The NBA has ten games on the Monday slate, with the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets the final matchup on the card. The Pistons are currently in the midst of a lengthy five-game road trip. They will be back home on February 9 against the Brooklyn Nets. Maybe the Nets will decide to just stand there defensively and not try to defend.
There’s a good chance that’ll happen. The Pistons are playing a back-to-back over the next two days. Following their meetings against the Nuggets in Denver, they’ll head to Utah for a clash with the Jazz. That’s a tough two-game stretch for the Pistons. Their road trip was preceded by a monster win over the LA Lakers, 107-92. The win over the Lakers is by far the most impressive of the season.
They suffered a predictable letdown spot against the Golden State Warriors at the Chase Center on Saturday. The Warriors turned the tables on the Pistons, as they were 118-91 winners in a game that went the complete opposite as what happened versus the Lakers a couple of days earlier. That kind of thing can happen for bad teams. One minute they look like a world beater, and the next they’re wondering what went wrong.
In many cases it’s because the opponent doesn’t take the inferior team seriously. I would say it was a little of that and the Lakers being lazy on the road. They’ve been going through the motions on their current road trip. Expect a lot to change when they go back to California, though. Every good team goes through a lull period, and the Lakers are currently in it, which the Pistons took advantage of.
Blake Griffin is back on the floor now, and the Pistons are hoping he can be a trade chip at the deadline. Is anyone going to want to take on that contract, though? Especially considering he’s dealing with injuries now. I just don’t see it, but somebody might be desperate for a big man. Griffin was ineffective against the Warriors, as he was on the floor for 21 minutes and scored just 5 points.
The Nuggets are on a back-to-back following a 128-117 win over the Jazz last night. It was a nice effort to beat a quality Jazz squad. Nikola Jokic went wild for 47 points and 12 rebounds. It’s a good win for the Nuggets, but they can’t stop and take tonight off. Despite the win, the Nuggets have just been kind of average thus far. They are too good to be a 12-8 team. Head below for our free Pistons vs. Nuggets pick on February 1, 2021.
Detroit Pistons vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Betting Odds:
Pistons vs. Nuggets Prediction:
Blake Griffin led the Pistons over the Lakers with 23 points in his first game back on the floor since sitting down. There is a very simple reason why Griffin was able to assert himself so well against the Lakers. Anthony Davis sat that game out, allowing Griffin to do whatever he wanted offensively. He received a fast wake up call against Draymond Green of the Warriors. Draymond contained him for only 5 points.
He is going to have another tough matchup tonight against Nikola Jokic, who is budding with confidence after a 47-point effort last night. It’s hard to see another performance like that, but Jokic should be solid again versus a beatable Pistons’ defense. The Serb is averaging 26.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game. He should be able to feast on the Pistons, who have been getting spanked on the road.
The Pistons go into Denver with a record of 1-8 on the road. Their only win was a 120-100 final against the Miami Heat on January 16. Since then, the Pistons have not been able to find that same stroke on the road. They do catch the Nuggets on a back-to-back, but is that or a good or bad thing? It might be bad news for the Pistons. They might have wanted an extra day for Jokic to cool off. Detroit has been getting hammered defensively on the road with 118.9 points conceded per game.
There is going to be one guy on the Pistons that is going to be very motivated on Monday night. How can you not think Jamari Grant didn’t have this day circled on his calendar? Grant spent a year with the Nuggets in 2019 and they gave up on him quickly. He scored 12 points per game and shot 47.8% from the field, including 38.9% from three land. The Nuggets didn’t think too highly of him, though, and Grant has been excelling in Motown.
Grant is breaking out and has developed into the go-to option for the Pistons. He’s netted 23.6 points and is shooting 40.2% from three in his first season in Detroit. Grant has helped the Pistons to 110.1 points a game on the road. Their defense might be vulnerable, but they’ve been scoring on the other side at a decent clip. They should be able to put a dent in the 19th best defense in the NBA. The Nuggets are allowing 111.7 points per game heading into tonight. I can see a 120-110 final score in Denver in this one, leading to a confident play on the OVER.