5 Things to Know: Knicks and Pistons Square Off in Detroit
1. In a back-and-forth battle, the Bucks made the final run in the fourth quarter to capture a 104-93 win in Milwaukee. The Wednesday night win for the Bucks sealed the season series victory. Derrick Rose turned in a stellar performance with a 26-point night on 13-of-16 shooting from the floor.
2. Carmelo Anthony returned to the lineup on Wednesday after missing Monday’s game (sore knee) in Orlando. Head coach Jeff Hornacek placed Willy Hernangomez at the center spot next to Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis in the starting lineup.
3. Porzingis and Anthony are two members of the Knicks that have enjoyed success against the Pistons. In two games, Porzingis is averaging 26.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 35 minutes per outing. The big man is also shooting 50 percent from the floor against Detroit this year. Anthony is as efficient in the two meetings while averaging 23 points heading into the third matchup tonight.
4. The Pistons enter Saturday’s contest with a 32-33 overall record, good for seventh in the latest Eastern Conference standings. As East teams jockey for playoff positioning, Detroit is clinging to one of the final spots, just a half game up on the Bucks and one game ahead of the Bulls and red-hot Heat. The Pistons hold a strong mark at The Palace of Auburn Hills with a 21-12 record and they have racked up 12 wins in their last 15 at home.
5. Detroit head coach Stan Van Gundy adjusted his starting lineup in the win over the Cavs on Thursday night. Van Gundy placed Tobias Harris back in the starting group as opposed to Jon Leuer at the small forward spot. The goal for Van Gundy was to ignite the opening five after several sluggish starts. However, Detroit was outscored 29-22 in the first quarter, which leaves his decision for Saturday’s starting five up in the air. The season series between the two teams is locked at 1-1. Detroit cruised to a win in the first matchup, 102-89 and the Knicks answered back with a 105-102 victory at MSG on November 17. Porzingis recorded a career-high 35 points in New York’s win.
by Jonah Ballow