What: Detroit Pistons vs. Denver Nuggets
Where: Pepsi Center Denver, CO
The 2014-15 Detroit Pistons season gets underway in the Rocky Mountains as the Pistons take on the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Pistons are coming off a rough 2013-14 season and will look to begin anew under the guidance of new head coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be in the starting lineup tonight and Greg Monroe is suspended for this game and tomorrow night’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves for driving while impaired in the offseason. Let’s look at the keys to tonight’s game.
1.) The backcourt battle
The Pistons frontline tonight is expected to be Kyle Singler, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond and that frontline gives the Pistons an advantage or at least they’ll play to a draw with Denver’s frontline. It’ll come down to which backcourt ca make the biggest impact. Will Brandon Jennings put his preseason woes behind him or will he continue to struggle to make shots? Will Caldwell-Pope continue his strong play before his left knee sprain? Jennings and Caldwell-Pope have to outplay the Nuggets’ Ty Lawson, Gary Harris, and Randy Foye.
2.) 3-point shooting
The Pistons were 29th in 3-point percentage last season and with Van Gundy around, that ranking expects to rise. In the preseason, Detroit attempted a higher number of 3-point attempts and they were knocking them down. With shooters like Caldwell-Pope, Caron Butler, Singler, and Cartier Martin the Pistons figure to spread the floor much better than last season and give Drummond more space to operate down low. Let’s see how they do tonight in the season opener.
3.) 4th quarter execution
All last season, and even in the preseason, the Pistons’ offensive execution in the 4th quarter led to them blowing a lot of games in which they should have won. That needs to change this season and it starts with Jennings. Jennings needs to play within himself and get his teammates involved instead of jacking up a bunch of ill-advised jump shots. It’ll be very interesting to see how this team does this season. The talent is there, the coaching is there now with a guy like Van Gundy, and now it’s just a matter of putting it all together and getting it done.
The 2014-15 season is set to begin.