Detroit Pistons (18-24 SU, 18-24 ATS, 19-23 O/U) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (15-29 SU, 19-24-1 ATS, 25-18-1 O/U)
NBA: Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 9:30 p.m. EST
The Line: Detroit Pistons -2. Total: 213.5.
The Los Angeles Lakers will be playing the second game of a back-to-back situation when they host the Detroit Pistons at the Staples Center on Sunday. Los Angeles saw its losing streak hit three with Saturday’s setback against the Clippers. The Pistons have also lost three in a row at the hands of Sacramento, Golden State, and Utah.
Can’t stop anyone
Detroit will try to end its longest road trip of the season on a winning note. The Pistons opened their five-game trek with a dramatic double-overtime win at Portland but have offered little resistance ever since, dropping three in a row by an average of 19.7 points. Friday’s 110-77 setback at Utah was Detroit’s most lopsided since March and has the squad searching for answers.
“We can’t stop anybody; we just can’t,” head coach Stan Van Gundy admitted. “For the first 21 games, we were the second-best defensive team in the league, and now we are one of the worst. I am frustrated not with our players, I am frustrated with myself that I can’t figure this out. We literally can’t stop anyone, ever.”
Friday’s loss came without shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has a rotator cuff strain and is doubtful for the game against the Lakers. The injury came at a bad time for Caldwell-Pope, who reached the 20-point mark in back-to-back games before suffering the injury Thursday at Golden State, and fellow starter Jon Leuer also is out with a knee issue but could return soon.
The Lakers have had similar issues during their slide, allowing opponents to average 118.3 points per game. They are losing by an average of 25.7 points. L.A. allowed its fellow city dwellers–the Clippers–to shoot 52.2 percent at the Staples Center on Saturday (the Clippers won 113-97).
Los Angeles utilized its 14th different starting lineup Saturday, inserting leading scorer Louis Williams into the starting lineup for the first time. Williams led the starters in the scoring column, but with only 13 points as fellow guards D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young combined for 16 on 5-of-16 shooting. Veteran forward Luol Deng sat out the contest against the Clippers to rest, while reserve guard Jordan Clarkson broke out for 21 points in 28 minutes.
The Detroit Pistons are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last five overall
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games
- 2-6 ATS in their last six games against teams with losing records
The Los Angeles Lakers are:
- 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games against the Central Division
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games against Detroit
- 6-0 ATS in their last six home games against Detroit
The Pistons are not playing defense and they aren’t healthy. That is not a good recipe for success, even agains a team as bad as the Lakers. Detroit is 1-4 ATS in its last five overall, 2-5 ATS in its last seven on the road, and 2-6 ATS in its last six against losing opponents. The Lakers are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 against the Central Division, 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between the two teams, and 6-0 ATS in their last six at home against the Pistons. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +2
Pistons’ center Andre Drummond is averaging 13.8 rebounds and shooting 68.4 percent over his last four games. He should have no problem maintaining success against a generous L.A. defense. The question is: can Detroit stop the Lakers at the other end of the floor? The over is 7-1 in the Pistons’ last eight overall, 4-1 in their last five on the road, and 4-1 in their last five against the Pacific Division. It is also 5-2 in the Lakers’ last seven overall, 13-6 in their last 19 at home, and 5-2 in their last seven against the Eastern Conference. Look for this one to go over the total.