Pistons vs. Thunder preview: Pistons look for first preseason win against OKC

Detroit Bad Boys

The Detroit Pistons are looking to notch their first win of the preseason, and it looks like the Oklahoma City Thunder might just oblige them. OKC is the rare team that schedules six games in the preseason including a back-to-back.

The Thunder rested a large contingent of players on Sunday against Maccabi Ra’Anana. It’s unclear just who is going to suit up tonight, but we do know that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander won’t be one of them as he is still rehabbing an MCL sprain.

It would be a nice night for players like Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and, well, the team’s defense to get untracked a bit in front of the home crowd at Little Caesars Arena.

Game Vitals

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons -6

Analysis

Not only did Shai not play Sunday, but the team also rested Josh Giddey, Tre Mann and Darius Bazley. It’s unclear if all those players are suiting up against Detroit, but no matter who plays for the Thunder, the Pistons will need to show up and deliver the appropriate amount of intensity and effort or they could get run off the floor.

We can all make our Poku jokes, and we will, but players like him, Jalen Williams and don’t forget Jaylin Williams play hard, crash the boards and share the basketball. And that can be especially dangerous as the Pistons remain committed to an intense switching defense that has been prone to breakdowns so far this preseason.

I’m steeling myself for the worse, but, honestly, the game is just as likely to turn into a blowout where the Pistons score 125 points and Jaden Ivey delivers some true highlights. More important than wins and losses, especially in preseason, is to see a game where Cade Cunningham looks comfortable, decisive and cuts out all the unnecessary and sloppy mistakes.

It is unclear if rookie Jalen Duren is going to suit up, though he’s probably salivating over what he could do against a running undersized Thunder lineup. He’s been held back with a sore shoulder, and it’s understandable the team would take every precaution with the young center.

Projected Lineup

Detroit Pistons (0-2)

Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley

Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1)

Josh Giddey, Tre Mann, Aaron Wiggins, Darius Bazley, Jerimiah Robinson-Earl

Question of the Day

If the Pistons held the first overall pick, and the OKC Thunder held the fifth overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, would you trade No. 1 (Victor Wembanyama) for No. 5 and every single future OKC draft pick?

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