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Game Preview: Knicks @ Pistons, 2/28/2021

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Motown showdown.

New York Knicks v Detroit Pistons

Back-to-back wins for the Knicks and now back-to-back games. Tonight in Detroit the Knicks are faced with a surging bottom dweller. This is a major hurdle for the Knicks to leap over if they intend to continue their rise to respectability. The lol, Knicks of old would simply fold tonight, then make a valiant effort after waving the white flag.

These Knicks always bring the battering ram.

Maurice Cheeks Struggling to Grab Ball

Projected Starters

It wasn’t that long ago the Knicks hung 140 on the Kings. It seemed like a surefire thing right? The Knicks can just score a ton of points all the time now. Easy, breezy. Alas, it was Marvin Bagley and the hapless Sactown defense. Speaking of which, I wonder what’s going on in Detroit since they snared former lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr.?

Ooh! A monster dunk on Marvin Bagley. Ya don’t say!

Derrick Rose v Dennis Smith Jr.

Reggie Bullock v Svi Mykhailiuk

RJ Barrett v Saddiq Bey

Julius Randle v Jerami Grant

Nerlens Noel v Mason Plumlee

The Knicks beat a much more well rounded opponent last night. The tough part is traveling to another town, and getting that energy right back up to the level the next night. We’ll see if they can put some of the scoring chops together that they had against the Kings.

Detroit Pistons v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

The lack of guard depth has really hampered the Pistons. Last season it was the Knicks who brought on all the big forwards and lost a ton of games, so I sympathize. Seasons change though and Detroit locked in with a group, that is trying to stand on their own two, having shed the structure of Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin, although Griffin still is in the process of being moved. Just the same, the Pistons fortunes were never truly tied to those two once the got new general manager, Troy Weaver.

With these teams nearly identical on offense statistically, it will be “fun” to see a slow paced mash out. The big differences in their charts are really just that the Pistons get more assists and more turnovers too. So if the Knicks know themselves, they’ll know what they’re up against.

Julius Randle was once behind Jerami Grant in the race to become an All Star. I’m surprised Grant having played for last season’s Western Conference runner-up, the Denver Nuggets, didn’t give Jerami the edge. Here’s looking at you Kurt Helin.

Knicks by -9

Bill Laimbeer rebounds against Kniicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/ NBAE via Getty Images

Parting Shot

Don’t hate the player, or the game. Hate the former Knicks coach and GM.

Patrick Ewing Pregame Handshake Portrait Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images