The Detroit Pistons. Historically, one of the most successful NBA franchises in history. However, recently are traveling to Paris, France for another installment of #NBAParis. The NBA has not had an overseas game in 3 seasons, with the last Paris matchup being the Charlotte Hornets vs. Milwaukee Bucks. This is historical for the Pistons because this is the franchises first time playing in Paris. The Pistons had previously played 2 regular season games in London and Mexico City.
NBA in Paris dates back to 1991 when the Los Angeles Lakers played in a tournament in Paris. The league has since played 12-soon to be 13- games in Paris. This year, The Pistons take on the Bulls, and some young players in Detroit are traveling overseas for the first time. It is Chicago’s third time in Paris, as they played there also in 1991 and again in 1992. However, this will be the first matchup overseas between these two historical franchises.
Group travel can be stressful. The organization and planning process can be crazy, especially for young players. This was the case for Pistons rookie center and the youngest player in the league, 18-year-old Jalen Duren. Duren could not take the flight to Paris with the team because he had misplaced his passport. He later rejoined the team Wednesday morning. Another perk of NBA players being in Paris is that every player is allowed to bring a plus one along on the trip with them. This is a cool opportunity for the players to be able to experience this with someone else and to establish a balance between personal and professional life.
The Pistons come into this game 12-35 and ranked 14th in the Eastern Conference. Detroit is also 4-212 against Eastern conference teams. The Bulls come into this matchup with a 20-24 record and ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference. These are two teams with some very young cores, and this game has a lot of intriguing matchups.
Pistons guard Killian Hayes, who grew up in Paris, leads the team in assists and steals. He has been playing very well in the absence of Cade Cunningham and is finally blossoming into the 7th pick potential we all hoped for. Rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren have made an immediate impact on this team. Duren leads the team in rebounds, while Ivey has averaged 14.8 points per game while shooting 40.9% from three over the past 10 games. In addition, Bojan Bogdanovic is the Pistons’ leading scorer and a threat from deep. His 21.1 PPG has been a huge help to this rebuilding team.
Dec 14, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) reacts after scoring during the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
The Pistons’ toughest matchups in this game will be DeMar Derozan and Nikola Vucevic. DeMar averages 26. 1 PPG and Vucevic averages 10.9 RPG. DeRozan could be tough for a young Saddiq Bey to handle, and Jalen Duren, although promising, is not yet as good as Vucevic. This will be an exciting matchup between 2 young but competitive teams.