The Detroit Pistons head to Tinseltown on to take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at the Staples Center.
The Pistons are coming off a loss to the red hot San Antonio Spurs while the Lakers are fresh off a victory over the Dallas Mavericks. With the season heading to its midway point, both teams look to improve their records and position themselves for a playoff spot. Detroit is currently at #9 in the East while the Lakers are holding on to the 8th spot in the Western Conference.
The Pistons missed the playoffs last season after finishing with just 39 total wins. But with Blake Griffin returning this year, Detroit was touted to improve their record and possibly make the playoffs this season. However, with almost half the season already done, Detroit has underachieved with their 17-21 record. The Pistons enter this game having lost five of their last six games. They hope to pick up a road win that puts them back on track.
Griffin has rediscovered his All-Star form in Detroit. The former Clippers superstar is averaging 25.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game this season. Griffin’s backcourt partner is Andre Drummond who leads the league in rebounding with 14.9 boards per contest while also scoring 17.1 points per game. Reggie Jackson is also contributing 15.1 points and 4.3 assists per game to the Detroit cause.
With Drummond on board, the Pistons rank 9th in the league in rebounding at 46.4 boards per contest. However, their other statistics are pointing southwards. Detroit is 14th in scoring defense at 109.7 points per game allowed, 24th in team scoring at 107.2 points per game scored and 25th in passing at 22.1 assists per game.
The Los Angeles Lakers have limped to a 2-5 record since beating the two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. The Purple and Gold lost LeBron James to a groin injury in the second half of that game. A couple of games later, the team also lost second leading scorer Kyle Kuzma to a back injury. James won’t be back anytime soon but Kuz has already returned for the Lakers as he played in their last game, a 107-97 win over the Mavericks in Dallas.
Kuzma is key for the Lakers as he has blossomed into a consistent offensive weapon for the Lakers. The second year man is Los Angeles’ second leading scorer behind LeBron James at 18.2 points per game. Kuzma scored only 13 in his first game back but expect him to figure in a bigger role on Tuesday. Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball stepped up against the Mavs. Ingram is averaging 16.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while Ball is putting up 9.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game.
The Lakers are 10th in the league in scoring at 112.2 points per game and 14th in passing at 24.5 assists per game. Los Angeles is also ranked 8th overall in rebounding with an average of 46.7 boards per contest. The Lakers defense is allowing opponents to score 111.1 points per game which is 18th best among 30 NBA teams.
The Pistons are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games played. Detroit is 6-11 SU on the road this season. The Lakers are 4-10 SU in their last 10 games played. Los Angeles is 13-8 SU at home this season. Head to head, the Lakers are 6-4 SU in their last 10 meetings and 4-1 SU in their last five meetings at Staples Center.
Both these teams are currently on a funk, winning fewer than half of their last 10 games. But the Pistons are losing even with their top player healthy while the Lakers are struggling because their are without their number one player. The Lakers are still without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo on Tuesday but they got Kyle Kuzma back in their last game and although he struggled with just 13 points, the Lakers added to their depth and beat the Mavs in Dallas.
The Pistons have been a very streaky team this season. They won five in a row, then lost six straight games, went 3-3 in their next six games and now have lost five of their last six games. This inconsistency makes it hard to predict this team even with Griffin and Drummond playing. Between Detroit’s unpredictability and the Lakers’ playing without their main man, I’m more confident in putting my money on the Lakers who will be playing at home in what bookies expect to be a very close game. The Lakers have had problems winning close games earlier this season but against Detroit who’s struggled more than they have, I’m going with the Purple and Gold here. We’re picking the Los Angeles Lakers to beat the Detroit Pistons on 1/9/19.
The Pistons are 0-6 ATS in their last six games playing on one-day rest. Detroit is also 0-5 ATS in their last five games after scoring 100 or more points in their previous outing. The Pistons are also 1-4 ATS in their last five road games and 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. The Lakers have also struggled against the spread, going 1-4 ATS in their last five games at Staples Center. But head to head, the home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings and the Pistons are 1-7 ATS in their last seven games played in Los Angeles. Prediction: Lakers -1.5
The under is 20-18 in Detroit’s 38 games played this season and 9-8 in their 17 road games played so far. The total has gone under in 25 out of the 41 games played by the Lakers so far. The total has also gone under in 14 out of the 21 home games played by Los Angeles. Head to head, the under is 5-3 in their last eight meetings.
Los Angeles has averaged just 107.0 points per game in the seven games they’ve played without LeBron James. The under has hit in three out of their last four games played. The Pistons meanwhile are 14th in scoring defense but are only 24th in scoring. The total has gone over 214 points in just one out of the last six games played by the Pistons. The under is also 16-7 in the last 23 meetings between these teams. Prediction: Under 217.5