponsible with his shooting, Tony Snell might suck at everything but maybe the Bucks can get him to be alright. Greg Monroe is coming off the bench as a 6th man to roast backups, Rashad Vaughn is a good shooter, and John Henson is their 3rd big right now who is a long armed terror. Malcolm Brogdon might actually be their best point guard, Michael Beasley is still Michael Beasley, and Jason Terry is really old. This is a team with very real talent, but the pieces are kind of odd and they are still kind of trying to figure it out.
Matchups to watch:
Pistons vs. Giannis: Its that time again, the opposing team's best player is too big for KCP to guard and not a center so Andre can't check him either. On top of that, Giannis has looked awesome through two games, getting to the rim almost at will and scoring hugely efficiently. If the Pistons want to win this game they have got to keep him in check somehow, Marcus Morris should be the primary defender on him most of the game, and he will have his work cut out.
The centers: The Bucks feature 3 guys at the center spot who are all (probably) good enough to be starting, Plumlee starts but plays the least (so far) and it will be a challenge for Andre and Baynes going against fresh guys all game.
Pistons vs. good defense: The Pistons played wonderful defense against the Magic, and that was the catilyst to their huge win. It was partially just bad shooting by the Magic, but it was not on accident, and it showed that when they can crowd the paint, this Pistons team is long, quick, and athletic. The Bucks feature similar shooting problems as the Magic do, so hopefully the Pistons can put in a similarly excellent defensive performace.
KCP vs. Staying in his lane: I truthfully think KCP played as well in the last game as he has in a long time. He can take more shots if they are open, but avoiding the bad play on offense while playing suffocating defense will be important for KCP again. In particular I want to see him continue to throw good passes. On the down side, the Bucks don't feature any good matchups for him to take on defense.
Pistons vs. turnovers: The Pistons, particularly Ish Smith, have done a great job of avoiding turnovers this year (including preseason) and it will be important that they continue to make smart plays tonight. The Bucks have a lot of length and can create lots of turnovers.
Bench vs. Not eternal sadness? The bench was excellent last game, if they can play close to that most of the time then the Pistons will be in great shape.
Andre free throws? Knocks on wood.
So in conclusion...
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Andre is dominating whatever centers the Bucks throw at him.
Morris manages to keep Giannis in check.
The Bucks continually drive into crowded lanes only to kick them out for bricked 3s and long 2s.
Run for the hills if:
The Pistons are committing lots of turnovers.
Giannis is eating the Pistons alive.
Greg Monroe is against Baynes at any time.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Andre has a 20/20 game. (if it hadn't been such a blowout I would have been right with this one last time.)
Giannis scores 30.
Ish does not turn the ball over.
The Bucks struggle to get any offense other than Giannis and the Pistons turn in a good offensive performance to win a fairly close game.
What do you think? How will Andre do? Will the Pistons manage to contain Giannis?