Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Preview
Philadelphia at Detroit
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit Pistons look to open the campaign with their third straight victory when they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. Forward Blake Griffin averaged 29.5 points and 10 rebounds as Detroit beat the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls.

Griffin is in the early stages of his full first season with the Pistons and he said that the club is already playing with an urgency under new coach Dwane Casey. “These are must-win games,” Griffin told reporters. “The goal is to get to the playoffs, but it’s small steps along the way. We’ve got to be locked in.” Philadelphia has won two straight after losing its opener but could be without point guard Ben Simmons (back), who is questionable after playing just eight minutes before departing Saturday's win over the Orlando Magic. "Nobody said he's definitely not playing," 76ers coach Brett Brown told reporters after Monday's practice. "He's progressing. He did not go through practice ... but he's progressing."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Philadelphia, FS Detroit

ABOUT THE 76ERS (2-1): Veteran shooting guard JJ Redick is being utilized as a sixth man and he played the role well with a 31-point effort in the 116-115 victory over Orlando. The 34-year-old Redick knocked down eight 3-point baskets - including the decisive one with 17 seconds left - while falling one shy of his personal best for long-range makes. "I love playing with him," center Joel Embiid told reporters. "When it comes to sharing the ball, whether I'm going to set a screen for him or just hand the ball off, I know I'm going to be happy with the outcome. The only thing is I wish he was 24 years old so we could play 10 years together, but he's old."

ABOUT THE PISTONS (2-0): Casey is learning his new players after spending seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors and has been surprisingly impressed with Griffin's intelligence. “Blake’s an All-Star. He’s an All-Pro,” Casey told reporters. “He’s finally healthy. When teams try to double team, he makes the right decisions. I didn’t know his basketball IQ was as high as it is. Unbelievable. He sees things before it happens.” Center Andre Drummond, who is averaging 17 points and 16.5 rebounds, missed Monday's practice with the flu and will be a game-time decision, according to Casey.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The 76ers went 4-0 against the Pistons last season after Detroit prevailed in six of the previous seven meetings.

2. Embiid has reached at least 30 points in two straight games and is averaging 28.3 points and 10.7 rebounds.

3. Detroit backup PG Ish Smith is averaging 13 points and scored in double digits in both games.

PREDICTION: 76ers 105, Pistons 103
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Philadelphia 2-1 W2 2-0 0-1 0-0 2-1 0-1 2-1
Detroit 2-0 W3 1-0 1-0 0-0 2-0 1-0 2-0
Last Meeting
Philadelphia Detroit
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/4/18 PHI 115 DET 108 115 44 49.4 108 42 44.3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Philadelphia J. Redick 25 76.9 0
Detroit A. Tolliver 25 81.8 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Philadelphia E. Ilyasova 11 5 6
Detroit A. Drummond 15 5 10
Assists Player  
Philadelphia B. Simmons 7
Detroit I. Smith 12
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Philadelphia J. Embiid 157 51.3 34
Detroit A. Drummond 135 48.0 16
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Philadelphia J. Embiid 56 14 42
Detroit A. Drummond 104 39 65
Assists Player  
Philadelphia B. Simmons 46
Detroit I. Smith 41
Quickchart Matchup
Philadelphia Philadelphia Off vs  Detroit Detroit Defense
Philadelphia Off vs Detroit - Points For 110.0 Points For
Philadelphia Off vs Detroit - Points Against 108.0 Points Against
Philadelphia - FG% 44.9 FG%
Detroit - FG% 49.7 FG%
Philadelphia - Reb 49.3 Reb
Detroit - Reb 40.0 Reb
Detroit Detroit Off vs  Philadelphia Philadelphia Defense
Detroit Off vs Philadelphia - Points For 110.5 Points For
Detroit Off vs Philadelphia - Points Against 109.3 Points Against
Detroit - FG% 41.5 FG%
Philadelphia - FG% 44.1 FG%
Detroit - Reb 47.5 Reb
Philadelphia - Reb 47.7 Reb