Tonight the Pistons travel to NYC to play the Nets at 6:00pm EST. The Nets are not very good, but they are (probably) not quite as bad as their record is. The Pistons will be looking to bounce back from a bit of a poor showing in OKC, and the Nets are looking to find some sort of flow for their team.
The Them: The Nets are not very good. They are 3-13 for a reason, their offensive rating is a mediocre 97.2, and their defense is a mediocre 104.7. Which, if you see the pattern here, makes for a pretty mediocre team. But that is part of the point, they are very mediocre, but probably not quite as bad as their record has been so far. And they do have a few players who are not too bad. Brook Lopez is a legitimately really good player. He is a really good scorer and even though he won't scare anyone too much on defense, by virtue of him being freaking huge he is actually a pretty competent paint protector. Thaddeus Young is a pretty solid two way player (even if he can't shoot much) and between Jarrett Jack and Joe Johnson they have two aging, not-what-they-once-were-but-still-occasionally-ok iso scorers. And Bojan whatsavic is a good shooter, but beyond those guys it is a pretty bleak outlook for the Nets. Once again, they have a few guys who are actually pretty good players, but they have a lot of guys who really are not good.
Matchups to Watch:
Andre Vs. Lopez: Both team's best players will be going head to head tonight. And it will be interesting to see how Lopez decides to combat Andre. So far no one has had a whole lot of success with real post play against Andre, but Lopez is huge enough and skilled enough that he might do ok. On the other hand though, Lopez is a good enough shooter that he might just do his best to go out of the paint which is something Andre has struggled to deal with a bit. HOWEVA, Andre should not have a whole lot of trouble racking up rebounds, as Lopez is not all that good a rebounder and neither is anyone else really. Young is a good rebounder for his position, but they really are lacking in large athletes to compete with Drummond. So if Drummond is able to keep Lopez under control on defense, then Drummond should have a really good game and lead the Pistons to an easy victory, if Lopez is able to go and get his numbers without too much issue then the Nets will have a chance.
Ersan vs. Guarding Thad Young: Young is a good player, and he can really score inside, and Ersan is not a great defender, as such there is a chance that Young could be in for a pretty big night, if Ersan can keep him from doing to much damage it will be a big boost to the Piston's cause.
Johnson/Jack vs. Irrational Fear: I have an irrational fear of these two, not unlike my fear of Jamal Crawford. There is a lot of evidence at this point that they are not all that good anymore, but there is always a chance that either of them could do have a big night, especially watch for Johnson, who has really struggled shooting the ball making him due for a good night shooting. Once again, there is probably not much to actually worry about here, but I still do worry a bit about it.
Bench Vs. Eternal Sadness: The bench did in fact keep up some decent play against the Thunder, (not that good mind you but not too horrible) and if that can manage to keep up its a really good sign. Especially since the Nets are one of the few teams that might actually have a bench that is close to as bad as the Pistons. Also, get well soon Spencer.
So in conclusion
Cackle with knowing glee if:
Lopez is struggling to get anything going against Andre and Andre is eating up all sorts of rebounds.
Thad Young commits several charges against Ersan.
Joe Johnson and Jarrett Jack do not decide to do a throwback Sunday.
It's the Nets, they are not good, just cackle with knowing glee if they just look bad.
Run for the hills if:
Lopez is scoring points with some amount of ease, and somehow manages to keep Andre off the boards.
Thad Young is too much for Ersan to handle and has a big night.
Joe Johnson makes my eternal fear of him very rational.
The Nets actually look like the team that has lost some really close games to good teams.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Andre has a HUGE night.
Thad Young scores close to 30 points.
The Pistons win with some ease and the Nets do not look very good.
JOE JOHNSON HAS CAUSED ME TO WET THE BED AND SO HE WILL SCORE 40 POINTS.
This might be a wickedly boring game, the Nets are pretty boring, and unless the shots are falling the Pistons are not exactly thrilling. There is also a chance that this game could become a bit one sided pretty early and just keep that way all game. But don't sleep too much on the Nets, they have a couple of good players.
What do you think? Let me know! We all get smarter!