The Los Angeles Lakers will look to get back on the win column against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. After two brutal losses to the Spurs and Clippers, LA should be able to come out strong and compete against a disappointing but able Pistons team.
The Lakers will have a little bit of luck on their side as the face Detroit. Stan Van Gundy’s team will be without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as he nurses an injured shoulder. KCP is by far the Pistons’ best defender and his shooting ability from behind the arc is a real weapon for the Pistons.
Detroit is also without Jon Leuer, arguably their best player off the bench.
The Pistons are the 22nd ranked offense in the NBA, a welcome sight for a Lakers team that often has trouble slowing down their opposition. They will still have their challenges especially due to a potent pick-and-roll game between Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond.
Neither of those players has improved from their great seasons last year. However, the Lakers have recently had trouble guarding bigs, giving up big games to Pau Gasol and DeAndre Jordan in back-to-back games. They will have to find a way to corral Drummond. That’s where KCP’s absence will have an effect; his replacement (Reggie Bullock) is a 25% three point shooter this season, giving the Lakers an opportunity to crowd the paint.
The strength of the Pistons is their 15th ranked defense. The Lakers should be able to exploit it without KCP, however. Putting Drummond in pick-and-rolls would be a good place to start. For the Lakers, it will be a matter of keeping focus and playing the same brand of offense throughout the game.
Tip-off is 6:30 PM PST on Spectrum SportsNet.