The Detroit Pistons take on the Atlanta Hawks today, Dec. 22, at State Farm Arena. Tipoff for the Pistons’ away game is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.
The 8-26 Pistons enter the game on a four-game losing streak. Detroit has lost eight out of its previous 10 games. Most recently, the Pistons are coming off a 113-93 loss to Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 16-16 Hawks have lost six out of their previous 10 matchups, including a 110-108 loss to the Chicago Bulls in their last game.
The Pistons remain without star point guard Cade Cunningham who underwent season-ending surgery to repair a hairline fracture in his left shin. Second-year wing Isaiah Livers is also out due to a shoulder injury.
Atlanta expects to field a healthy roster against Detroit. Big man, Clint Capela missed the Hawks’ matchup against the Bulls due to a calf injury. Lauren Jbara of Bally Sports South reported that Capela hopes to be available to play against the Pistons.
This is the Pistons’ third matchup of the season against the Hawks. Atlanta won the first two meetings back-to-back in Detroit by scores of 118-113 and 136-112 respectively. Since those early season matchups, the Pistons have improved, even if their record does not reflect that. Atlanta has been meandering as of late. A .500 record was not expected after the team traded for Dejounte Murray in the offseason, especially after opening up the first 10 games of the season at 7-3.
Despite their recent struggles, the Hawks enter the game as nine-point favorites against the Detroit Pistons. A win for Detroit does not do much for them this season. Hopes for the play-in tournament are quashed. As for Atlanta, a win against the Pistons could help the team get its season back on track.
Does a disgruntled Trae Young want out of Atlanta?
Bleacher Report and TNT NBA Insider Chris Haynes recently reported that NBA executives believe Trae Young could be the next star to request a trade. Haynes cites the Hawks’ struggles and mediocre record as the rival executives’ reasoning.
While this is just a rumor, Young has had his issues with Atlanta this season, including a dispute with head coach Nate McMillan. It would not be a shock if Young grows more disgruntled should Atlanta fail to make a deep playoff run. The team is currently in the play-in tournament sitting at the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference. That is nowhere near where the team thought it would be at the beginning of the season.
Young is in the first year of his five-year $215 million contract. Leverage is not necessarily on his side, but teams have traded superstars with multiple years left on their contracts before.
(Featured Image Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports)