Of course you know the numbers. We've won three straight, seven of our last nine, nine of our last 11, we're currently 5th in the West, four games behind the San Antonio Spurs, etc., etc., etc. As for the Pistons, they are last place in their division and 13 games under .500. We rolled over the Pistons back in mid-January in a 18-point win, so... Again, anyone else feel a letdown game coming? I hope not...
The optimist in me says we should be able to repeat our walk-over performance from when we last met the Pistons, but the reason why we're all going to watch tonight is, well, because the game is played on the court for a reason. Nothing's certain.
We're absolutely clicking right now with great chemistry on offense and our typical grind on defense. Tonight, I worry most about Greg Monroe who has a unique skill-set. He's big, long and athletic. He can get out and run the court well and also pass at a high level out of the post. Marc Gasol will be able to body him, but, again, Monroe works his feet really well and could cause fits, especially when he passes out of the post.
Brandon Knight might give us a little trouble. Mike Conley is going to have to run with him and really work on defense, which is something we've seen him improve on this season. But with young point guards they are sometimes so active that they can cause a disruption on both sides of the court, especially on a back-to-back.
Outside of that, the thing we have to watch with the Pistons is their defense. They win most of their games by causing headaches on the defensive end. There is absolutely no way they'll run (or shoot) us off the court. None. They're not an offensive juggernaut by any means. But they have shown nice defensive sets. So, we'll have to keep an eye out for that.
As far as I'm concerned, though, this is a game we should win. I'm confident, but of course not 100%. Anything can happen. But with the way we're playing right now, we should have no problem getting past the Pistons tonight to make it four straight wins, and heading into a sweet spot in the schedule.
You have to admit, it's a good time to be a Grizzlies fan. With our team surging and our "captain" on his way back, the Spurs are most certainly a team within reach.
For more on the Pistons, see: Detroit Bad Boys