Pistons vs Bobcats Game Preview - December 20, 2013
Regular Season Game #28While the Detroit Pistons have been the league's top scoring team in the paint, they'll become even more dangerous if Brandon Jennings can continue making shots from the perimeter.
Executing that plan could be tough against one of the NBA's top defensive clubs.
Though they've played well on the road, the Pistons try for only their fifth win in their last 13 home games Friday night while the Charlotte Bobcats seek a season-high third straight win.
Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond present a difficult matchup inside, and they teamed for 26 points and 24 rebounds as Detroit scored 52 in the paint en route to a 107-106 victory at Boston on Wednesday.
The Pistons (13-14), averaging a league-high 51.6 paint points, rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit to win for the seventh time in 11 games.
Led by Jennings' five 3-pointers, Detroit, which came in shooting just 31.2 percent from long range, complemented its interior production by going 10 for 27 from beyond the arc. Jennings finished with 28 points and matched a season high with 14 assists.
"He made plays," said coach Maurice Cheeks, whose club won at Indiana in its previous contest. "If it wasn't for him, he made it for other players like Monroe and had plays down low."
Jennings has averaged 20.8 points while hitting 20 of 49 from beyond the arc over his last eight contests.
Monroe and Drummond combined for 27 points and 15 boards to help the Pistons hold a 58-28 advantage in the paint on the way to a 113-93 victory in the most recent matchup with the Bobcats in Detroit on April 12.
Things aren't likely to come as easy against this Charlotte team, which ranks near the top of the NBA by allowing averages of 35.7 paint points and 92.7 points overall.
Charlotte has limited its opponents to 10-of-41 shooting from 3-point range in its last two, but also has given up 88 paint points in wins over Sacramento and Toronto.
After missing two free throws in the final 20 seconds of overtime, Kemba Walker made amends by sinking a jumper as time expired to give the Bobcats a 104-102 road win over the Raptors on Wednesday.
Walker finished with 29 points and Al Jefferson added 24 and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats, who haven't won three straight since the end of last season.
"Kemba, he lives for those shots," Jefferson said. "I really think he missed those free throws on purpose so we could be in that situation, because that's what he lives for."
Walker has scored 25.7 per game on 61.4 percent shooting - including 10 for 19 from 3-point range - over his last three games. Now he'll try for his fifth straight 20-point effort against the Pistons.
Despite Walker's scoring surge, Charlotte ranks near the bottom of the league with 91.1 points per game while sitting last with a 30.6 3-point percentage.
The Pistons are hoping to carry over some of their road success to the home court. They've given up an average of 97.1 points during a 6-1 road stretch, but have allowed 106.6 while dropping five of seven at home.
Dating back to his time with Atlanta, Detroit's Josh Smith has averaged 20.9 points on 56.2 percent shooting in eight straight wins against Charlotte.