Apologies for the short previews this week. It's been rough, much as it has been for the Rockets.
The story going into the game will be Josh Smith. The Pistons cut Smoove and rattled off 7 straight wins. The Rockets acquired Smoove and separated themselves from the middle of the playoff pack in the West and into the contender conversation. The Pistons are 18-14 since then and the Rockets are 21-13. It's tempting to compare the two teams and see how the move affected them, but in reality it was addition by subtraction for Detroit and addition by addition for Houston. In short, the "Josh Smith Effect" has been overblown by the media.
In late January, the Pistons rode a media narrative and a raucous crowd at the Palace at Auburn Hills to a fast start. Houston had no answer for anyone. Six Pistons finished in double figures, including 19/12 for Greg Monroe and 11/16 for Andre Drummond. Oh look, it's another large front line that can score! It's like Dwight got injured and they all got themselves on Houston's schedule.
Anyway, D.J. Augustin went for 28/12 and Kyle Singler finished with 14 points and 3 steals in that game. Neither of them are with the Pistons as they were involved in the Reggie Jackson trade.
Prediction: Expect Jodie Meeks and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to light up the Rockets from deep while Drummond and Monroe bully the Rockets inside. Houston has their work cut out for them, but get 237 foul calls to make up for last game and win 458-17.
Tip-off is at 7pm CST.
Pistons vs Rockets coverage