#654 Brooklyn Netsvs.#653 Detroit Pistons
Written by Chris Kubala
Detroit Pistons (34-36 SU, 34-36 ATS, 32-38 O/U) vs. Brooklyn Nets (13-56 SU, 32-34-3 ATS, 36-31-2 O/U)
NBA: Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, 7:30 pm ET
Line: Detroit -5; Over/Under: 215
It’s a matchup of Eastern Conference foes meeting in the Big Apple. The Detroit Pistons are on the road as they look to take down the league worst Brooklyn Nets Tuesday night. Detroit snapped a three game skid as they took down the Suns 112-95 at home Sunday afternoon. Brooklyn lost their second straight and seventh in the last 10 with a 111-104 defeat at home to the Mavericks Sunday. Detroit has a 102-67 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams. Brooklyn won the lone matchup between the teams so far this season, taking a 109-101 win here back on November 2, 2016.
Detroit was flat for three quarters before turning it on late to drop the Suns. The win, coupled with Miami’s loss, put the Pistons, at least for the moment, back into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Detroit held just a two point advantage after three quarters before pulling away in the final quarter. The Pistons had a 35-20 edge in the fourth quarter to post a comfortable margin of victory. Detroit shot 43.5 percent from the floor but did knock down 12 of 25 three point attempts while controlling the boards 63-47. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led six Pistons in double figures with 23 points in the win.
The Pistons have been up and down offensively, ranking 26th in scoring offense with 101.7 points per game. Detroit is 5th in rebounding with 45.2 boards per game and below average sharing the ball, ranking 24th in assists with 21.2 per night. The team is 6th in scoring defense as they allow 102.1 points a game. Tobias Harris is leading the team with 16.2 points plus 5.2 rebounds per game. Marcus Morris contributes 14.2 points and 4.8 boards a night while Andre Drummond puts up 14.6 points plus 13.9 rebounds per contest. Ish Smith averages 8.3 points and 5.1 dimes per contest while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is averaging 14.2 points a night. Aron Baynes, Beno Udrih, Jon Leuer (10.9 ppg, 5.5 rebounds) and Stanley Johnson all are key reserves, especially with Reggie Jackson (14.9 points, 5.3 assists) back in the mix. Detroit is tied for 18th in the league by shooting 45.2 percent from the floor. The Pistons are currently 28th in the league in three point field goals per game with 7.6 while ranking 27th by sinking 33.1 percent from downtown.
Brooklyn is playing for little more than pride as they’ve been out of the playoff hunt since well before Christmas. The Nets don’t even own their own first-round pick to add insult to injury. Brooklyn couldn’t handle a Mavericks team that was pasted by the 76ers two nights before. The Nets trailed by six after the opening quarter and by 14 at the half: they were unable to dig their way out in the second half. Brooklyn shot 43.1 percent from the floor and went 13 of 31 from beyond the arc. The Nets allowed the Mavericks to shoot 53.9 percent from the field and 10 of 25 from three point range to overshadow a 41-33 rebounding edge. Brook Lopez had a team high 27 points in the loss.
The Nets are 13th in the league in scoring offense with 105.8 points per game. Brooklyn is 17th in the league on the glass by collecting 43.4 rebounds per game. The Nets are 23rd in the league in assists with 21.2 dimes per contest. Brooklyn is last in the league in scoring defense as they allow 113.9 points a game. Brook Lopez is good for a team leading 20.7 points a night while Sean Kilpatrick chips in 13.3 points per game from the backcourt. Jeremy Lin averages 13.7 points and 4.9 assists per contest. Joe Harris (8.2 points), Trevor Booker (10.2 points, 8.4 rebounds), Spencer Dinwiddie, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert and Justin Hamilton are key pieces in the rotation as well. Rookie Isaiah Whitehead has gotten a good chunk of minutes at point guard for Brooklyn. The Nets are 24th in the league by shooting 44.5 percent from the floor. Brooklyn is 5th by sinking 11.1 triples per contest. The Nets are 24th in the league in three point shooting as they shoot 34.6 percent from long range.
Detroit picked up a convincing win over the Suns and are back on the road here. The Pistons have only faced the Nets once so far this season, giving them two more cracks including this one at as close to free wins you can get in the NBA. Brooklyn has played tough basketball in their last few games but they still are a team with plenty of issues and not many solutions. With the playoffs in the mix, you have to give the Pistons the edge as they have to be hungry here.
Detroit put together a terrific fourth quarter after three decidedly mediocre ones to put away the Suns. That gave them, at least for the second, the last playoff spot in a crowded Eastern Conference field. The Pistons can ill afford to play lackadaisical basketball like they did against Phoenix against a Brooklyn team that is still playing hard despite their poor record. The Nets own three wins in their last 10, which for them is good but the bad news is that two of those came against the Knicks. Brooklyn beat the Pistons back in November but Jackson was still out of the lineup at that point for Detroit.
The over is 6-2 in the Pistons last 8 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points, 20-7 in their last 27 vs. a team with a losing straight up record and 5-2 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400 on the year. Brooklyn has seen the over go 3-0-1 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400, 3-0-1 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record and 5-1 in their last 6 games following a ATS loss. The teams have combined to go over the number in 14 of the last 16 meetings in Brooklyn and 21 of the last 28 meetings overall. With Brooklyn’s terrible defense, look for the over to be in play in this contest.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.