Scouting Report: Detroit Pistons

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

Detroit Pistons v Atlanta Hawks

The Detroit Pistons come into Wednesday’s game in Atlanta with a 4-6 record, but they just got finished with a difficult west coast road trip that included Portland, Golden State and the Lakers.  They were back home Tuesday night and got a big win over the Knicks, so they come into Philips Arena tonight with some confidence.

When you think Pistons, you think of a big, physical team, and that’s exactly what they are.  Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe anchor down the middle, though the interior defense isn’t exactly what you would expect so far.  Opponents are shooting better than 65 percent on shots five feet or closer, which is the fifth highest total any team is allowing this season.  Detroit also has the worst shooting defense in the NBA right now, allowing teams to shoot a league-high 48 percent from the field.  Hopefully the Hawks can bounce back from a tough offensive night in Miami and find the net against Detroit’s leaky defense.

The Pistons are very balanced on the offensive end.  Long-time Hawk Josh Smith leads Detroit in scoring at 16.5 PPG, But even Drummond at number five on the team is averaging better than 12 points, so they get scoring from everybody.  It should also be noted that Drummond is shooting 67 percent from the field, so not allowing him to catch the ball on the low block is probably a good idea.  Monroe is shooting better than 50 percent, so when the Pistons make a concentrated effort to get those two guys the ball, good things are happening.

The Hawks are going to see a completely different style of offense than what they saw last night.  Whereas last night they were concerned with stopping the dribble drive and closing out on three-pointers, tonight’s opponent moves at a much more deliberate pace.  There aren’t many guys on Detroit’s team who are a huge threat to shoot from the perimeter or beat you off the dribble one-on-one, so I’d expect Atlanta to pack the defense in tight and, at times, double Drummond and Monroe.  Detroit definitely has the size advantage, but the Hawks may be able to get away with double teams more tonight because Detroit doesn’t shoot the ball nearly as well as Miami.

One thing the Hawks will have to do well is box out and limit the Pistons to one possession.  Detroit is tied for the league lead with 14 offensive rebounds per game, which is no surprise with their long, athletic forwards.  The Pistons won’t make a whole lot of first shot opportunities, but Atlanta will be in trouble if they start getting second shots.  If they box out well and defend the interior, they should be in good shape.

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

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