Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#551 Detroit Pistons -2 vs.
#552 Atlanta Hawks 227
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 7:35pm EST
Philips Arena, Atlanta
Written by Chris Kubala

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#551 Detroit
#552 Atlanta
15-27
10-32
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19-23
25-16-1
22-20
108
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116

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It’s an Eastern Conference matchup between a pair of teams outside the playoff picture down in Hotlanta. The Detroit Pistons are on the road as they make the trip to face the Atlanta Hawks Saturday night. Detroit downed Boston 116-103 on the road Wednesday night in their last contest. Atlanta was in action on the road against San Antonio Friday night. The Hawks prevailed over the Suns 123-110 at home in their last game Monday night. In the all-time regular season series between the teams, the Pistons hold a 221-210 edge. This season, the teams split two meetings, with the Pistons taking a 128-103 home win in the most recent matchup on November 22, 2019.

Detroit Pistons Seeking Back to Back Road Wins

Detroit snapped a three-game losing skid as they pulled out a road win over the Celtics on Wednesday night despite missing several key pieces. The Pistons entered Friday tied for third in the Central Division, 21.5 games behind the Bucks for the top spot. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Detroit stood tied for ninth, four games behind the Nets for the final playoff spot. Against the Celtics, Detroit led by three after one quarter and trailed by two at the half before outscoring Boston 34-23 in the third quarter. The Pistons opened the fourth quarter with a 17-5 run to take command of the contest for good. Detroit shot a scorching 60.3 percent from the floor, including 12 of 32 from three-point range, and forced 15 Boston turnovers. Sekou Doumbouya led the Pistons with 24 points in the win.

The Pistons enter this contest 22nd in the league in scoring offense with 108.5 points per game on the season. Detroit stands 30th in rebounding with 42.2 boards per contest and 14th with 24.5 assists per game. The Pistons are in the middle of the pack in scoring defense, ranking 17th by allowing 111 points per game. Andre Drummond is second on the team with 17.3 points, 15.7 rebounds, two steals and 1.8 blocks per game. Derrick Rose contributes a team-high 18.1 points plus 5.8 assists a night while Luke Kennard chips in 15.8 points per game. Blake Griffin has averaged 15.5 points plus 4.7 boards a contest since returning to the lineup. Markieff Morris adds 10.9 points plus 3.8 rebounds a night while Langston Galloway has chipped in 10.2 points a night. Detroit is 10th in the league in field goal percentage as they hit 46.5 percent from the floor as a team on the year. The Pistons are tied for 15th in threes made per game with 11.8 per contest and stand tied for third in three-point shooting as they connect on 37.1 percent of their shooting from beyond the arc. Reggie Jackson has been out with a back injury: it was diagnosed as a stress reaction on November 2 and he remains out with no clear timetable for return at this point. Griffin underwent knee surgery January 7 and is out indefinitely. Kennard is also out with a knee injury and may not return until after the All-Star break.

Atlanta Hawks Play Second Game of Back to Back

Atlanta was in action on the road to face San Antonio on Friday night so they’re in the second half of their back to back set here. The Hawks entered Friday in the basement of the Southeast Division race, 19.5 games behind the Heat. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Atlanta stood in the basement, 9.5 games behind the Nets for the final playoff spot. Atlanta is 5-14 at home so far this season. The Hawks are putting up an average of 107.8 ppg this season while allowing 112.2 ppg in those games. Atlanta is 1-7 in the second game of back to back situations this season, getting outscored by more than 21 points a night in those games. The Hawks are just 2-10 against Central Division opponents on the year.

The Hawks enter this contest 23rd in scoring offense by averaging 107.4 points per game. Atlanta is 27th in rebounding by collecting 42.5 boards a night while the team stands 19th by dishing out 23.1 assists per contest. Atlanta is 28th in the league in scoring defense as they allow opponents to score 116.9 points per game this season. Trae Young leads the team with 29.1 points and 8.5 assists per game this season. Jabari Parker contributes 15 points plus six rebounds per contest while John Collins puts up 17.3 points plus 9.7 rebounds a night. De’Andre Hunter chips in 12 points a game but the Hawks need to get more from Evan Turner, Alex Len, Vince Carter, Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter (11.6 points) on both ends of the floor. Atlanta is 24th in the league in field goal percentage by hitting 44.1 percent of their shots from the floor this season. The Hawks are 20th in threes per game as they hit 11.3 per contest and stand 30th in three-point percentage as they hit only 31.9 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Parker will miss at least two weeks after a non-surgical procedure on his shoulder on January 7. Atlanta made a trade on January 16, dealing Allen Crabbe to Minnesota for Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham, adding a veteran point guard to back up Young.

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This one is going to be a test for the Hawks, who made a shuffle in their rotation and are playing the second game of a back to back situation in this one. Atlanta has plenty of work to do if they hope to get back to any sort of relevance at this point seeing how they still have single-digit victories entering Friday. Detroit showed a ton of character by downing Boston with a sizzling shooting night and they are getting their youth a chance to have on the job training. The Pistons are dealing with injuries but with the way Atlanta has cratered in the second game of back to backs, you have to lean toward the visitors here. Drummond and Rose lead the way to a Detroit win.

Prediction: Detroit Pistons

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We've seen Atlanta get absolutely thrashed in the second game of back to back situations this season, allowing better than 123 points per game. The Hawks are 26th in field goal percentage defense (47.3 percent) on the year and Detroit is a decent shooting team. In addition, the Pistons are rested, having had Thursday and Friday off after their road win in Boston. Detroit has had their problems defensively, ranking 27th in field goal percentage defense (47.5 percent) and three-point field goal percentage defense (37.1 percent) this year. Given the way Atlanta has struggled on the defensive end and playing the second game of a back to back, look for Detroit to push the pace a bit and kick this one over the number.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

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. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.