Two teams that are struggling to stay near the .500 mark square off on Tuesday night when the Detroit Pistons visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. Detroit comes in off a loss to the Lakers on Sunday, while the Cavaliers have dropped four in a row.
It has been a weird season for the Pistons, as it has dealt with injuries to several key players. Blake Griffin, Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson and Markieff Morris will all be out for this one.
Christian Wood has played power forward and center over his NBA career, but the Pistons are so banged up that he drew a start at small forward on Sunday. Things have not gone smoothly here, and now Andre Drummond is on the trade market. It would be shocking to see him moved after all these years, but not all that surprising. It is the right move to bring in new assets.
Injuries are really hampering the Cavaliers as well, though they nearly made a historic comeback against Minnesota on Sunday. Down by 25 late in the third quarter, a lineup of primarily reserves actually got them a lead, only to see a 17-0 run by Minnesota to follow it up.
Dante Exum posted a career-high 28 points, going off after the injury to Kevin Porter Jr. It was encouraging to see how Cleveland performed, and now it could carry into a new game. The Cavaliers did just waive a few players, including Alfonzo McKinnie, so they are very short-handed.
The spread for Tuesday night favors the visiting Pistons by 3.5 points. The over/under is set at 214.5 points.
Detroit Trying To Find Rhythm
These matchups between the Pistons and Cavaliers don’t look anything like the classics of the 2000s, or even their first-round meeting a few seasons back. The Pistons are doing what they can to try and compete, with rookie Sekou Doumbaya finally joining the rotation and playing big minutes.
Detroit is a team that thrives shooting from deep, and it has Drummond dominating on the boards. No other player is averaging at least five rebounds per game. It has been Drummond’s show this year, with guys to make the outside shots all around him.
It will not be easy for the Pistons to get the win Tuesday night, but they are more than capable. It was a blowout when they last met in the Pistons’ favor, so let’s see what Tuesday night brings us.
Looking For First Win Of The Decade
After the impressive turnaround against the Wolves, the Cavaliers face another short-handed team before they go on a long road trip. Larry Nance Jr. remains out with a knee injury Tuesday night, while Porter will miss multiple weeks with a knee injury suffered in the last game.
Kevin Love’s days in Cleveland are now clearly numbered, but we should expect him to be out there Tuesday. It would really help if Dylan Windler got healthy and was able to contribute.
For now, though, it is all about the guards. Darius Garland and Collin Sexton have played well of late, with Exum now trying to stay hot.
If Tristan Thompson and Love come back for Tuesday night, it would give the Cavaliers a big boost. Ante Zizic and John Henson both played well last game, and that could be useful again.
Pistons Win A Close One
The game won’t be pretty, but a 20-20 game from Drummond with 15 made threes as a team will give the Pistons the lift they need. Take Detroit to wrap up its six-game road trip with a victory.
Free Play: DET -3.5
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