#706 Detroit Pistonsvs.#705 Milwaukee Bucks
Written by Chris Kubala
NBA: Sunday, October 30, 2016, The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan, 6 pm ET
Line: Detroit -7.5; Over/Under: 193.5
It’s a Central Division contest from the Motor City. The Milwaukee Bucks are on the road as they take on the Detroit Pistons Sunday evening. Milwaukee took a 107-96 home loss to the Hornets in their season opener Wednesday. The Bucks were at home Saturday night as they hosted the Nets. Detroit evened their record with a 108-82 romp over Orlando in their home opener Friday night. The Bucks have a 124-109 lead in the all-time regular season series but the Pistons took eight of the last 13 meetings. That includes three of four last season, with a 92-91 win on March 21, 2016 in the last meeting at home.
Milwaukee was at home again Saturday night as they battled the Nets so this is their first road test of the season. The Bucks came out flat in their opener against the Hornets as they trailed by eight after one quarter. Milwaukee found itself down 15 at the half and couldn’t find a way to shoot itself back into the game after intermission. Shooting woes were a problem for the Bucks, who shot only 42.4 percent from the field in the loss. Perimeter shooting proved to be a thorn in Milwaukee’s side as they connected on just 3 of 16 shots from long range. The Bucks also had 10 shots rejected by Charlotte’s aggressive defense.
Do everything small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks in the loss with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists though he did have five fouls. Greg Monroe contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench though he shot 5 of 14 from the floor. Jabari Parker had 13 points and six rebounds while Matthew Dellavedova had 11 points in his debut as the Bucks’ starter after spending time with the Cavaliers. Rookie Malcolm Brogdon played well, scoring eight points, collecting five rebounds and dishing out five assists in his NBA debut. The team needs to get production from John Henson, Michael Beasley and Jason Terry off the bench to take some heat off Antetokounmpo offensively. Miles Plumlee needs to contribute more than eight scoreless minutes as well.
Detroit bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Raptors on the road as they pounded the Magic Friday night in their home opener. After leading by just two points after one quarter, the Pistons waxed the Magic to the tune of 30-9 in the second quarter to blow the game open. The Pistons led by 35 after three quarters before letting their foot off the gas in the final stanza. Tobias Harris led six Pistons in double figures with 18 points while Maurice Morris had 17 points and eight rebounds. Ish Smith had 16 points plus eight assists while Andre Drummond bounced back from a rough opener to score 12 points and collect 20 rebounds. Detroit shot 50.5 percent from the floor, won the rebounding battle 53-44 and held Orlando to 34.7 percent from the field.
The Pistons have been up and down offensively, ranking tied for 23rd in scoring offense with 99.5 points per game. Detroit is 12th in rebounding with 46.5 boards per game and in the middle of the pack sharing the ball, ranking 15th in assists with 22 per night. Harris leads the team with 20 points plus 4.5 rebounds per game. Morris contributes 17.5 points and 8.5 boards a night while Drummond puts up 14 points plus 13 rebounds per contest. Smith averages 11 points and 7.5 dimes per contest while Aron Baynes puts up 10.5 points per game. Beno Udrih, Jon Leuer, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson all have to help carry the weight until Reggie Jackson returns. Detroit is 7th in the league by shooting 46.4 percent from the floor. The Pistons are tied for 25th in three point field goals per game with 5.5 while ranking 24th by sinking a meager 26.8 percent from downtown.
This one will be interesting. The Bucks were flat against Charlotte and are going to play the second game of a back to back. They’ll have less than 24 hours of recovery time and likely closer to 18 before tip-off after playing Brooklyn Saturday, then taking the quick hop to Detroit. The Pistons are rested and confident after their dismantling of Orlando Friday. Detroit’s tough frontcourt group controlled play in that one and the Bucks don’t have much in the way of talent at the 4 and 5 spots to matchup. Detroit builds off their blowout win by trouncing the Bucks for their second straight victory.
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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.