Detroit Pistons vs Houston Rockets

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Something has to give as two of the NBA’s doormats will collide for the second time this season when the Houston Rockets host the Detroit Pistons.

Pistons on the way to rebuilding

After two seasons of fighting it, Detroit (11-29) has finally moved on from Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin and embraced the rebuild. Despite underperforming this season, Pistons head coach Dwayne Casey has a few brights spots within his rotation.

Detroit’s coming off of their second win of the month after a defeat of Casey’s former team, the Toronto Raptors. The decision to sign Jerami Grant has paid off, as the seventh year forward is enjoying a breakout season. Grant has nearly doubled his scoring average this season by averaging 23.4 points per game while grabbing 5.1 rebounds per game. He’s been the focal point of an underwhelming Pistons team.

Saddiq Bey has begun to emerge as a key piece for Detroit. The rookie out of Villanova averages 10.5 ppg, and he’s coming off of a career-high 28 points in the win over Toronto. Mason Plumlee holds the middle down and averages a solid 10.3 ppg, and he grabs 9.3 rpg. Delon Wright and Josh Jackson round out the starting lineup.

Houston Eyeing Home Win

Despite all of the trade rumors, injuries and moving pieces that have affected Houston (11-28) this season, a winnable home game finally lies ahead. First-year head coach Stephen Silas has dealt with it all this season. After losing James Harden, the Rockets have naturally spiral. DeMarcus Cousins asked to be brought out, John Wall and Eric Gordon are dealing with injuries, and P.J. Tucker’s contract dispute has finally been solved with a trade to Milwaukee.

The smoke has finally started to clear and the Rockets can finally start to search for an identity. MIP candidate Christian Wood has finally returned to the lineup after missing 17 games, all of which the Rockets lost. Wood is averaging a career-high 21.9 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. He was a huge bright spot prior to his injury.

Victor Oladipo has been another wild card as well. The talented shooting guard is in the final year of his contract, and he’s been linked to other destinations. Oladipo scores an impressive 21.2 ppg, but he’s been sitting out of back-to-backs leading, and he doesn’t appear to be apart of the Rockets rebuild. Kenyon Martin Jr. and Kevin Porter Jr. have also been bright spots for Houston. KPJ has come over from Cleveland and scored 22 or more in three of the past four games.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Believe it or not, with Christian Wood’s return to the lineup, the Rockets will be a much tougher out. Victor Oladipo is coming off of a 34-point performance against Atlanta and if he can pick up where he left off, they will break this losing streak. The Pistons have struggled immensely on the road, losing seven of their last eight. Look for Houston to get back in the win column with a victory over Detroit.

Prediction:
Houston -1.5

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

This is a generous total for two teams who don’t defend well and can fill it up with garbage time buckets. The quadrant of Oladipo, Wood, Porter Jr. and Martin Jr. will provide most of Houston’s offense. Six Pistons average double figures, so there may not be a shortage in points. Both teams average over 107, with high flyers on both sides, this will be a run-n-gun, free flowing game. Take the over confidently.

Prediction:
Over 213.5

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