Detroit Pistons (4-14) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (10-8)
When: 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles.
TV: Bally Sports Detroit.
Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1), Pistons radio affiliates.
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Game notes: As the Pistons approach the quarter mark of the 2021-22 season — they’ll hit 20 games on Sunday against the Lakers, also at the Staples Center — they appear headed for another high lottery pick, sitting at No. 4 in the odds for the No. 1 pick, two games behind the 2-16 Houston Rockets.
Still, there’s plenty to give thanks for, starting with 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham. You’ve heard of him, perhaps? After a slow start, the Oklahoma State product appears to be finding his NBA stroke; on Sunday, he put up a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against the Los Angeles Lakers. He came close on Wednesday in the Pistons’ blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, with nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Cunningham still needs to work on his shot, though, as he’s 11-for-41 (26.8%) from the field over his past three games. Another thing to be thankful for: Second-year forward Isaiah Stewart, who returns from a two-game suspension today after trying to fight … well, just about everyone, but mostly LeBron James last Sunday at Little Caesars Arena.
LEARNING RESTRAINT: Pistons lucky to have Cunningham. He again showed why in Stewart-LeBron mess
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the Pistons’ last playoff appearance, however, the Clippers are the team to watch: They feature ex-Pistons Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris getting solid minutes as Paul George’s supporting cast. Jackson is averaging a sprightly 18.3 points per game on 40.3% shooting, while Morris is at 9.7 points per game and Kennard at 9.9. (In all, the Clippers have seven players averaging at least seven points but less than 11, to go with Jackson and George’s 26.4.)
One thing we’ll soon be nostalgic over: The name of the Clippers’ and Lakers’ home, which is set to change to “Crypto.com Arena” on Dec. 25. The Pistons will get one more game at the arena: This Sunday, when they take on the Lakers at 9:30 p.m. Will we get “LeBron vs. Beef Stew II?”
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