The Pistons roll into town hot off of the heels of an impressive 107-97 victory over the Miami Heat. Expect the swag to be cranked all the way up at the BMOBC on Wednesday night.
What to Watch For: Bucks
In the first half of the Nov. 25th matchup between these two teams, the Bucks were absolutely run out of the gym by the Pistons. Of particular note was the Detroit squad’s dominance of the interior as the Bucks had no answer for a Josh Smith–Greg Monroe–Andre Drummond frontline. Combined with a seemingly endless parade of turnovers, especially from the hands of Brandon Knight, that dominance led to a seemingly endless run of dunks and easy lay-ins for the Pistons.
That disparity narrowed in the second half as coach Larry Drew began to open up his rotations to give the younger players opportunity to prove themselves. Wednesday’s rematch will likely see a different Bucks frontcourt pairing, likely the John Henson–Ekpe Udoh duo that has started the team’s last two games. Those players will need to provide more presence down low than Ersan Ilyasova and Zaza Pachulia did in November.
What to Watch For: Pistons
The “Brandon Jennings Revenge Game” went well for the former Buck as he racked up 15 points and 13 assists. While he still shoots a ton and doesn’t do it very efficiently (15 shots per game, 38% FG), he’s also raised his assists substantially so far in this young season. In particular, he’s developed a strong pick-and-roll connection with Drummond, who himself seems to be blossoming into a star center.
If Jennings can establish his big men in the paint and feed them early, the Pistons can dominate nearly any team inside. A key to shutting the Pistons down will be for the Bucks’ big men to establish strong defensive positions and deny entry passes to the paint – if Detroit’s bigs get the ball inside regularly, it could be another long night.
Time – 7:00 p.m. CST
TV – FS Wisconsin
Radio – 620 WTMJ
Bucks: Ersan Ilyasova (hamstring, thumb; day-to-day), Caron Butler (knee; out) Larry Sanders (thumb; out), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out)
Pistons: Chauncy Billups (knee; out) Will Bynum (hamstring; day-to-day)
PG Brandon Knight
SG O.J. Mayo
SF Khris Middleton
PF Ekpe Udoh
C John Henson
PG Brandon Jennings
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF Josh Smith
PF Greg Monroe
C Andre Drummond
Jeremy’s For Recreational Purposes Only Prediction (aka Betsketball)
Line: Pistons -4.5
Both teams on the second night of a back-to-back, one having just lost to the Celtics and the other having just beat the Heat. I’ll take the latter, rather than the former. Pistons -4.5, over 193.
Record: 10-6 (4-4 ATS and 6-2 over/under)