Inside the Scope: Detroit Pistons x Golden State Warriors
- Tip Off: 7:30 PM PST
- Television: CSNBayHD, NBATV
Detroit Pistons Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 103.0 (8th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 105.2 (27th in NBA)
Scope the Opposition: Piston Powered.
Preview: After losing back-to-back road games against the San Antonio Spurs (7-1) and Memphis Grizzlies (3-4), the Golden State Warriors (4-3) are back in the friendly confines of Oracle Arena where they are undefeated so far in this young season.
The Dubs will host the Detroit Pistons (2-4) tonight. Brandon Jennings and company have lost three straight games and will be looking to find its winning ways. The league offers no favors though.
After taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder (5-1) and Indiana Pacers (8-0), the scheduled called for the Pistons to go out west for a four-game road trip. The first contest occurred last night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Detroit will be attempting to bounce back against the Warriors in a tough back-to-back set. Still, Maurice Cheeks’ group presents a couple of problems because of their imposing frontcourt.
The trio of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond do a great job of getting into the paint and finishing shots. NBA.com tells us that they are a top-five team in both orchestrating shots within the restricted area and converting them.
Detroit’s big people are not only good at scoring around the basket area, but they are also stud offensive rebounders as evidenced by their 14.8 offensive rebounds per game (second in the NBA).
The Pistons flex their muscles for second-chance opportunities, but surprisingly, they only outrebound opponents by 0.2 per game. That may sound confusing at first glance, but there is a perfectly rational explanation for that: bad defense.
The Pistons are next to last in opponent’s field goal percentage in 2013-14. The defensive rotations simply are not there and consequently, the Detroit players are often a step slow. That makes for bad defense and as a result, other teams get high-percentage looks.
In the case of the Warriors, they have the talent to exploit this weakness, but the NBA is often about matchups. The Pistons have mobile big men that can drift out onto the perimeter for a few sequences here and there without getting lost.
Thus, they can use them in switching defenses or to trap players coming off screens looking to shoot. That’s not 48-minute recipe obviously because at some point the Pistons will get burned.
It will be interesting to see if the Pistons stick to traditional matchups defensively or if they decide to cross match. Unleashing Josh Smith onto Stephen Curry might force Golden State to post up Andre Iguodala against a smaller defender. The strategy would result in the Warriors abandoning their offense in favor of what appears to be an advantageous scenario.
Teams that stick to their identities usually fare better in the long run and maybe Detroit will challenge the Dubs to do just that.
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