The Detroit Pistons finally control their own destiny when it comes to their NBA lottery odds.
After pulling off what has been a masterclass in tanking, the Pistons now just have two games left to complete what has been one of their more productive seasons.
The Pistons have not only developed a trio of exciting rookies in Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, but have managed to keep the fans engaged and build excitement for the future, which is no easy task for a team that has won 20 games.
Dwane Casey was recognized with a contract extension that was well deserved, as he has done the job at hand just about as well as anyone could.
The Pistons sit alone with the second-worst record in the NBA, and if they lose out, that is where they will stay, which will give them maximum odds for a top pick in the NBA Draft.
The tank is nearly over, but the Pistons just need to finish it out, starting tonight vs. the Denver Nuggets.
Here’s what to watch in the penultimate must-lose game of the season.
Detroit Pistons: Who is going to defend Nikola Jokic?
The Pistons are lucky the Nuggets still have something to play for, otherwise they’d probably sit Jokic in this one, as it is the second game of a back-to-back for the Nuggets and they probably won’t need him.
He’ll probably get his season averages in the first quarter tonight, as the Pistons have literally no one who can even come close to guarding him.
Mason Plumlee and Beef Stew are both out, which leaves only Jahlil Okafor and Tyler Cook at center for the Pistons.
Okafor may be able to score in the paint, but he couldn’t stop me on the other end and I am only barely being facetious here. He might be the worst defensive center in the league.
Tyler Cook isn’t even a center, and has barely played, so it’s not like he’s going to step in and stop the frontrunner for MVP.
If you are going to bet this game, put all of your money on Jokic having a triple double in the first half. It’s going to be ugly.