Cleveland (2-0) at Detroit (0-2)
When: Friday, April 22nd 2016
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: FSN Ohio, FSN Detroit
The Detroit Pistons face a must-win game Friday night at home when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of their first round playoff series. The Cavs shot lights-out in Game 2 on Wednesday hitting 20-of-38 three-pointers to tie a record shared by the Seattle SuperSonics (1996), Dallas Mavericks (2011) and Golden State Warriors (2015). Cleveland’s 107-90 victory in Game 2 has put them up 2-0 in the series with a chance to all but put things away Friday. The top-seeded Cavaliers received seven 3-pointers by shooting guard J.R. Smith and four from point guard Kyrie Irving. Smith scored 21 points in Game 2 after struggling to nine points on 3-of-9 shooting in the opener. LeBron James is averaging 24.5 points on 21-of-35 shooting through two games. Cleveland was 24-17 away from home this season – one of only three Eastern Conference teams with winning road records.
The Pistons failed to hang onto the lead in the fourth quarter of Game 1 and were in Game 2 until a 15-point third quarter did them in. Starting forward Tobias Harris is struggling and averaging 11 points on 7-of-22 shooting in the series while forward Marcus Morris had just 11 points on 2-of-10 shooting in Game 2 after scoring 20 points in the series opener. The Pistons made 15 three-pointers in Game 1, but were limited to just four on 17 attempts in Game 2. Andre Drummond is averaging 16.5 points and 9.0 rebounds a game in the series despite going 4-of-16 from the free-throw line in Game 2. The Pistons were 26-15 at home during the regular season including a split with the Cavaliers in two chances.
I know this is going to be a big public play (73%), but I don’t see anyway the Pistons keep this close in the second half. The Cavs are gelling right now with their big three and J.R. Smith. I see a double-digit victory in Game 3.
Pick: Cavaliers -4.5