The Detroit Pistons own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and are winners of five straight, but they are about to put their record to the test. The Pistons, who just finished up a sweep of a five-game homestand, will begin a three-game trip and a stretch with nine of 11 on the road when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
Detroit began that homestand with a 105-96 win over the Bucks on Nov. 3 and earned the five straight wins by an average of 10.2 points. “The next three games on the road against teams you beat at home,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters after a 112-103 win over the Miami Heat to close out the homestand on Sunday. “So you know they want back at you. The challenges just keep mounting. You put wins in the bank because you know there are going to be tough stretches in the season. So you put wins in the bank and our guys on this homestand did a hell of a job.” The Bucks are winners of three straight games and are having no trouble working point guard Eric Bledsoe into the rotation. Bledsoe scored 15 points on Monday - his highest total in three games with the team - as Milwaukee pulled off a 110-103 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Detroit, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
ABOUT THE PISTONS (10-3): Detroit is being led by Tobias Harris, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson but is starting to give other players more chances and was rewarded with season highs of 14 points and five rebounds from rookie shooting guard Luke Kennard in Sunday’s win. The Duke product, who found himself out of the rotation completely at the beginning of the homestand before a steady increase in playing time over the final four games, logged a season-high 28 minutes off the bench on Sunday. “We have a lot of guys that make plays like that and I want to be a player that would be able to make those plays,” Kennard told reporters. “If my shot’s not falling, I want to make an impact in other ways.”
ABOUT THE BUCKS (7-6): Milwaukee star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered 27 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals while logging 44 minutes on Monday, and coach Jason Kidd would like to see the players around his star step up. “We can count on and look and watch Giannis, but we need everybody to participate on the offensive end and I thought he did a great job of finding guys,” Kidd told reporters. Antetokounmpo got some shooting support on Monday from Khris Middleton, who went 4-of-5 from 3-point range after going 4-of-16 in the previous four games.
1. Harris went 21-of-35 from 3-point range during the homestand.
2. Bucks PF Mirza Teletovic (knee) missed the last three games and is unlikely to play on Wednesday.
3. Milwaukee took the last four in the series.
PREDICTION: Bucks 105, Pistons 103