We’re not even 10 games into the season and Detroit Pistons fans have experienced a roller coaster of emotions through six games.
They were a good defensive team. Then a bad one.
Cade was great. Then he wasn’t.
Killian Hayes couldn’t shoot. Then he still couldn’t.
Jaden Ivey wasn’t playing enough. Then he still wasn’t.
You get it. You’ve lived it.
That’s what makes today’s game interesting. The opponent is the Phoenix Suns — a franchise that Pistons coach Monty Williams is familiar with — and Detroit is coming off its two worst performances of the season.
On the other side, Phoenix has lost three-straight games.
Somebody will snap their streak today. Let’s get into it.
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Sunday, November 5 at 3 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit (good luck to those of us with that app )
Odds: Pistons (+5.5)
Part of me wants to tell you this is a get-right spot for the Pistons.
If they were a good team, it might be.
Phoenix comes to town on fumes. They played on Saturday — losing in Philly — and might be without both Devin Booker and (likely) Bradley Beal. However, the Pistons are a mess right now… so I don’t think it’s going to matter.
Kevin Durant is going to play, and he’s freaking good. I was at the game in 2021 when he dropped 51 points at LCA. It was magical. Something I’ll tell my daughter about some day.
I don’t think he’ll do that today, mostly because I dunno if he’ll need to with the way Detroit is playing. The Pistons aren’t outmatched from a talent perspective, they’re just playing such stupid basketball right now.
Phoenix mirrors a lot of that, but again, they have Kevin Durant.
The game features two of the best rebounding teams and two of the most careless teams in the NBA. The Pistons lead the league at 18 turnovers per game, while Phoenix is a few spots back at 14 turnovers per game. If Detroit re-discovers the defensive intensity it showed earlier this year, the Suns will give them chances to score off turnovers.
What should scare you here is the 3-point line.
The Pistons are obviously a team with spacing issues offensively, but on the other end of the floor, they’ve struggled defending the 3-point line.
Phoenix is good, like top five in the NBA good, from downtown. That’s where supporting pieces like Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen and Yuta Watanabe will need to be taken care of today by the Detroit defense.
I think the Pistons can ugly this game up and, if KD has an off night, steal one from a weary Suns team. It’s just going to require a concerted defensive effort, something we haven’t seen since the win over Chicago when everyone but Zach LaVine was in jail.
I also want to preface that if Devin Booker plays, you can take a lot of this and x10 it. The Michigan native has always had great games in Detroit, including 30 points last season. He’s averaging a double-double in the early going and is the straw that stirs the drink.
The Pistons can win ugly if it’s KD and the Suns backups. They’re going to need an A+ game from Cade Cunningham and more to withstand the KD-Book duo — despite any perceived advantage they may have via Monty’s familiarity with both guys’ games.
Detroit Pistons (2-4): Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
Phoenix Suns (2-4): Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen, Kevin Durant, Keita Bates-Diop, Jusuf Nurkic
Question of the Day
Are Cade Cunningham’s recent efficiency and ball security issues a byproduct of the situations Detroit has put themselves in or his overall carelessness/fatigue?