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Nets head to Detroit for Preseason Game No. 2

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Welp, the first Nets preseason game didn’t go quite as smoothly as I’m sure most of us had hoped. It’s never fun losing to the Knicks, even in an exhibition game. At least Rodions (Hot Rodi?) Kurucs looked good! Healthiest Latvian in New York, baby!! Anyway, it’s on to the next one for the Nets, and the Detroit Pistons are the opponent.

Coached by an old Atlantic Division foe in Dwayne Casey, Detroit will be looking to finally unlock the Andre Drummond/Blake Griffin/Reggie Jackson trio and make something — anything really — useful out of their almost-stars. We’re still in the “Let’s-just-make-sure-everyone-is-in-basketball-shape-and-knows the-playbook-and-please-please-please-don’t-get-injured” stage of the preseason, but this match-up may still serve as a test for the Nets big man rotation as they head into the season.

Where To Follow The Game

You can’t! Or at least, you can’t watch this one. Can’t listen either. Maybe NBA League Pass? It seems bizarre in 2018 that a New York City professional sports team would play a game, even a preseason game, without being broadcast somewhere but I guess that’s our reality. If someone wants to fly out to Detroit and send videos of the game so we dedicated fans can follow along feel free to DM us.

One good thing: this will be the last preseason game without some TV coverage. YES will debut its 2018-19 coverage Wednesday when the Nets head to Montreal to play the Raptors and both YES and MSG will cover the final preseason game at the Garden on Friday.

The game is being broadcast by FOX Sports Detroit which would suggest it will be on NBA League Pass. Also, the Pistons radio station, 97.1 The Ticket, is covering the game. You can listen online.

Injuries

Things are getting better. Kenneth Faried practiced fully Sunday and has been cleared to play vs. the Pistons. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played a bit as well. However, Kenny Atkinson won’t commit to whether RHJ will be ready for the season opener — now a little more than a week away. Hollis-Jefferson strained his adductor muscle (hip) August 4 while in China for a Jeremy Lin charity game.

Shabazz Napier (hamstring) is still out. No word on Mitch Creek or Alan Williams, both of whom missed the Knicks games with minor injuries. Dzanan Musa, who hurt his ankle in Bosnia, has been practicing for a week now. So maybe we see him, too.

The Pistons’ Big Three have all been cleared to play. No word yet if they will.

The Game

As noted earlier, this game might serve as a litmus test for the Nets big men. Adding Ed Davis and Kenneth Faried should really help shore up the rebounding game, but Enes (Freaking) Kanter went for 22 and 20 in the preseason opener. Not great, Bob!

It’s hard to get a handle on this Pistons roster this season, it’s tough to project what they might do on the court. They’re kind of top heavy and not particularly deep, but if Griffin can stay healthy and Jackson plays well they seem like the kind of team that might win some games in a weak East. They could also be a dumpster fire. We’ll see.

The Nets on the other hand are still just working out the kinks. I’m expecting a couple more minutes for Kurucs in this one after his performance against the Knicks at Barclays. I doubt Kenny Atkinson pushes him too hard, but the dude deserves a little extra time. Also figuring out the best way to play Caris Levert and D’Angelo Russell on the floor together will be important going forward, so maybe watch out for some of that.

Otherwise, let’s hope no one gets injured and everyone finds themselves a little bit more ready for the regular season when this one is over.

Player To Watch

I guess this edition should be “Player To Check The Box Score For” because it’s 1946 and this game won’t be televised (We can’t leave it alone), but I’m going to go with Caris Levert. The Nets have been talking up a storm about him recently and Detroit does not have the best guard/wing rotation. Plus it’s preseason. Levert might do some damage in this one.

On the other side, beyond where to fit Blake Griffin, the issue is will Reggie Jackson ever mature, ever stay healthy. Jackson has missed 67 games the last two years due to a series of injuries, mostly to his ankle. He’s reportedly been wowing his teammates and coaches in practice. We shall see.

From The Vault

Spencer Dinwiddie, drafted by the Pistons in 2014, hit a lot of clutch shots last season, Here’s one of them in one of the crazier finishes to a game the Nets had all last season. Enjoy!

For the other side of the story, visit Detroit Bad Boys, our SB Nation sister site.