The Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs are teams on a similar trajectory for this season, which is the bottom of the standings and the best shot at Victor Wembanyama. However, how they have gotten there is completely different.
The Spurs started out the season 6-6, and have tanked hard over the last couple months. They were projected to be near the bottom of the standings before things got started, so their decent start was more of a fluke and what they are doing now is what was expected.
For the Pistons, they started out very bad, but have gradually improved. Playing without Cade Cunningham threw what little expectations there were out the window, but the Pistons have won 3 of their last 5 after their big time collapse against the Clippers the day after Christmas.
One of these teams has to win, even though losing will be a lot better for their hopeful outcome of this season.
When: Friday, December 6 at 8 pm EST
Where: AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +1.5
As I mentioned above, neither of these teams are very good as they both sit at 14th in their respective conference standings.
Would you be shocked if I told you that the San Antonio Spurs are a worse defensive team than the Pistons have been this season? Because it is true. The Spurs are currently 30th in the NBA with a 119.6 team defensive rating. The Pistons are 29th with a 118.6 defensive rating.
You can expect to see a high-scoring game, but not because either of these teams are elite offensively. I hope you like disgusting pick up basketball, because that is what we are about to get.
For the Spurs, they will be without one of their few bright spots this season in Devin Vassell, who will be undergoing a arthroscopic procedure on his knee. He is currently 2nd on the team with 19.4 points per game and is also probably their best perimeter defender and shooter. His absence will be huge for the Spurs.
Outside of Vassell, the only other big-time offensive threat for the Spurs is Keldon Johnson, another player who is in the midst of a breakout season for the Spurs. He is averaging a career-high 21.6 points per game, and although he has been a bit streaky shooting the ball, he is still hitting 35% of his 3-pointers on 7.3 attempts per game.
The Spurs have quite a few young players on their roster, just like the Pistons, but there are a few veterans logging quite a few minutes for the Spurs in Jakob Poeltl, Josh Richardson, and Doug McDermott. You could even call Zach Collins a veteran, even though he is only 25 years old.
It just adds to the similarities of these two teams as they both play their young players quite a bit, but have a few veterans logging quite a bit of minutes to help them out. Although the Pistons have one of their veterans leading them in scoring in Bojan Bogdanovic.
I know I said above that this is likely to be a high-scoring affair due to the fact that neither of these teams can be bothered to play defense. But given the amount of young players getting minutes in this game, I also wouldn’t be shocked to see a low-scoring clank fest.
There are some potentially wild outcomes in a game like this and this game could ultimately prove important in the end of the year tank standings.
The Pistons are coming off a thrilling win over the Warriors on Wednesday, in which they won on a Saddiq Bey buzzer beater. The last time the Pistons and Spurs faced off last season, it was a ridiculous 3 by Saddiq Bey from the corner that won the game.
The Pistons are playing with some positive momentum from their last 5 games. With the Spurs on a 3-game losing streak, the Pistons have a good shot to finish up this short West Coast road trip with a 3-1 record.
Detroit Pistons (11-30)
Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
San Antonio Spurs (12-26)
Tre Jones, Romeo Langford, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan, Jakob Poeltl
Question of the Day
Which of these teams do you think finishes with a bottom 3 record and the best odds at the number 1 pick?