The Brooklyn Nets have recorded two defeats in their last four games and, as a result, have slipped to the third position in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons' dismal season shows no signs of looking up as they find themselves ranked at the bottom of the East, 43 games into the campaign.
Fixture: Brooklyn Nets vs Detroit Pistons | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, March 26th, 7:00 PM ET (Saturday, March 27th; 4:30 AM IST)
Venue: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Brooklyn Nets Preview
The Brooklyn Nets have struggled of late with the absence of key players. Kevin Durant hasn't featured in the last 17 outings, while Kyrie Irving won't be available until after the Pistons game due to personal reasons. James Harden was the latest to be added to the injury list as he missed out on the last game due to neck soreness. According to Nets head coach Steve Nash, he is "not a guarantee" to play against the Detroit Pistons either.
The Brooklyn Nets were severely shorthanded in their last game against the Utah Jazz as well and were thwarted 88-118. Along with their 'big-three', the likes of Blake Griffin and Landry Shamet also sat out the game, while starter Joe Harris player just five minutes on the night.
The Nets have managed to win games in the past despite playing without several key players but have had James Harden play in every game during that stretch. His absence left Brooklyn helpless on offense as they shot just 36.1% from the field in their previous loss.
Key player - Joe Harris
Joe Harris has been one of the most regular starters for the Brooklyn Nets this season. With Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and (potentially) James Harden unavailable, the onus will be on Harris to lead the team to a victory. The forward has produced phenomenal performances for his side this season, owing to his shooting prowess.
Harris is shooting a career-best 48.5% from downtown, while scoring 14.4 points per game this campaign. The Nets will be looking forward to playing him throughout the whole game against the Detroit Pistons as is vital to their hopes of avoiding a third defeat in five games.
Point Guard - Tyler Johnson, Shooting Guard - Bruce Brown, Small Forward - Joe Harris, Power Forward - Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Center - DeAndre Jordan
Detroit Pistons Preview
The Detroit Pistons head into this matchup on the back of a 3-7 record in their last ten outings. However, two of those three wins have come in the last four games, and with the Nets being shorthanded, Dwane Casey's men will fancy their chances of winning this tie.
The Detroit Pistons lost their last game against the Indiana Pacers 111-116. Jerami Grant top-scored with 29 points, while Saddiq Bey and Wayne Ellington added 16 points. The Pistons weren't abysmal but lacked the sharpness in their offense as they ended the night with 15 turnovers.
Key Player - Jerami Grant
Jerami Grant has been the best player on the rebuilding Detroit Pistons roster so far. He is crucial to their hopes of winning against the Brooklyn Nets and can hurt coach Nash's side with the kind of scoring form he has been in this season. Grant is averaging 23.4 points per game so far and is also one of the top contenders to land the NBA Most Improved Player of the Year award.
Grant will be up against the likes of Joe Harris and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and will need to be at his defensive best. If he does succeed in doing that, the Pistons will be in line to trounce their opponents for the second time this season.
Point Guard - Frank Jackson, Shooting Guard - Dennis Smith Jr., Small Forward - Saddiq Bey, Power Forward - Jerami Grant, Center - Mason Plumlee
Pistons vs Nets Match Prediction
The Brooklyn Nets, despite lacking star-power for this matchup, will start as slight favorites. However, the Detroit Pistons are an unpredictable side and shouldn't be counted out as they have been surprisingly good against the top teams this season. Overall, this should be a good contest which may even go down to the wire.
Where to watch Nets vs Pistons?
The game between the Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons will be televised locally on Fox Sports Detroit and YES. You can also live stream the same on NBA League Pass.