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Thunder vs Pistons preview and gamethread: OKC faces machine-like precision in Detroit

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OKC will need a big game from its backcourt to tackle the surprising Pistons.

NBA: Preseason-Detroit Pistons at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Detroit Pistons

Time: 6PM CST

Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, and how/when in the world did The Palace of Auburn Hills turn into a pizza joint?

Broadcast: FSOK


The Oklahoma City Thunder face the Detroit Pistons on the road in a matchup featuring two of the more surprising teams so far 14 of the way through the season. Detroit, coming off a big win against Golden State, have not lost in two weeks and now are looking to complete a six game home stand undefeated.

Meanwhile, the Thunder to their own credit have won the past two games in convincing fashion, although those two wins game against teams with a combined record of 9-34. The Pistons offer a different kind of challenge.

We have frequently enjoyed a number of Pistons fans visit WTLC over the past few years, ever since the trade that sent Thunder backup Reggie Jackson to Detroit while bringing in Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler. (aside — do we now have to admit Detroit won that trade?) Many of those fans would refer to Detroit as the sister team in the East to OKC, and this season, they might be onto something. The Pistons are assembled in similar fashion as the Thunder, with a scoring point guard (who used to be Westbrook’s understudy), a dominant big man, and an all-star forward who can do a little bit of everything. Even more so, the Pistons’ bench has been a bright spot, most recently outscoring the Warriors’ bench, 42-13.

There are two deeeelightful matchups we’re in for tonight, most obviously with Steven Adams taking on Andre Drummond, and Russell Westbrook wanting to make Reggie Jackson guard him all night. The former may end in a draw, while the latter is heavily in the Thunder’s favor, as the Pistons are weak defensively at the guard position.

But perhaps the game will turn on the bench play, with Dennis Schroder taking on former Thunder Ish Smith and high-scoring forward Stanley Johnson. While we don’t yet know if Hamidou Diallo will play tonight (he was active vs the Hawks but recorded a DNP), the Thunder bench has frequently provided an offensive spark on both ends of the court.

This game should be a fun one, and a good measuring stick to see how OKC is able to focus against a team that has considerable playoff potential.


Who do you think will win tonight?

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