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Pistons play host to Nets in Motor City

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Indiana Pacers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

Well alright. The Nets were home for an ESPN game last night, and beat the Houston Rockets by seven points. They’ll wrap up their three games in four nights stretch on Monday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. From there, they’ll get a few days off before heading west to begin a five-game road trip.

The opponent tonight will be the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons are going through it on the injury front right now, but they’re doing their best to hang in. They lost in Chicago against the Bulls Friday night.

Where to follow the game

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

Injuries

Nothing new here for Brooklyn.

Reggie Jackson has been dealing with a back injury and will likely miss this one. Blake Griffin has been progressing from a hamstring injury, but he’ll be out again.

The game

It looks like Derrick Rose found a time machine lying around somewhere. Rose has looked the best he has in years and has done an outstanding job coming off of the bench. For the Nets, their backup point guard, Spencer Dinwiddie, will look to provide his own scoring punch. Dinwiddie used to be a Piston, but the team let him go and he’s been giving them the blues ever since. Life is funny that way.

Caris Levert is hoping for a happy homecoming. The former Wolverine has been the Nets’ second option this year, but like most of his teammates, has been inflicted by the turnover bug. Levert has coughed it up a career high 19 percent of the time he’s had the ball, and if that keeps up, the Nets second units will struggle when he leads them. Expect some extra applause for CLV, the Michigan grad.

Kyrie Irving didn't have his greatest game, but he came through with huge plays late to secure the W last night. For the Nets, as long as they keep it close throughout the game, they can always count on Irving to deliver the knockout punch at the end.

Player to watch: Andre Drummond

The offensive numbers pop out, but Drummond’s defense might be the best thing about his season so far. Martin Mansour of Detroit Bad Boys made this great observation of Dre’s season so far:

Drummond has done a pretty good job of containing opponent players around that painted area. But how well has he actually defended it? Well, players being guarded by Andre Drummond are shooting 18.8% on 8 field goal attempts a game on shots 5-9 feet from the basket. Overall, Pistons opponents have shot 27.1% in that field goal range. This is a big improvement over last season, where the Pistons allowed opponents to shoot 41.7% in that area, sixth-worst in the league.

Obviously that 27.1% number isn’t sustainable. But if Drummond can help the Pistons stay somewhere under 35%, it would be a huge improvement from last season.

Rim protection is such an important aspect of the game, and if Drummond can keep it up, the Pistons have a good chance to weather the storm while they get healthy.

On offense, he’s still solid. Drummond has always been a bear on the offensive boards, and this year is no exception. For the duo of Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan, they’ll have to work extra hard to make an impact. It seems like the Nets still don’t have a solid answer as to who’ll be the regular starter, so this matchup could guide how the team progresses from here.

From the Vault

Two trips today. I saw that the 8 Mile soundtrack turned 17 a few days. Vibe out to the best song on the soundtrack

And a little Jason Kidd to start the day usually ends well

More reading: Detroit Bad Boys