Phoenix Suns at Detroit Pistons Preview
On Wednesday night, the Phoenix Suns will face off against the Detroit Pistons for the first time this season. Ironically, the two teams have been in recent discussions about a potential Luke Kennard to Phoenix trade ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. Both teams are currently sitting in the bottom third of their respective conferences and continue to struggle. The Suns will be looking to end their three-game losing streak. This will be an important game for Phoenix because their next three games are against superior Western Conference teams in the Rockets, Nuggets, and Lakers. The Pistons are also coming off a loss in their last contest against the Grizzlies. Prior to their game in Memphis, the Pistons ended a 5-game losing streak against a tough Nuggets squad. Detroit will look to prevent the start of another losing skid.
Time: 6 PM CST
Arena: Little CaesarsArena, Detroit. MI
Channel: Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Arizona
Suns: Aron Baynes (Out), Cameron Johnson (Out), Frank Kaminsky (Out), Dario Saric (Questionable), Tyler Johnson (Questionable), Ty Jerome (Questionable),
Pistons: Blake Griffin (Out), Luke Kennard (Out), Markieff Morris (Questionable), Derrick Rose (Questionable), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Questionable), Khyri Thomas (Out)
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup
Phoenix was not able to overcome an efficient Brooklyn team on Monday. A clear thorn in the side of the Suns has been the injury bug. Frontcourt contributors Aron Baynes, Frank Kaminsky, Cameron Johnson has all missed more than 5+ games in a row to go along with Dario Saric missing the last two games. With this lack of depth amongst their bigs the Suns have looked to Deandre Ayton even more and he has produced since returning from suspension.
It is difficult to pull positives from a 22-point loss, especially one in which Devin Booker struggled (11 points on 3-15 from the field) but Deandre Ayton put up one of his best performances of the year on Monday. He led the Suns in scoring (25), rebounds (17), and assists (5). Despite the loss, Ayton’s performance is a good sign. Kelly Oubre also had a positive impact on this game whose 21 points were the 3rd highest in the game.
The Suns do a great job of playing with pace and in transition. They are a top 10 team in Pace, which estimates the number of possessions a team has per 48 minutes. This paired along with their ability to create turnovers (3rd most opponent turnovers per game in the NBA) gives them the ability to play face and capitalize on those turnovers. Phoenix should have an opportunity to get out and run against the Pistons.
Detroit Pistons Starting Lineup
Detroit was able to turn in an impressive win against the Nuggets to stop their 5-game skid, but they were back in the loss column on Monday night. The lost a tough 96-82 game against the Grizzlies which as you can probably guess by the score was not a good team performance whatsoever.
Pistons head coach Dwayne Casey opted to run a uber short 8-man rotation amongst Detroit’s vast injury issues. This was their second-lowest scoring total of the year and it was due to a very inefficient shooting night. As a team, the Pistons shot a woefully 34% from the field and 30% from deep. On top of the inefficient shooting Detroit only attempted 9 free throws. Amongst the starters, Andre Drummond was virtual the only bright spot putting up 25 points and 18 rebounds. Christian Wood and Langston Galloway may have carved out more minutes for themselves each scoring 17 points off the bench. Reggie Jackson and Sekou Doumbouya had extremely poor games. They both were abysmal from the field going 1-16 and 2-15 respectively. Doumbouya had an up and down rookie year while Jackson has been underwhelming since returning from injury.
The Pistons haven’t had much success all year and should be in for an uphill battle against a beatable Suns team. One key I have for the Pistons is to try and get their 3-point shooters going to supplement Drummond’s inside presence. They have surprisingly been top 5 in the league in 3-point percentage. Although they’ll be missing great shooters such as Kennard and most likely Mykhailiuk, they still have sharpshooters in Snell, Galloway, and even stretch four Christian Wood.
Key Player Matchup
Deandre Ayton vs Andre Drummond
The key matchup in this one will be a battle on the interior. Both Ayton and Drummond are dominant rebounders and do virtually all their damage within 15 feet. Both of these centers also average over 4 offensive rebounds per game so it will be interesting to see if one of them can impose their will.
One play that is hard to ignore in this game is Andre Drummond. Even with the tough matchup against Ayton I think he is worth the $9,900 price tag. There is a lot of value guys in this game due to the number of injuries on both sides. Mikal Bridges ($4,900), Christian Wood ($4.500), Tony Snell ($3,700), and Langston Galloway ($3,700) all have the potential for more volume than their price tag warrants if you are looking to fill out the bottom of your lineup.
Bet on Matchup
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