Pistons vs. Hornets preview: Monday night showdown between two bad teams

Detroit Bad Boys

Both of these teams are not very good as evidenced by their respective records. However, both of these teams have been playing some better basketball since the trade deadline. For the Pistons, it was a complete roster overhaul at the trade deadline. For the Hornets, it was a couple of trades of veterans with an eye towards the future.

Neither team has won a ton of games since the deadline, but the on-court product has been a bit less hard on the eyes, which is basically all you can ask for during a bad season that you are just waiting to come to an end.

Game Vitals

Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Monday, March 11 at 7 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons (-3.5)


The Hornets have been a thorn in the Pistons’ side pretty much regardless of each team’s record the last few seasons. However, the Pistons have had their number this season with 2 of their 10 wins on the season coming against the Hornets. I am not sure what that says about either team, but you can’t really draw a ton of conclusions from matchups between teams with 28 wins combined on the season.

Since the trade deadline, Cade Cunningham has ascended to the level everybody was expecting out of the number 1 pick in a highly-regarded draft. He is shooting 48 percent from beyond the arc since the All Star Break and is also leading the team in scoring with 25.8 points, 7.9 assists, and 5 rebounds per game. He is getting to wherever he wants on the floor and killing teams with pullup 3s and midrange shots, and even getting to the rim and dunking out of the halfcourt.

This has only resulted in a couple of wins since the All Star break, but the Pistons have been a lot more competitive on a game-to-game basis than at any point this season and it is mostly due to Cunningham.

For the Hornets, they have had a pretty similar explosion out of number 2 overall pick, Brandon Miller. It has been close to a month and a half of his sustained high-level play, but he is making the Hornets look like a smart team for going against the grain and taking Miller. Since the end of January, Miller is averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.

Combine that with a high-scoring season from Miles Bridges and solid play out of trade deadline acquisitions like Grant Williams and Tre Mann, and the Hornets find themselves playing competitive basketball even without LaMelo Ball.

The Hornets injury report is looking a lot like an early-season Pistons injury report, as the aforementioned LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams, Cody Martin, and Seth Curry are all expected to be out. But, they have been missing a few of those players for a few weeks and have still managed to keep themselves in some games.

This is not the same Hornets team the Pistons have beaten twice this season. In fact, the roster is probably worse than the Hornets’ roster in the previous matchups, but I would not chalk this one up as a win for the Pistons. They were riding high after a win over Brooklyn on Thursday before being brought back down to Earth in a blowout loss to the Mavericks on Saturday, despite a near triple-double from Cade Cunningham.

Like the Pistons, the Hornets are a young team that has been playing better since the trade deadline, which is a perfect recipe for a loss. Especially because they have already beaten them twice this season.


Detroit Pistons (10-53): Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren

Charlotte Hornets (18-48): Vasilije Micic, Brandon Miller, Miles Bridges, Grant Williams, Nick Richards

Question of the Day

Which of these two teams do you feel better about getting out of their rebuild sooner?

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