Detroit Pistons vs Los Angeles Lakers

Don't miss an inter-conference matchup between Blake Griffin's Detroit Pistons and LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers for a game on Wednesday, January 9th, at 10:30 PM EST, at Staples Center, in Los Angeles, CA. Catch it live on ESPN, Fox Sports Detroit, and Spectrum Sportsnet; radio available via 97.1 FM The Ticket and 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN Deportes.

How to Watch

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

When: Wednesday, January 9th, at 10:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ESPN, Fox Sports Detroit, Spectrum Sportsnet | 97.1 FM The Ticket, 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN Deportes

Detroit Pistons

Head Coach: Dwane Casey {All-Time 390-327 | MIN, TOR, DET}

Currently ninth in the Eastern Conference, the Detroit Pistons have some ground to make up if they don't want to be caught out of the playoff race. With a record of 17-20, they are just two games behind the eighth place Hornets, but two games ahead of the tenth place Orlando Magic.

The Detroit Pistons essentially failed their road trip, as they posted a 1-3 record. To make that fact worse, the Pistons were blown out by 37 and 23 in two of those losses. Both blowout losses came at the hands of of two of the top Eastern Conference teams, all but assuring that the Pistons are not yet ready to compete with the East's elite.

The Detroit Pistons face off with a Los Angeles Lakers team that may be missing key pieces in their match. After a groin strain, LeBron James has not returned to the court is is being re-evaluated this week. He may be back against the Pistons, regardless it will take a team effort by Detroit to take down their Western Conference foe.

Los Angeles Lakers

Head Coach: Luke Walton {All-Time 82-122 | LAL}

The Luke Walton-led Los Angeles Lakers have fallen in the rankings, placing them at eighth in the Western Conference table. With a mere one game lead over the Utah Jazz and a tough stretch of games without LeBron James, it is proving time for the youthful Lakers.

Losers of three in a row against the Thunder, Knicks, and a blowout against the Timberwolves, the Los Angeles Lakers need to find some semblance of consistency quickly. This will be their first of two matches against the Pistons this season.

Both teams are struggling at the moment, but the pressure of LeBron James and the Lakers front office is palpable. The Lakers have young assets, but Magic Johnson and LeBron James did not sign on to be part of a rebuilding process. Expect the young Lakers to perform with or without LeBron, if only to prove their worth to the team or others.

What's At Stake?

The Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers are two of the most accomplished teams in NBA history. In the all-time matchup, the Lakers lead the series over the Pistons 141-74.

Ninth in the Eastern Conference, the Detroit Pistons would be within one game of the Charlotte Hornets for eighth place should they gain a win.

In the tightly contested Western Conference, a Lakers win would keep them one game ahead of the trailing Utah Jazz in ninth place.

Questions to answer

Can the Pistons offence catch their defence?

Showtime or Grind Time?

We are going to compare the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Pistons are 11th in Defensive Rating

With a rating of 108.9, the Detroit Pistons are eleventh in the league in defensive rating. A hallmark of Dwane Casey-led teams, he demands success on the defensive end of the ball before even considering offensive approaches.

Their improved defence has helped them to an increased pace so far this season at 99.1. Considering the Pistons struggle to score the ball at times, creating extra possessions through their defence will be paramount.

Blake Griffin had an excellent night against the Jazz, posting 31-10-5 on 61% shooting from the field. Had Reggie Jackson not committed a crucial turnover at the end of the game, the Pistons would be only one game back of eighth place. All players will have to be zoned in against the Lakers, who have improved markedly since the beginning of the season.

The Lakers are Top Ten in Points and Defensive Rating

With a points average of 112.3 and a defensive rating of 107.6, the Lakers have grown to be a reasonably balanced team. They punish teams who are irresponsible with the ball with their blistering pace.

The Lakers' youthful exuberance is a benefit to their running game, as the likes of Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma are willing runners to receive a LeBron James of Lonzo Ball outlet pass.

The Detroit Pistons are a strong defensive team, so even more than usual will the Lakers look to exploit their competition in transition. If LeBron James isn't in the line-up, it will be up to Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart to push the pace. Expect a team rebounding effort from the Lakers without their star LeBron James to start the break on his own.

Detroit Pistons Roster Notes

F Henry Ellenson - Out (Ankle) - The Pistons announced that Ellenson is dealing with a sprained ankle and will miss at least the next two weeks.

F-C Jon Leuer - Day To Day (Knee) - Leuer was listed as Probable for Monday's (Jan 7) game.

C Zaza Pachulia - Out (Leg) - Pachulia is listed as OUT for Monday's (Jan 7) game.

G Ish Smith - Out (Groin) - The Pistons announced that Smith will need another two-to-three weeks to recover.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

F LeBron James - Out (Groin Strain) - The Lakers announced F LeBron James will not travel on the upcoming road trip and will be re-evaluated next week.

F Kyle Kuzma - Out (Back) - Kuzma was ruled OUT for Sunday's (Jan. 6) game against the Timberwolves.

G Rajon Rondo - Out (Right Finger Sprain) - The Los Angeles Lakers announced G Rajon Rondo will miss 4-5 weeks after undergoing surgery on his right ring finger.

Head-to-Head: Blake Griffin vs Brandon Ingram

Blake Griffin

25.1 PPG | 5.2 APG | 8.7 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 3.8 TOV | .471 FG% | .365 3P%

Brandon Ingram

16.1 PPG | 2.4 APG | 4.7 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 2.5 TOV | .458 FG% | .291 3P%

Blake Griffin, a power player turned finesse, and Brandon Ingram, finesse the whole way through, face off against each other in an inter-conference matchup. Both will play the role as the main offensive threat of their squad.

Griffin has become a completely different player from his time with the Los Angeles Clippers. Once just a rim-runner, Blake Griffin has improved his handle and shooting to be considered one of the Pistons primary playmakers. He played an excellent game against the Jazz and will hope to continue his rhythm against a tough Lakers defence led by former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler.

Starting as an undersized power forward the becoming an oversized shooting guard, Brandon Ingram has had an interesting career over his short three years. Currently the subject of trade talks due to his potential alone, it is left out that Ingram is a deadly shooter and can score over or around the likes of any defender. The Pistons' team defence will have a handful taking him on.

Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Lakers Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Los Angeles Lakers favoured over the Detroit Pistons by 2, with an over/under of 110.

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