The Detroit Pistons have the distinction of being one of worst shooting teams in the NBA, shooting 43.5% from the field (29th in NBA). PF Blake Griffin is having an outstanding season, leading the Pistons in scoring (25.5 PPG) and assists (5.2 APG) while Andre Drummond leads the NBA in rebounding with 14.9 RPG. The team has not been playing well of late, losing 7 of its last 9 games, including losses to 5 teams with a losing record. The fact they lost its last two home games before heading out on a 3-game road trip doesn’t bode well for where the team is headed right now. The pressure is on to turn things around now or changes would be in order.
With Lebron James expected to miss at least one more week, the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to hold things together. The team is also struggling with some internal issues, which seems to be the mid-season trademark of any team that James is playing on. Since James went down with an injury, the Lakers have dropped 5 of 7 games, averaging more than 5 points less per game than they did with Lebron on the floor. Without him, the scoring responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of Kyle Kuzma (18.2 PPG) and Brandon Ingram (16.8 PPG). Clearly, this team has talent, but not enough to overcome the loss of an aged superstar who can still perform at an elite level.
Prediction: Both of these teams play at a pace that ranks in the upper 3rd of the league. With both teams struggling to hit from the field, there’s a good chance the rabbits will turned loose for this one. The over looks a tab bit low and presents a nice opportunity for handicappers to score. Pick over 218 (score – Los Angeles 118-111)