On February 24th, the Pistons and the Cavaliers will clash in Detroit – and it could be just what the Pistons need to turn their season around. When these two teams met back in January, the Pistons were able to just edge past the Cavaliers and win by 10 points, 115-105. This was a big turn-around from when the two faced off back in November. By the end of that game, the Cavaliers had won 98-78. This was one of Piston’s worst losses of the season. They might not have been totally demoralized by the outcome, but it didn’t do team morale any favors.
The experts and oddsmakers haven’t put out any solid numbers yet to give us any indication of which way they’re learning about this game. With two teams that have both been struggling a bit, neither one is a sure thing. If you’re considering betting on this game — or any other upcoming NBA game — finding a reputable bookmaker is essential. Legal sports betting is still fairly new in most states, so new bettors might not be aware that bookmakers can offer different odds. Keep this in mind when deciding where to place a bet. The 2021-22 regular season will end in mid-April. That gives the Pistons just a few weeks to turn their season around. The upcoming game against the Cavaliers could be the start of that if the Pistons have the ability to repeat their January performance against their Cleveland rivals.
Pistons’ season so far
It’s fair to say that the Pistons have not been having a good season. You could even call it a terrible season. Out of 57 games played, they’ve only had 12 wins, putting them at the bottom of their division. Looking at the stats, they have the lowest win rate in both conferences as well.
They were riding an 8-loss losing streak before their win on the 16th against the Celtics. Stopping the slide is sometimes all it takes for a team to get re-energized. If the Pistons want to get a few more wins under their belt, they’re going to have to use this opportunity. Their biggest problem seems to be consistency. Their loss against the Orlando Magic really made that apparent. Cade Cunningham, for example, went from an amazing performance against the Denver Nuggets three days earlier to possibly, and hopefully, the worst performance of his career. The team needs to find their feet quickly if they don’t want to be considered the worst team in the NBA. They have talented players, something is just missing. Hopefully, they’ll figure out what that is before they face off against the Cavaliers.
Cavaliers’ season so far
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, have been having a great season so far – they’re currently sitting at fourth in the Eastern Conference and third in their division. According to experts, this success is the result of a patient campaign of slowly rebuilding the team into something really special. They might not score as many points as their opponents do on average, but they also don’t concede as many points. It’s a balancing act that requires as strong of an offense as defense. That might sound totally obvious, but some teams haven’t seemed to accept that both are equally important.
The Cavs have a lot to thank Darius Garland for; he has been the backbone of the team, leading in points and assists. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley have also shown that they are an ideal pairing, bringing energy and athleticism to the court. The fact that their lead scorer is also leading in assists really says something about the way the team has been coached. No matter how big of a star any one player is, the Cavs seemed to have embraced the idea that a team only works well when it works together.
The winter trade window just closed on February 10th. Both the Pistons and the Cavs shook things up a bit. The Cavaliers’ two big acquisitions were Rajon Rondo from the LA Lakers and Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers.
Most of the Pistons’ exchanges were players traded for draft considerations, which suggests that they’ve already accepted that this season isn’t going to be their best and have turned their attention to the future. They did, however, also acquire Marvin Bagley III from the Sacramento Kings.
Bagley is a young player with a lot of promise. A first-round draft pick in 2018, his early career has been plagued by injury, including a recent ankle injury that delayed his Pistons’ debut. If he can stay injury-free, however – he’s going to be a powerhouse on the court.
Rondo is a talented point guard who is nearing the end of his career, while LeVert is a shooting guard who just might be at the peak of his career. The addition of these two players could make the Cavs a much more challenging team to beat than they were back in January. So, where does that leave us? The Pistons beat the Cavaliers the last time they played, so there’s a chance that they’ll be able to do it again, regardless of how different each team’s season has been. If the Cavaliers lose to the Pistons, it will disappoint both the team and their fans – but it’s unlikely to derail their season. They’re just playing too well for that. If the Pistons beat the Cavaliers, however – it’ll be a different story. This is precisely the kind of win that a team like the Pistons needs in order to feel like the season is worth saving. They don’t have time to fight their way to the top, but they just might be able to pull themselves out of the gutter before the season ends.