Due to the Detroit Pistons‘ low profile these days, they can enjoy a light schedule over the holiday week with only three games over the next seven days. Detroit will be taking to the road for all three, though. Fortunately, they should be the better team in all three games and have a shot at their second three-game winning streak of the year.
They have been hot as visitors recently with a 5-1 road record so far this month, including a pair of impressive wins against the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. They open the week on Monday with a trip to Quicken Loans Arena to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have not played well to start this season, but they have shown some considerable improvement in December, especially on their home floor.
They are scoring 105 PPG at home this month and have only lost once, a surprisingly close 119-116 setback to the Portland Trail Blazers, through six games. Although they have improved their offense this month and rebound fairly well on the offensive glass, they still have the league’s lowest points-per-shot rating (1.12). The Pistons are riding a six-game win streak against Cleveland, and they should be able to extend that to seven.
After a holiday break, the Pistons face a back-to-back against the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards on Friday and Saturday. The Magic are only 2-9 in December and have yet to win a home game this month. Arron Aflalo should give Pistons’ fans a sore spot, but the Magic are a good matchup for Detroit. They don’t really do anything well, and they have one of the worst assist-to-turnover ratios in the league. While the Pistons aren’t great defenders, they do force a lot of turnovers. The Pistons should win this one easily.
The Wizards could be a tougher opponent. They move the ball well and have the fourth-best 3-point percentage in the NBA. Similar teams have been an Achilles heel for this Pistons defense. The Wizards are a bit of an enigma, though. They are a pretty young team, and they do not play consistently well, as evidenced by a home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this month.
They come into the week with a three-game win streak though, and they force just as many turnovers as the Pistons do.
Including preseason, the Wizards have dropped two games against Detroit this season, so I am inclined to say the Pistons will improve to 3-0 on the week in this game. Seeing as this will be the second night of a back-to-back and the Pistons haven’t been too consistent this season either, this one could easily go the other way.