USA TODAY Sports
The Nets, badly burned by another deleted opponent, head to Detroit Wednesday night to face the Pistons who remade themselves in the three-team deal last week. They gave up Tyshaun Prince and Austin Daye and received Jose Calderon, who has his US visa and learning the playbook.
Calderon, a pick-and-roll expert, is likely to be a good match for the Pistons young bigs, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. His addition will also give Detroit additional depth in the backcourt. They could use both. The Pistons have lost six of the last eight, including their last two to the Lakers and Knicks, the latter with Calderon finishing with 15 points and three assists.
The Pistons are currently 24th in assists, which Calderon will help. He may also help stabilize that young roster. Drummond is (barely) 19 and is learning the game. Monroe is 22. Jonas Jerebko is 25. Brandon Knight, who's been replaced by Calderon at the point, is 20. Kyle Singler, who's replacing Prince, is 24. But that youthful roster can also explode. Five games ago, vs. the Bucks, Drummond went off for 18 points and 18 rebounds and Morgan finished with 14 and eight. Of course, they lost. Since then, Drummond hasn't scored more than nine points in a game but Monroe has averaged 17 and 12.
The Pistons are filled with ex-Nets, led by Lawrence Frank, who's getting good reviews for his development of the roster. Also on the coaching staff: former Nets assistants Brian Hill, John Loyer and Roy Rogers. In the front office, Ken Cantanella, vice president of basketball operations, is the Nets former coordinator of statistical analysis.
The Nets need a win, badly, back-to-back or not. They haven't played a dominant game against a team with a healthy roster since they beat the Knicks eight games and four losses ago.
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