The Detroit Pistons likely hope they see a little bit of themselves in the upstart New Orleans Pelicans. After years of chasing the playoffs and topping out with a 48-win season and a loss in the conference semi-finals, the Pels reset. They traded Anthony Davis, added a bunch of young pieces, got lucky in the NBA Draft, made a consolidation trade for an established star, and made the playoffs last season. Sure, they rode a play-in game and a less than stellar 36-46 record to get there, but they got there. And it doesn’t look like they are done rising. They did all that last season without Zion Williamson, and now he’s back alongside Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum to do some damage in the Western Conference.
They Pistons aren’t quite that far along their rebuilding path, but progress this season could mean by next year, they are the team making some sort of trade for an established star and ready to make noise in the playoffs. Their existing star, Cade Cunningham, will need to start playing a lot better than he did against the New York Knicks for any of that to happen, though.
Cunningham shot a disappointing 3-of-12 and had an even more disappointing four turnovers in a blowout loss to the Knicks. It wasn’t all bad for Detroit, though. Rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren had pretty sparkling debuts, and for the select few who can find a way to watch this game (it’s not on local TV), there is interest in seeing what their second game looks like.
When: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
Watch: NBA League Pass (via Bally Sports New Orleans), Not on Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +6.5
Detroit Pistons (0-1)
Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart
New Orleans Pelicans (1-0)
CJ McCollum, Herb Jones, Naji Marshall, Zion Williamson, Jonas Valanciunas