The Back Story (Clippers lead the season series 1-0)
|Clippers 104, Pistons 98
The Big Picture: The Clippers are coming off back-to-back disappointing games against the Wizards and Bucks. Both games felt a lot more damning than the final scores would indicate. While the Wizards and Bucks are both full of young talent, they are still the type of team the Clippers are supposed to be able to put away. The injury to Spencer Hawes has made the bench a glaring issue. There seems to be a pattern of the starters building a lead and the bench promptly blowing it. I'd like to say that the Pistons are the perfect prescription to fix what ails the Clips, but given the way the Clippers have been playing and the previous outcome, this could end up being a tight one.
The Antagonist: Following a 13-game losing streak, the Pistons are coming off two nice road wins against the Kings and Suns. The Pistons are better than their record. Many of their losses came down to the final moments of the game and really could have gone either way. They don't appear to be overtly tanking. Expect them to be live tonight, if the Clippers malaise continues, the Pistons could take this game.
- Comparison of key metrics. The Clippers are near the top of the league in offensive rating but solidly middle-of-the-pack in defensive rating - just outside of the top ten in pace. The Pistons are near the bottom in every category.
- Health update. MRI revealed a bone bruise on Spencer Hawes's knee, he is considered day-to-day. The Pistons' Jodie Meeks played his first game of the season the other night after being out with a back injury.
- 6. CP3 turned the ball over six times in each of the last two games. Reducing that number could go a long way in securing a Clipper victory tonight.
- Losing streak. Until Saturday, the Clippers had not lost back-to-back games this season. Can they halt the only losing streak of the season at 2?
- Connections. Caron Butler played on the Clippers for two seasons as the starting small forward, and was considered a big step forward in the Clippers respectability when he was acquired back in 2011. Jamal Crawford played at Michigan in college, just an hour down the road from Detroit. Clippers assistant coach Lawrence Frank was head coach of the Pistons from 2011-2013 and was fired after compiling a 54-94 record. Nobody on the Clippers has ever played for the Pistons, and nobody but Caron on the Pistons has played for the Clippers. Because the Pistons roster is so young, none of them have even been on the same team as anyone on the Clippers roster.
- Get the Detroit perspective at Detroit Bad Boys.
- Wikipedia Entry: A piston is a component of reciprocating engines, reciprocating pumps, gas compressors and pneumatic cylinders, among other similar mechanisms. It is the moving component that is contained by a cylinder and is made gas-tight by piston rings. In an engine, its purpose is to transfer force from expanding gas in the cylinder to the crankshaft via a piston rod and/or connecting rod. In a pump, the function is reversed and force is transferred from the crankshaft to the piston for the purpose of compressing or ejecting the fluid in the cylinder. In some engines, the piston also acts as a valve by covering and uncovering ports in the cylinder wall.