After a decisive 12-point victory at Brooklyn on Sunday, the Detroit Pistons return home Monday in search of their first winning streak of the 2013-2014 season. Standing in their way will be former Pistons Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.
Detroit (5-8) has yet to play consistently like the team Pistons general manager Joe Dumars thought he was getting this offseason. After signing Josh Smith to a lofty four-year, $56 million deal, bringing in veteran Chauncey Billups and Italian sharpshooter Luigi Datome and trading for the likes of Brandon Jennings, the Pistons organization appeared to exhibit a playoff-or-bust mentality entering the season.
While the Pistons’ offense has been above-average, the team defense has been surprisingly mediocre. The Pistons rank 20th in points allowed at 100.5 per game and last in opponent field goal percentage. Detroit’s opponents have shot 47.9% against them this season.
Thankfully for Detroit, the Bucks have been anything but impressive to begin the season following a major roster overhaul that includes the loss of Jennings, Monta Ellis, J.J. Redick and Samuel Dalembert. Both Knight and Middleton will start for Milwaukee (2-10), as will free-agent acquisitions Zaza Pachulia, O.J. Mayo, and Caron Butler. Bucks center Larry Sanders (right thumb) and Carlos Delfino (right foot) are inactive.
The Pistons will start Jennings, Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Billups (knee tendonitis) and Will Bynum (left hamstring) are both listed as day-to-day and inactive for Monday night’s game.
Tip-off is at 7:30 ET. Follow all the action live from the Palace on Twitter @mreviewsports