What: Detroit Pistons vs. Atlanta Hawks
Where: Philips Arena Atlanta, GA
The Detroit Pistons will head out on the road and try to end a 3-game losing skid. They’ll face Josh Smith‘s former team, the Atlanta Hawks, to try and get that done. In four games against his former team last season, he averaged 9.3 points on 30.8 percent shooting. This season, Smith is shooting a career worst 36.9 percent. Here’s what it’s going to take for the Pistons to steal one on the road tonight:
1.) The Pistons have been frustrated recently over the losing.Their job is to take that frustration out on the Hawks and go get a victory. In their 88-86 loss to the Suns on Wednesday, Detroit allowed Eric Bledsoe to walk in for a game-winning layup. Also worth noting, coach Stan Van Gundy benched Josh Smith late in the 3rd quarter and he didn’t re-enter the game, but that’s for another story. The big thing, obviously, is giving up a game-winning layup. That can’t happen tonight.
2.) Brandon Jennings has been playing well recently and the Pistons have been close to getting a few wins. Jennings scored 19 points against Phoenix despite shooting 1/9 from deep and his strong play needs to continue. Jennings needs to do a solid job defending Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who’s averaging 15.8 points and 7 assists this season. Much like Jennings, Teague is the key to the Hawks engine. It will be interesting to see who will come out the winner of the point guard battle. If you win the point guard battle, you most likely win the game.
3.) The Pistons need to score the ball. They need to complement that top-10 defense they have and put the ball in the hoop. More contributions from guys like Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would definitely help. Drummond looks like he is thinking too much out there and not playing on his instincts. Drummond is Detroit’s best player and he needs to start playing like it. They need contributions from everybody on this team and it will only help if Drummond can get it going.
Prediction: Pistons 102 Hawks 91