Matchup: Golden State Warriors vs Detroit Pistons
Records: Warriors (15-8); Pistons (12-7)
Where To Watch
Date: Sunday, Dec. 2
Time: 5:30 AM IST
TV: Sony Ten1
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Both teams would be playing each other this season for the first time.
Easily the biggest storyline heading into this contest, for either team, is the return of two-time MVP Stephen Curry. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, mentioned in a practice before the Raptors game, that Curry would play on Sunday in Detroit. This would be the first game he suits up for since injuring his groin against the Memphis Grizzlies back on Nov. 6.
Since then, the Warriors have gone 5-7 in his absence including a four-game losing streak, the first under Kerr.
After their initial struggles, the Warriors seemed to have found their footing behind former league MVP Kevin Durant. The reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP is currently averaging 44.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and and 7.2 assists on 54.0% shooting over the past four games, where he has led the team to a 3-1 record with the only loss coming in overtime to the league-leading Raptors in Toronto.
Despite Golden State's early season "struggles", they still rank among the top teams in every major offensive category - points per game (116.5 - 5th), field-goal percentage (49.4 - tied 1st) and 3-point shooting percentage (38.5% - 1st). It's been their defense that has been struggling, as they currently rank 20th in defensive efficiency. Having said all of that, with a 15-8 record and are still just one game behind the top seed in the West - LA Clippers.
The Detroit matchup is the second contest of a 5-game 9-day East Coast road trip that the Warriors are on.
On the other hand, for the Pistons, the 2018-19 season has been one of runs. The team began the season 4-0 but then suffered a 5-game skid before finding a steady form, under new head coach Dwane Casey, by winning eight of their last 10 games. With their 12-7 record, they currently stand 4th in the East.
Of course, a large part of their success could be credited to their new coach Dwane Casey but it could also just be their big men (Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond) getting a training camp under their belt before starting the season.
The team seemed to have carried over their top-10 defense to this year as well - 106.6 defensive rating, currently ranked 7th in the league. It's their offense which is marginally better, giving them a better chance to win games.
Date: Dec. 9, 2017
Score: Warriors 102, Pistons 98
Warriors: Kevin Durant - 36 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 blocks
Pistons: Avery Bradley - 25 points, and 4 rebounds on 52.9% shooting