Detroit at Sacramento
Time: 9 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: DET -3.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Pistons have lost eight of its past 10 and are now 30-39 overall on the season. Trailing No. 8 Miami by 6.5 games with just 12 games to go, the Pistons are most likely headed for a lottery appearance in 2018, after hoping the major acquisition of Blake Griffin would take the team to the next level.
Griffin has somewhat struggled under Stan Van Gundy after flourishing his first several games. His averages of 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists have been done in 33 minutes a night, but he has a PER of just 14.6 since joining the Pistons.
Blake once paired nicely with DeAndre Jordan and now pairs just as formidable with Andre Drummond.
Drummond has already played a point-center role at times, functioning as a passer in pick and rolls, and graciously setting himself in high post situations. His game has grown. Together with Griffin, Detroit may have dialed up the best 1-2 big man combination outside of what the New Orleans Pelicans had prior to DeMarcus Cousins’ season-ending Achilles’ injury.
The Pistons will miss Bradley, but he really may have been a season rental at best as he is due to be a free agent and will command a max-contract most likely, as the trend has gone. Reggie Jackson is still functioning well as a scorer, but he has missed time with an ankle injury.
The Pistons said he is due to return soon, but he is likely still out for this game. When the Pistons insert his 15 points a night, they will only grow tougher to beat. The Pistons are one of the hottest teams in the league, and Griffin still is a superstar. He may have declined in popularity, in status, whatever— he is still one of the tops at his position and can potentially change the fate of Detroit.
Sacramento’s season has been one of tanking, but also in the mix has been the development of dynamic point guard and Kentucky product DeAaron Fox. Fox is averaging 11 points and four assists per game in his rookie season, but showing many of the signs of a future star, at least according to the eye test. Veteran Zach Randolph leads the team in scoring but averages just 14.8 points per game, and Sacramento averages just 99 points per game as a team.
Former New Orleans Pelican Buddy Hield has failed to translate to a superstar in his sophomore season, averaging just 12 points per game and playing 23 minutes a night. Willie Cauley-Stein has shown some promise as a defensive cog and has his nights offensively, but Sacto largely struggles to score the ball without any developed stars on their team. Randolph was once that but has declined quite a bit.
Sure, he is still an effective power forward and puts up premium production for just 25.8 minutes a night, but Sacto will be on the lookout for a star with its probable high draft pick in 2018. Given that the team needs help at every position, any guesses as to who Sacto will chase in the draft are a bit of a crapshoot. Ostensibly, the team has its backcourt of the future, but its frontcourt could use major upgrades, and a premier scoring wing also ranks high on the team’s list of needs.
Either way, Sacramento is now missing the playoffs for the 11th year straight, and the rebuild rages on even if it seems to utterly lack any defined sense of direction.