The Detroit Pistons look to get their first win of 2014 on Friday night, as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers.
Detroit closed out 2013 horrifically, losing five of their final six games in December and the start to the new year hasn’t been any different. The Pistons have started off the new year by averaging 86.7 points per game, while shooting 33.7% from the floor, and losing by an average of 17.6 points per game.
With a 14-22 record on the season, the Pistons are now on the outside of the playoff bubble.
The 76ers are the youngest team in the league and do not have a player over the age of 25 on their active roster. Their inexperience could be the driving factor to their 12-23 start to the season, but that doesn’t mean that they are a weak opponent. Philadelphia has been growing as a team lately and are 4-2 over their last six games, each of those four wins came on the road.
Detroit beat Philadelphia on December 1st, 115-100 at The Palace, in their only meeting so far this season.
The 76ers had no answer for Andre Drummond’s dominance. The Pistons’ center had 31 points, shot 12-14 from the floor, grabbed 19 rebounds, and recorded six steals. Philadelphia fouled him every chance they had, leading to his 18 attempts from the line. The “hack-a-Drummond” philosophy was partially successful considering he only made seven of his free-throw attempts.
Brandon Jennings played outstanding in his role as the offensive facilitator. Jennings dropped 20 points to go along with his 12 assists and 6 rebounds.
Michael Carter-Williams experienced some struggles, as he shot just 5-15 from the floor and had four turnovers. The 76ers’ starting point guard has had a phenomenal start to his rookie season. The 11th-overall pick averages 17.7 points, 7.1 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.7 steals per game. In last June’s draft, Detroit passed on the former Syracuse star to select Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Philadelphia’s scoring attack was led by Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, scoring 24 and 20 points respectively.
The 76ers are a much better team when the play at Wells Fargo Center. So far this season they are 7-9 at home, compared to an atrocious 5-14 record on the road. The Pistons have a better road record (8-10) than their record at home, but the team statistics are nearly identical.
Friday night will mark the end to the Pistons’ six-game losing streak as they will beat the 76ers in a high-scoring game. Both teams have great potential in the long run but will continue to see many ups and downs throughout the season.
As awful as the Eastern Conference is, Detroit is currently in ninth place and cannot afford to continue this terrible losing streak. Mo Cheeks has had 36 games to see what his team is working with, he needs to start installing some team direction.
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