After a slew of mistakes, both from the players and the officials, the Detroit Pistons dropped a very close one to the Washington Wizards, 115-111, after a comeback came up short. Entering the fourth quarter trailing by ten, the Pistons managed to keep this one close until the very end, riding double-digits from four of their five starters. Guards Avery Bradley (18) and Reggie Jackson (21) were the pick of those for Stan Van Gundy’s men.
As for the Knicks, I’m almost too upset to speak about it but I’ll do my best. Manhattan’s former favorite son, Carmelo Anthony, debuted for his new Oklahoma City Thunder super team and grabbed 22 points as the Knicks were put to the sword 84-105. Kristaps Porzingis had 31 points as he was the only bright spot for the Knickerbockers. And that’s a sentence I’ll be writing in some form a lot this season.
Three Keys to the Game
It’s all about Porzingis – Kristaps Porzingis is the only worthwhile asset at the Knicks, as shown by his 31 points against OKC (Enes Kanter was next best with ten). Andre Drummond and Tobias Harris will be tasked with stopping the Latvian tonight, and even a modicum of success will put a serious dent in Jeff Hornacek’s hopes.
What is going on at point guard? – Ramon Sessions started, Ron Baker came off the bench. The two of them combined for 33% from the field, for 9 points and 7 turnovers. Rookie Frank Ntilikina missed the summer league, played only once in pre-season and is way off the pace, but with the vets performing the way they are, Hornacek will not be able to hold off his first rounder for much longer. The Knicks are a mess in a lot of places, but no more so than point guard.
Turnovers – Van Gundy bemoaned his side’s 19 turnovers. Against the Wizards, that was probably enough to cost them the victory, whether that will be the case against the hapless Knicks is a different point, but it must be said that those numbers are not befitting of a Van Gundy team. He will demand greater concentration, and so will the stronger teams in the league.
Matchup to Watch
Reggie Jackson vs Ramon Sessions – The Knicks are an absolute mess at point guard. Sessions was horrible, Baker was horrible, and (understandably) Ntilikina was horrible. Reggie Jackson will be licking his lips at the prospect of schooling any one of them. After going off for 21 points last night, Jackson is clearly on form, and if the Knicks cannot find something to slow his roll a blowout is on the cards.
Detroit Pistons Projected Starting Lineup
PG – Reggie Jackson | SG – Avery Bradley | SF – Stanley Johnson | PF – Tobias Harris | C – Andre Drummond
New York Knicks Projected Starting Lineup
PG – Ramon Sessions | SG – Courtney Lee | SF – Tim Hardaway Jr. | PF – Kristaps Porzingis | C – Enes Kanter
Jackson is an absolute must start tonight. With the Knicks the way they are at point guard, and Jackson hot off of a blistering 21-point display on his return to full fitness, expect him to carry on his form in Midtown.
Detroit are a 5.5 point favorite on the spread. That won’t be an issue. Safe bet.
Detroit. Don’t make me say anymore. Just put your money on Detroit and let’s move on, okay?
Only on MSG and Fox Sports Detroit, so either stream this one (8PM Eastern, Madison Square Garden) or don’t bother. Unless you’re a Pistons fan, or a sucker for punishment.
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