The Knicks (1-1) enter into the game tonight in Detroit on the heels of a solid home win on Saturday. To me, this is a pretty favorable match up, if the Knicks can maintain the offensive balance from Saturday night. That needs to be the model to follow night in and night out. The Pistons (2-1) enter the game on the heels of a monster game from star center Andre Drummond, who scored 20 points and collected 23 rebounds in a 98-83 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. The Pistons will be playing without star guard Reggie Jackson, who is sidelined with a knee injury for the next 6-8 weeks.
1) Limit Easy Put Backs for Drummond- Easier said than done here when talking about an offensive rebounding machine and a player who puts in so much work around the basket, even without star guard Reggie Jackson. Drummond has 13 offensive rebounds through two games and many have led to second chance points. The Pistons have been stingy defensively, 2nd in the NBA in points allowed at 91.3 per basketball-reference.com, so it's imperative that the Knicks close possessions and make Drummond have to deal with them in transition as often as possible.
2) Get Out in Transition for 48 Minutes- To that point, it should be a good matchup for the Knicks over 48 minutes as they can push pace against the Pistons if they can rebound, which they were good at the other night against another plotting team in the Memphis Grizzlies. The Pistons aren't afraid to run having both given up and averaging 89 field goal attempts per game so the Knicks will have chances to push pace, which gives them the advantage when Drummond is on the floor.
3) Brandon Jennings- Jennings hasn't been good to start the year and this is a chance for him to exploit what should be a good match up for him going against both Ish Smith and Beno Udrich. This should allow for Jennings to control tempo and drive to the bucket at will allowing for his teammates to benefit from that constant penetration. His energy should provide a big boost to the second unit who also needs a solid game from Lance Thomas. This could be a game where we see some Mindaugas Kuzminskas, especially if the Knicks struggle making shots against the Pistons' stingy defense currently ranked 2nd in the NBA in field goal percentage against (40%) and defending against three pointers (25%).