Wednesday, April 10th @ 8 pm EST
Madison Square Garden in New York
How to Watch:
Tune into FSD or listen in on WWJ-950.
On Wednesday night, the Pistons will look to clinch just their 2nd playoff berth in the last ten seasons. They’ll have to get through a young and energetic Knicks team that is looking to “ruin” the Pistons season. Dennis Smith Jr said the Knicks would embrace the role of the spoiler, knowing they are playing for pride at this point, they would love to derail the Pistons roller-coaster season. The Pistons have struggled recently, losing 4 in a row before an incredible 22-point comeback victory last night vs. Memphis (100-93). However, we’ve seen time and again this season how streaky this team can be. Perhaps all they needed was to see a W in the column to break out of their recent funk, which appeared to be plaguing everybody on the roster.
Many fans, I’m sure, will not take comfort in last nights game. The Pistons got down big early against a Memphis team that was trotting out glorified G-Leaguers. The Pistons and their playoff hopes seemed to be dead in the water. Down 19 at halftime, the Pistons showed no signs of life. However, in the second half, we saw a complete transformation, which this team is notorious for. Ish Smith and Luke Kennard, both who had been struggling in the last month, led the Pistons second-half charge on offense. Andre Drummond continued his dominance and led the Pistons defensive charge, and they were able to complete the comeback victory.
If the Pistons want to make the playoffs and have any success once there, they will need to push this transformation back even more. We know from their February stretch that this team is capable. Their biggest issue over the last month has been poor shooting & poor defensive rebounding. We saw the Pistons take a small step forward in terms of shooting in the second half last night. Luke Kennard hit some clutch 3 pointers, Ish Smith added some fancy shots and the shooting percentage skyrocketed in that fourth quarter. It will be huge for the Pistons if shooters like Langston Galloway, Wayne Ellington and Reggie Jackson can follow their lead and get back on track.
It will be interesting to see if the Pistons can use last night’s victory as a turning point. If they beat the Knicks, they will certainly need to turn the page, or risk being swept out for the 3rd time in their last three playoff appearances. The Knicks will not give this game away. The Pistons will have to earn their way into the playoffs. If they carry their 2nd half shooting over to tonight, we should see a Pistons playoff berth.
Things to Watch:
- Ish Smith has turned it around in the last two games, will this continue?
- Will Blake Griffin play at all?
- Wayne Ellington has gone cold from deep, can he turn it around?
- Will the Pistons win the rebound battle?
- Pistons can clinch the seven seed with a win, a Charlotte Win and a Nets win.
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