Hawks at Pistons
The Detroit Pistons will try to avenge one of their three straight losses and enter the All-Star break on a positive note when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. The Pistons had won five in a row prior to their slide, which includes a 118-115 setback at Atlanta on Sunday.
Coach Stan Van Gundy was extremely critical of his team's defense after that loss, then watched the Pistons give up the exact same amount of points in a 15-point home loss to New Orleans one night later, prompting a similar reaction. "We were terrible on defense," Van Gundy told reporters after the setback against the Pelicans. "I don't think we did anything well. When you aren't getting back in transition and you won't get your body between the ball and the basket, you aren't tough enough to win." The Hawks were unable to make it two wins in a row as they fell 97-92 at Milwaukee on Tuesday to become the first Eastern Conference team with 40 defeats. Dewayne Dedmon followed a 20-point, 13-rebound performance against Detroit with 13 and 10 in the loss to the Bucks.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Atlanta), FS Detroit
ABOUT THE HAWKS (18-40): The starting backcourt of Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore combined for 35 points and teamed with Dedmon to hit 8-of-14 3-pointers. Atlanta is in last place in the East but has split its last six games and is 7-9 in its last 16 contests as it displays a bit more competitiveness heading into the All-Star break. "Obviously, there are some things that we could do a lot better, but I like the fight that we have this year despite our record," Bazemore told reporters on Tuesday. "Guys showing up every day going hard, laying it all on the line every night. ... The future looks bright and I love playing with these guys."
ABOUT THE PISTONS (27-29): It was hard for Detroit to keep pace in Monday's loss as it shot 36.8 percent, the team's worst mark since Dec. 12. Blake Griffin is averaging 21.4 points in seven games since being acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers, but he's shooting 40.6 percent overall and 25 percent from 3-point range with his new team. Andre Drummond's streak of consecutive double-doubles stands at 11 games, but he has struggled from the field of late, going 22-for-58 over his last four contests.
1. Drummond recorded 25 points and 15 rebounds in Sunday's loss at Atlanta.
2. Hawks SG Tyler Dorsey was held scoreless in 13 minutes by the Bucks after finishing in double figures in four straight games.
3. Pistons SF James Ennis III has scored an average of 9.5 points while PG Jameer Nelson is averaging eight and five assists in the two games since they were acquired from Memphis and Chicago, respectively, last week.