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Struggling Pistons host Nets

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Nope. The Brooklyn Nets played the Philadelphia 76ers tough on Tuesday night, but couldn’t bring it all the way home as they lost 106-101.

The opponent this evening will be the Detroit Pistons. It’s been an incredibly disappointing season for Stan Van Gundy’s team, and even though they’re still in the playoff race, time’s running out. They lost to the Heat on Tuesday and pushed their losing streak to five. They’ve also lost eight out of their last nine games.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Quincy Acy is out and Joe Harris will likely be out as well.

Reggie Jackson didn’t play on Tuesday and his status for this game is unknown. He’s been “resting” the last two games. Reggie Bullock is out.

The game

The Nets won first game in November and the second one last week.

Stan Van Gundy made a major change to his starting lineup recently. He reinserted Ish Smith into the starting five and demoted Reggie Jackson to the bench. Jackson has had a disappointing season, which I wrote about here. As for Smith, the offense has been much more effective when he's in the game and SVG is hoping that continues from here on out. Jeremy Lin didn’t play the last time Brooklyn played Detroit, so he’ll give Smith some headaches on defense.

As someone who’s already on their radar, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would help himself a bit with a great showing against the Nets tonight. He’s averaging 14 points on a 40.5/36.3/83.6 shooting split. He’s also just 23 years old and figures to improve going forward. Caris Levert should be matched up with KCP. As we reach the end of the year, it’ll be interesting to see how he does. He hasn’t missed a game in a month and that’s a great sign as he gets further and further away from the injury that caused him to miss the early portion of the season.

And of course, both LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie will be coming “home.” LeVert played his college ball at Michigan and Dinwiddie was drafted by the Pistons, but barely played.

Player to watch: Andre Drummond

Drummond’s numbers are fine, but it still feels as if he should be better than what he is. He’s averaging 14 points and 14 rebounds a night, but that doesn’t really tell the whole story. His defense has left a lot to be desired, he can’t make free throws, and fell asleep in the final seconds of Tuesday’s game and allowed Hassan Whiteside to hit a game winning tip in. Altogether, the Pistons are 6.5 points per 100 possessions worse when he’s on the floor. For a player who’s on a max deal and was expected to be a franchise type player going forward, he needs to do a lot more.

Drummond will try to slow Brook Lopez down. Lopez has made life hell on Dre this year as he’s averaged 31.5 points on 55.5 percent shooting in the two games this season. Also, this:

Look for Brooklyn to go after Drummond early and often.

From the Vault

This year’s inductees to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame will be announced this weekend, and two Pistons are on the ballot. Mark Aguirre has been on the ballot for a while, and as one of the best scorers of the 1980s, there’s a case to be made for his induction.

Ben Wallace is also up for induction, and as one of the best defensive players of his era, he deserves to be inducted to the Hall.

More reading: Detroit Bad Boys