It’s Pick Your Poison for the Pistons
After an inspired win against the Golden State Warriors the Pistons came back and were taken advantage of by the Oklahoma City Thunder and red-hot C Steven Adams. Usually you would think this matchup would be in favour of a traditional big like Drummond, but foul trouble and Adams pretty much spelled the evening for Drummond.
Against the Bucks, the game plan is quite clear. Stop penetration and close out on shooters. The Milwaukee Bucks only score an incredible 3.2% of their points on mid-range shots. Meanwhile they score 36.2% of their points from three and 55.8% from close-range. Outside of the Rockets the Bucks may have the most notable drive-and-kick game in the league and it’s all due to few teams being able to meet Giannis at the rim.
Luckily for the Pistons, Andre Drummond is a player that can meet anyone in the NBA at the rim. At 6’11 and 279lbs, Drummond is probably one of the few help defenders in the NBA that can match up with the Greek Freak inside. Considering the scheme for the Bucks is to either hit inside or from three, being the sole help defender as the beaten made recovers to the three point line may be beneficial for the Pistons in this matchup.
Will the Real Malcolm Brogdon Please Stand Up?
A quad injury derailed Brogdon’s sophomore campaign and the injection of mini-LeBron (bet you haven’t heard that minker in a while) Eric Bledsoe forced Brogdon into more of a supporting role after an exciting rookie of the year campaign that vaulted Brogdon’s value into a realm that it probably should’ve never been near.
Take it like this, Giannis is 14 points per 100 possessions better when he doesn’t share the court with Brogdon. It’s clear that Brogdon operates best as a secondary or even primary playmaker. Yet with Giannis on the court there’s no real reason for it to be in anyone else’s hands. Despite shooting almost 50% from three so far this season, Brogdon shows hestitation shooting the ball when not in the most absolute and prime situations. Not to belittle efficiency when shooting, but Brogdon needs to offer more on the court.
He’s a solid defender, but he’s not the pitbull that Dellavedova is. Perhaps the Brogdon would be best suited leading the bench unit. Each starter offers something valuable and unique at their position and since the introduction of Mike Budenholzer it seems he’s been featured in the starting lineup just to fill the space.
Time is Ticking for Langston Galloway
It’s been a long time since Galloway’s impressive rookie season with the Knicks—a season where he posted the highest PER of his career at 12.3. This season, Galloway is posting the worst PER of his career at 9.9 and it’s more a function of how he isn’t doing the job he’s being asked to do.
This season Galloway’s statistics in almost every advanced measure are down. What made him touted coming out of New York was that he was a guard with range and style who could heat up at a moments notice. However under Casey the lead guard duties have somewhat gone over him and without the ball Galloway has struggled to be effective.
While he’s shooting 40% from the field, Galloway is shooting 34% from three, which is the second lowest mark of his career. He’s never been a deadeye shooter, more of a streaky one. But with the ball in the hands of Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson, Galloway has been moved to SG in order to facilitate spacing the court. His current level of inefficiency is nothing he can’t recover from, but with 2-years and $14 million left on his contract he becomes a very movable asset as time goes on.
Budenholzer is not a Coach to Mess With
In the Milwaukee Bucks most recent loss to the New York Knicks, Budenholzer decided to bench Khris Middleton. That’s right, at 18.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 4.5 APG Khris Middleton was benched for the remainder of the match logging a 18 minutes in what would be a come back win for the Knicks.
So what led to the benching? Middleton owned up to it himself,
“Plain and simple just got benched today,” Middleton said. “Wasn’t playing well. Thought I was hurting the team more than I helped, so he decided not to play me.
Probably a missed defensive assignment, there was one loose ball I didn’t get, but it’s probably just stuff like that. Part of it – not part of it – that’s on me to get those and play hard and do the right things out there.”
Middleton is a huge asset for the Milwaukee Bucks, but his benching may be a message from Coach Budenholzer. After starting 7-0 the Milwaukee Bucks followed with an 8-7 showing over the next fifteen games. The Bucks are young, promising, and developing. But there seems to be discipline that Budenholzer is instituting to root out any notion that any player can take a play off.
What’s at stake?
Milwaukee still wants to reach the top of the table in the Eastern Conference. However the Bucks are searching for consistency after posting an 8-7 record after their unexpected 7-0 start. The Pistons are just two games behind them in the standings and there’s no way they can afford to lose a home game to a conference rival so close in the table.
The Detroit Pistons are off to a great start compared to years past. With Casey at the helm they’ve shown new discipline while Blake Griffin is showing a new side of himself that almost makes you forget about his high-flying NBA antics. Being only two games back, the Pistons need this away game for their current win column and the future should a tie-breaker occur for playoff seeding.
Questions to answer:
Will Budenholzer look for answers further down his bench?
Will the Pistons be energized after a drubbing by the Thunder?
Which team will own the paint?
Which bench unit can step up to support the stars?
Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and Odds
The oddsmakers have the Milwaukee Bucks favoured over the Detroit Pistons by 8, with an over/under of 110.