Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The 76ers had one of their worst games of the season earlier this year against the Pistons, losing 94-76 at home. Tonight, the 76ers will try to avenge that early season defeat as they square off against the Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center.
When these teams last squared off, the Pistons were 0-8 on the season. They proceeded to walk into the Wells Fargo Center and spank the 76ers 94-76 behind a 19 point, 18 rebound, 6 assist night from third year center Greg Monroe. They also got 16 points from Kyle Singler (a season and career high), 15 points 7 rebounds and 7 assists from Brandon Knight and 15 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists from Tayshaun Prince.
Since that time, the Pistons have gone 6-7, although most of those wins have been against struggling teams. In that span they have 2 wins against Cleveland, one against Portland, Phoenix, Toronto, and one against an above .500 team in Boston, bringing the record of the teams they beat since the 76ers game to 38-87, or a .304 winning percentage.
Still, if the last 76ers game has proven anything, it's that the 76ers are capable of being beaten by anyone.
Kyle Singler has started every game for the Pistons since his first start against the 76ers, averaging 10.4 points on 46.9% from the field with 1.1 three's made per game as a starter. He's not incredibly productive in his own right, but the Pistons have been substantially better on the offensive end when he's been in the game. With Singler in the game, the Pistons are producing at a rate of 102.6 offensive rating, compared to 97.3 when he's off the court, without much change in their defensive production.
Besides Singler, and the obvious key in defending Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight has taken his game to another level of late. Knight is averaging 18.4 points on 47.2% from the field (48.9% from three on 4.7 attempts per game) over the last 10 games. Perhaps most impressive, Knight is getting to the line 5.1 times per game during that span. Jrue Holiday occasionally struggles defending shifty guards who can shoot coming off the pick, and that is Knight's forte. Jrue's defense will be one of the keys for the 76ers in this game.
Another interesting player to watch tonight is Andre Drummond. While still far from a finished product, Drummond has been a force on the offensive glass, particularly of late, where he's averaging 3.6 offensive rebounds per game in only 20.8 minutes per game over his last 10 games. The 76ers have been much better on the defensvie glass over the last 3 games, but were struggling mightily before that and were killed on the offensive glass by Detroit earlier this season.
Tipoff is 7 pm tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. Game thread will be up before the game.
Prediction: 76ers 95, Detroit 90.