LA Clippers at Detroit -3 O/U 219
The Pistons have won five straight since snapping their eight game losing streak, the last four of which have come with Blake Griffin on the court for Detroit. The numbers with Griffin and fellow low post stud Andre Drummond on the court together have been remarkable; jelling immediately as a duo.
In 84 court minutes together through four games, Detroit has averaged 112.6 points per 100 possessions on offense while allowing only 88.2 PP/100 on defense. That results in a remarkable net of +24.4 PP/100 with that duo on the floor. Throw in a 54.9% in percentage of available rebounds Detroit has snagged with the Griffin/Drummond duo on the floor and all of a sudden Stan Van Gundy’s squad has the look of a legitimate contender.
These quotes from the Pistons locker room really stand out. Drummond: “It can only get better from here. With (Griffin’s) addition it’s just been a lot of fun. He’s able to handle the ball; he’s a great playmaker. He’s doing a great job of adjusting right now.”
Van Gundy, following last Saturday’s win against the Heat: “'I've got to get it figured out offensively. I'm not helping him or us a lot. You could actually see today in the early fourth quarter, we were actually a lot smoother when he was out because we were just playing. I've got this great player now, and so we're just sort of playing to him all the time, and the defense is all loaded up.''
Detroit made another deal prior to the trading deadline that should help as well; picking up veteran point guard Jameer Nelson. It’s surely worth noting that Nelson took the Orlando Magic to the Finals under Stan Van Gundy earlier in his career, a coach and a backup point guard that have chemistry together. Given the Pistons struggles at the point since Reggie Jackson got hurt, this relatively minor deal has the potential to have a major impact for Detroit’s struggling second unit.
The Clippers won a pair of games at home following the Griffin deal, knocking off the lowly Bulls and Mavs. Doc Rivers is trying to put a good spin on this tough road trip, heading into the All-Star Break: “I actually think it's good we're going on the road. We'll find out a lot about ourselves. It gives us a chance to kind of grow together, bond together. And we have three days to prepare for it. So I think that's all good for us." Sounds like coach-speak to this bettor! Take the Pistons.