Gametime: 7:30 p.m. EST
The Detroit Pistons had a pretty big offseason this year with newcomers Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings joining the young frontcourt duo of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. The playoffs are clearly the goal for Detroit and they're in the heat of the race for the lower seeds thanks to miserable Eastern Conference depth.
Still, at 13-14, the Pistons have had a bit of a mediocre start for a team with high goals and a decent roster. Their offense has been middling because of a lack of three-point shooting, not unlike the Bobcats. In fact, both teams get their shots in similar distributions around the court. Neither team takes a ton of long twos, and like to force their ways to the rim.
The big difference is of course the frontcourt strength Detroit boasts. Monroe and Drummond are there to clean up any misses they can get their hands on, helping lead the Pistons to become the top offensive rebounding team. The Bobcats have handled opposing frontcourts pretty well this season because of a great defensive scheme, but it'll be tested by these two. Drummond is scary on cuts and in the pick and roll because he's a huge athletic target that's hard to stop once he moves towards the hoop. Monroe does some of that as well, but he's a much better threat out of the post.
Josh Smith will be a tough cover for whoever's playing small forward. He loves his jump shot, but he's versatile to play as a power forward, and he's got the size and athleticism for it too.
For the Cats, they'll probably want to get the Detroit big dudes away from the hoop as much as possible, so look for the pick and roll a lot. Ball movement will be necessary to keep the Bobcats offense clicking, and as always Charlotte will need to get to the charity stripe.