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Charlotte Bobcats at Detroit Pistons game preview


Gametime: 7:30 p.m. EST

Today's Tunes:

Cloud Nothings - Wasted Days (via Blanket2183)

Game Overview:

The Pistons had a rough start to their season, stumbling out of the gate to a quick 0-8 record. But since then, they've more or less found their footing. Currently, Detroit is on a four-game win streak, during a stretch in which they've gone 6-1 with the only loss coming in double overtime vs Atlanta. For a team that started off as the butt of jokes, they've made a pretty startling turnaround, beating the Heat, Bucks and Hawks within the past four games.

This strong play of late flies in the face of inconsistent guard play and even some disappointing seasons for key players like Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey. Monroe's shooting has from 52.1 percent to 46.4 percent from the field. His rebounding percentages are down across the board and his turnovers are up. Stuckey's pretty much the only shooting guard on the roster, so his decline in shooting is also concerning.

Brandon Knight is shooting better, which is encouraging, but he still seems to have trouble running an offense. Further, Charlie Villanueva and Austin Daye have both worked their way back into the rotation. Detroit has also recently gotten good games out of its bench players like Will Bynum.

But the biggest new thing about the Pistons, well, is the biggest new thing on the Pistons. Andre Drummond has put questions of his motor beneath him and is gradually earning more and more minutes. Drummond is proving to be a strong rebounder. A really strong rebounder. He has the second-best offensive rebounding percentage and the sixth-best overall rebounding percentage. Drummond also has the fifth-best block percentage. He's a terrible free throw shooter but his size and athleticism makes for a great finisher at the hoop.

Given how much trouble Monroe has given Charlotte in the past year (20 ppg, 12 rpg, including 4 offensive rebounds per game), perhaps Detroit will try to play Monroe with Drummond alongside one another. I can't imagine how much trouble the Bobcats could face trying to defend these two.

But the player I'm most interested in is Viacheslav Kravtsov. With a name like that, how can you not be?