What: Detroit Pistons vs. Atlanta Hawks
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills MI
After getting burned by Miami Heat G Dwyane Wade for 40 points in a loss on Sunday that dropped the Pistons to 4.5 games back with 9 games to play, one would think that it’s time to tank. However, Stan Van Gundy has clearly showed and stated that he is not about that tanking life and he will coach every game to win. So the Pistons continue with the schedule as they host the Atlanta Hawks at the Palace tonight.
The Pistons will come out hard charging tonight as they look to avoid the season sweep at the hands of the Hawks. One suggestion might be to find a way to stop All-Star big men Al Horford and Paul Millsap who burn the Pistons every time because Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe aren’t mobile enough to go out and guard them. However, with Monroe out and Anthony Tolliver in, that gives the Pistons a more mobile defender to guard Atlanta’s bigs.
Offensively, speaking of Monroe being out, Tolliver has been just the stretch 4 that Van Gundy loves. With Reggie Jackson playing well lately leading the charge, the Pistons have been knocking down their perimeter looks. Tolliver has been leading the charge, his shooting opens up lanes for Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and helps the defensed from collapsing on Drummond. Speaking of Caldwell-Pope, now that the Pistons are back at the Palace, we should see a better KCP. His numbers at home are significantly better than on the road. He averages 15.6 points at home compared to 9.7 on the road and he shoots 35% from deep at home compared to 30.8% on the road. So we should see a better KCP than the one we saw in Miami.
All in all, these games for the Pistons are probably pointless, but they’re going to play hard and finish the season out strong. Van Gundy won’t allow anything else. So if you’re headed out to the Palace tonight, you’re going to get your money’s worth with a team that’s going to compete and try hard to get a win.
Prediction: Pistons 113 Hawks 102