Pistons vs. Hawks preview: Looking to get things on track at home

Detroit Bad Boys

The grind of the NBA season doesn’t stop, no matter how bad you are playing. The Pistons are getting an early lesson in that as they return home from Washington DC after a bad loss last night against the Wizards.

The 3 game road trip the Pistons were on could not have gone any worse as they shot the ball poorly, had their bench blown out of the water, and looked absolutely lost on defense.

Sometimes returning home can be the recipe to get things back on track, but the Pistons will have to do it against a good Hawks team. It definitely isn’t impossible, but it will have to be a completely different effort than we have seen all season if the Pistons want to end the night with a victory.

Game Vitals

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +7.5

Analysis

After acquiring Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs in a blockbuster trade in the offseason, there were some questions about how Trae Young and Murray would fit. Both players are very good and Murray’s strengths on defense cover for Young’s deficiencies on that end. However, both players have been ball dominant point guards during their careers, so there were some questions on how the share would work.

The early returns on this season have been pretty good as both players are finding an even balance in opportunities with the ball and the Hawks are off to a 2-1 start. Murray’s numbers are down a bit, but both players at least appear to be a fit together.

There are still some kinks to work out, but I think the arrangement is working out better than I thought it would when the trade happened. Good basketball players tend to figure things out even if it is not a perfect pairing.

The Hawks have a solid starting lineup as they also have the newly extended DeAndre Hunter along with their frontcourt of Clint Capela and John Collins to complement the two-headed attack of Young and Murray.

Like the Pistons, the Hawks bench isn’t very good. It is led by the very underrated Onyeka Okongwu, but outside of him, there isn’t much. The Pistons bench played well at the end of the 3rd quarter last night, so maybe this will be the night where the Pistons bench doesn’t get blown out of the water for the entirety of the game.

The issue is, this is probably the best starting lineup the Pistons have faced so far this season, so the starters might struggle to keep them in the game. Throwing the bench under the bus isn’t a full telling of the story for the Pistons, as their starting lineup, outside of Bojan Bogdanovic, has not been good enough to start the season. There have been some flashes, but those flashes are few and far between and there has been a lot of bad mistakes in between those flashes.

This could be a good opportunity for Cade Cunningham to get his efficiency back on track, as he will be facing an undersized guard in Trae Young. There is the possibility that the Hawks put the bigger Murray on Cade, but that would leave a lot of opportunities on offense for Jaden Ivey if that is the case.

The Hawks bigger frontline will also give some problems for Isaiah Stewart and Bojan Bogdanovic, but the Pistons don’t really have anymore frontcourt players with size that they can throw at them.

The Pistons are going to have to score to keep themselves in this game, which is a scary prospect given how poor they have shot the ball in the early parts of the season.

Projected Lineups

Atlanta Hawks (2-1)

Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, DeAndre Hunter, John Collins, Clint Capela

Detroit Pistons (1-3)

Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart

Question of the Day

Which Pistons player’s slow start is most concerning to you?

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