What: Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills, MI
The Detroit Pistons have earned that first win. They earned a 98-95 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday and now they are looking for more. They welcome former Pistons Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton back to the Palace tonight in a Central Division matchup. There are a few things I want you to watch in tonight’s matchup.
1.) Detroit went back to the jumbo frontline against the Knicks and it worked out fairly well. The Pistons shot the best they have in the early portion of the season from deep knocking down 11/23 and Greg Monroe was unstoppable down low with 23 points and 18 rebounds. Josh Smith had eight points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, but he shot 2/17 from the field. The good thing is, most of those misses were around the rim, he just obviously had a hard time finishing.
Andre Drummond had seven and 13 boards, but he again was in foul trouble and he has had that problem all season. If he wants to become an elite defender and player, then his individual defense has to improve. He’s a great weak side shot blocker, but his foul trouble comes from his individual defense struggles.
2.) Much like against New York, Stan Van Gundy has to use his coaching advantage over Milwaukee’s Jason Kidd. Kidd will never be confused for Phil Jackson, so Van Gundy should be able to mix and match and make adjustments on the fly to win this game. The Pistons have more talent than the Bucks so Van Gundy needs to maximize the talent on his roster.
3.) The battle of the Brandon’s will be fun to watch. Detroit’s Brandon Jennings has had played well the past two games against Brooklyn and New York and he looks to continue it against Milwaukee’s Brandon Knight. Knight is off to a terrific start this season for Milwaukee averaging 18.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.2 assists for the 2-3 Bucks. Jennings has played well against his former team averaging 20.5 points and 10.3 assists and shot 41% from the field and 50% from deep in four games last season against the Bucks. Detroit will need that type of production from Jennings to pull out the second win of the season and to try and keep moving forward.
4.) Who earns minutes off the bench in this one? Will it be Kyle Singler or will it be Jonas Jerebko? Jerebko scored 11 points in 15 minutes against the Knicks so he earned them last time out, but Van Gundy likes to throw different lineups out there every game to confuse teams. It comes down to whoever is going to make their open shots, they will get the playing time. If Singler is going to make his open 3’s, then he will play. If Jerebko continues to knock down his open 3’s, then he will get the playing time.
Prediction: Pistons 102 Bucks 94