Tonight, the Pelicans are going to have their hands full, facing the #1 offensive rebounding team in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons. We're no slouches on the glass neither: 2nd overall in OREB and practically tied with DET in defensive rebounding percentage. However, Detroit's girth will be obvious and a sidelined Anthony Davis will make the going ten times more difficult.
One positive is that despite a record of 4-2 in their last 6 games, the Pistons got soundly whipped yesterday at the hands of the Timberwolves. Getting beaten to a pulp at home and then having to play the next night, 1,000 miles away, usually presents a challenge to young, inexperienced squads. Meanwhile, our Pelicans have figuratively been sipping on hurricanes the last four days at Pat O'Brien's.
Another determining factor to watch for could be the Piston's shot selection, namely that of Josh Smith. For whatever reason, Smith believes he's a decent perimeter threat and has hoisted a team-leading 100 3PTA and, to boot, 51 16+ footers. His percentages? 27% from deep and 25.5% from the deadzone. Al-Farouq Aminu, give him space -- a good 10 feet of it.
Consequently, the gameplan sounds pretty straightforward. Keep the combo of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Smith away from the rim and off the glass. Limit the fastbreak opportunities (Pistons rank 6th) and invite them to work on their jumpshots. Oh, and foul whenever necessary. Pistons are shooting a league worst 67.2% from the charity stripe.
Hopefully, we'll be talking in the recap about how much fun it is when a plan comes together. A win is vitally important. After tonight, our next five games come against Western Conference playoff contenders.