#528 Detroit Pistons +7 over Dallas Mavericks 8:05 PM CT @Mexico City
Detroit is 10-14 but currently the Pistons are the first team out of the Eastern Conference playoff field and just a game back of the Magic. The Pistons also have a positive scoring differential despite the losing record. Detroit has quietly won four of the last five while also winning six of the past 10 for a solid stretch of play in recent weeks with two of the losses in that timeframe to the East leading Bucks. Detroit has clearly turned a corner in recent weeks and the Pistons are 5-6 S/U against the league’s top 16 teams, competing well against quality competition. The Pistons are finally healthy and this team is playing with some confidence with a narrow win in the last game via a Derrick Rose game-winner. Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway have taken huge strides this season to make the Pistons a more complete group behind Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and Markieff Morris in the formidable frontcourt. Griffin missed much of the slow start for the Pistons and has been a big boost to a roster that is currently stronger than the record suggests. This is a big stage for a Dallas team that suddenly has transformed into a serious contender. Dallas is 16-7 on the season with great offensive numbers but this Mexico City spotlight game is not something the team is used to. Dallas has played the NBA’s weakest schedule to produce the great results and is barely .500 vs. quality teams this season. Detroit has just as many top 16 wins as Dallas has and the Pistons were a seven-point favorite the last time these teams met last January in Detroit. Drummond is listed as questionable tonight to keep this game at Free Pick level as his defensive presence will be important in this contest.
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