Detroit Pistons vs Charlotte Hornets

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Detroit Pistons travel to Charlotte to take on Lamelo Ball and the Hornets Thursday night in what will be the first game back for both teams following the All-Star break. The Pistons come in with a record of 10-23, and find themselves with tons of work to do in order to get out of the cellar as the worst team in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets hope to build off of what was a great closing to their first half of the season, and they are currently in the playoff picture as the seventh seed with a record of 17-18.

Life after Blake Griffin remains a mystery for Pistons

In case you haven’t been following, Detroit released former electric power forward Blake Griffin during the All-Star break, and he quickly found work via the Brooklyn Nets. Griffin was a shell of himself in Detroit, and it was bizarre that the former Slam Dunk Champion had not dunked a basketball in over a year, but it was best for both Griffin and the Pitons to part ways at this time. Now, as the bottom dwellers in the Eastern Conference, what will the Pistons look like post-Blake Griffin?

If there has been a bright spot for Detroit amidst a horrendous first half of the season, it has been the two guys they brought over from the Denver Nuggets in Free Agency, Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee. The duo has been just as good as they were in Denver if not better with more chances on offense, but the team has not produced wins even with their exceptional play. This means that they really need their backcourt to step up on both ends, and they will be up a Charlotte backcourt Thursday night, who has outperformed everyone’s expectations at this point in the season.

Will Hornets be able to stay hot entering second half?

Charlotte appeared to be coming on extremely strong when the All-Star break hit, winning two of their last three games. They are an extremely young team, but are showing that they have the raw talent and pieces in place that should excite fans for the future. Point guard LaMelo Ball is rapidly becoming one of the most recognizable names in basketball and is the head and shoulders leader for Rookie of the Year. The question remains though, are the Hornets ready to make legitimate noise in the Eastern Conference?

Charlotte would be the seventh seed if the playoffs started today, but they appear to be headed in the right direction after figuring out their identity and getting Ball into the starting lineup in mid-February. They have a variety of different wing players who can score the basketball, and could turn into one of the best offensive teams in the league if they are clicking on all cylinders. They come into this game as favorites, hosting the last-place Pistons at home on Thursday night.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

This quite frankly, is a very easy pick for me. The trends would suggest that Charlotte has been great the season beating and covering against teams who have a losing record, and they have a tremendous talent advantage in this one. Not to mention, the loss of Blake Griffin and the fact that the Pistons are a dumpster fire right now definitely advises me to pick against them on the road.

Hornets -4.5

Want another opinion on this pick?


Full-Game Total Pick

The Hornets are quickly becoming one of the better offensive teams in basketball, and I expect them to be able to have their way on that end of the court. They are not big on defense though, and so Detroit and Jerami Grant could have a nice night themselves. All things considered. This could be a high-scoring affair in Charlotte.