Pistons at Clippers Game Preview - January 20, 2014
Regular Season Game #41This duel during the day in Detroit will display some of the NBA's dunking dynamos.
That's certainly the preferred method of scoring for the Pistons given the way they shoot 3-pointers.
Fans of ferocious finishes should have fun Monday when DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers take on Andre Drummond and the Pistons.
Jordan has an NBA-high 109 dunks, Drummond is second with 99 and Griffin fourth with 85. The Pistons also have Josh Smith, who is known for his aerial ability but has played more on the perimeter this season and has just 33 dunks.
Smith isn't playing to his strengths if he stays behind the arc for Detroit (17-23), which is shooting a league-worst 31.0 percent on 3-pointers - 27.2 percent while losing seven of its last 10. He and Brandon Jennings shoot the most 3s on the team and are the biggest culprits of late.
Jennings is shooting 27.5 percent from beyond the arc over his last eight games while Smith has made four of his last 28 attempts (14.3).
The Pistons are shooting 25.4 percent on 3-pointers while going 2-12 against Western Conference foes. The Clippers defend the 3-point arc well, limiting opponents to 33.5 percent.
Los Angeles (28-14) will be looking to get back on track after its five-game win streak ended with Saturday's 106-92 loss at Indiana. The Clippers averaged 114.6 points and shot 46.0 percent during their run before being limited to 39.8 percent shooting against the league's best defense.
"We didn't play well at all," coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought their defense really rushed us. We talked about how they tried to channel you into their bigs and we kept falling for it over and over again. We just didn't execute offensively."
The Clippers have to like their chances of getting back to their high-scoring ways against the Pistons, who are allowing opponents to shoot 46.5 percent and average 102.6 points.
Los Angeles has won five of seven since Chris Paul went down with a separated right shoulder Jan. 3. Darren Collison has taken over as the starter and is playing well, averaging 15.0 points and shooting 55.1 percent, although his four assists against the Pacers marked his lowest total of that stretch.
"You've got to be able to move the ball from side to side," Collison said. "At times, we did it, at times we didn't."
Detroit has won three of four following Saturday's 104-98 victory at Washington. The Pistons got 41 points from their reserve after their bench had a season-high 55 the night before in a 110-89 defeat to Utah. Rodney Stuckey totaled 41 points in those games and helped spark some key surges against the Wizards.
"I just go in there and try to do what I do and try to change the game," Stuckey said. "That's what we did tonight, the bench players. We came in and did a good job of changing the game."
Jordan leads the NBA with 13.5 rebounds per game and is second in field goal percentage at 63.5, with Drummond third at 60.1.
Los Angeles has captured the last four meetings.