Game On: Pelicans @ Pistons

Published: January 24, 2014

I have a dirty little secret.  Last year, when I wrote about how amazing Anthony Davis was as a 19-year old and how historically he was outproducing 19-year old superstars like Kobe, LeBron, Garnett, and Dwight Howard.  However, I did one little trick so I could focus on Anthony Davis – I cut off players who played less than a certain number of minutes in my comparison so I wouldn’t have to talk about Andre Drummond too.  Because Drummond was amazing as a 19-year old.

Tonight at 6:30, the Pelicans get to meet Detroit and their own young prodigy.  Despite both shining statistically, Drummond is a different sort of player than Davis.  His offensive talents are similar to those of Tyson Chandler five years ago – limited to putback and crushing alley-oops, but like Tyson he has the potential to be a good teams’ second best player because he is a huge presence in the paint, defensively, and on the glass.  His boardwork, and his ability to finish around the rim, makes him a cornerstone.   It’ll be fun to see which cornerstone impacts the game more.  Davis and his versatility, or Drummond and his rim-control.

Keys to the Game

  • Protect the Defensive Glass.  The Pistons, with contributions from Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and (surprisingly) Kyle Singler crash the offensive glass at a rate higher than any other team in the league.   The Pistons aren’t very good shooters, so if you can keep them from cleaning up those misses, they will lose badly.
  • Protect the ball.  The Pistons live on turnovers – but not steals – they force bad passes and draw offensive fouls.  Move the ball and try not to do to much off the dribble and the Pistons will not be able to match their 4th best in the league rate of causing turnovers.
  • Foul the crap out of the Pistons bigs.  For once, the Pelicans major weakness – their propensity to foul opponents all the time in the paint – may be a benefit.  Other than Stuckey, all the Pistons are bad foul shooters for their positions.  Drummond shoots 40%, Smith 56%, and Monroe 64%.  Maybe this will pay off?

Enjoy the game.

I will because the Pistons seem like a natural trade partner for the Pelicans.  Too many bigs in Detroit.  Too many guards in New Orleans.  Let’s make a deal!

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