Pistons vs. Hornets preview: Pistons face another up-and-coming team

Detroit Bad Boys

The Detroit Pistons are hoping they got a glimpse of their own future last night when they faced the Memphis Grizzlies, perhaps the best combination of young and talented the NBA has to offer. Tonight, they are facing a team a few steps behind the Grizzlies, but a few steps ahead of the Pistons in the Charlotte Hornets.

Led by LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, the Hornets are scuffling a bit. After winning 12-of-17 games from Dec. 23 to Jan. 28, Charlotte has dropped six in a row and currently sits at .500.

As I’ve written previously, no team can get a team back on track quite like the Detroit Pistons, and that is doubly true when they’re playing on the second end of a back-to-back.

Game Vitals

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +6.5

Analysis

During their six-game losing streak, the Hornets are sporting the third-worst net rating in the NBA at -12.6. Sure that’s ahead of Detroit’s woeful -15.9, but it’s a sign that they are not just losing, they are losing convincingly. They’ve also faced an absolutely brutal part of their schedule with those six losses coming at the hands of the Clippers, Celtics, Cavs, Heat, Raptors and Bulls.

Detroit might actually be well-positioned to steal a win (or two) from a solid team because the Hornets’ next eight games are as follows: Detroit, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Heat, Raptors, Pistons, Bucks, Cavs. Let’s just say, one of those teams is not like the others.

Charlotte’s problem during this rough patch is they simply can’t seem to throw the ball into the ocean. They sport the league’s second-worst offensive rating and the worst effective field-goal percentage in that span.

Miles Bridges, who a lot of hopeful Pistons fans have their sights set on as a restricted free agent this summer, is shooting just 16.7% from three during the losing streak with Kelly Oubre Jr. and Gordon Hayward joining him in the sub-25% club.

Hayward has been ruled out against Detroit with an ankle injury. Montrezl Harrell, the center Charlotte dealt for at the trade deadline, is listed as probable. Detroit’s trade deadline addition, Marvin Bagley III is out and Cade Cunningham is still day-to-day, but that status might change after the team’s media availability.

Projected Lineup

Detroit Pistons (12-43)

Cory Joseph, Hamidou Diallo, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart

Charlotte Hornets (28-28)

LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, Miles Bridges, Mason Plumlee

Question of the Day

If Cade Cunningham is out again, will you be watching this game?

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