Hawks-Pistons Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 03, 2013
The Atlanta Hawks defeated Detroit in double overtime last week, but that loss has spurred the Pistons' longest winning streak of the season. To extend its run to four, Detroit will have to knock off the Hawks at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday night. The Pistons (12-22) have dropped six of the last seven in this series, including a 126-119 setback in Atlanta on Dec. 26. They've since won the first three of a five-game homestand, beginning with last Friday's 10-point victory over Miami. Detroit's offense has clicked during the winning streak, shooting 52.4 percent and averaging 102.7 points - 8.3 more than its average in the first 31 games. The bench has been crucial, with Austin Daye hitting a 3-pointer with 11.5 seconds left to help seal a 103-97 victory over Sacramento on Tuesday. Daye and Will Bynum scored 13 and 15 points off the bench, respectively, and the team's entire reserve unit combined for 44. Detroit's bench is averaging 47.0 points since Dec. 28, ranking fourth in the league. After averaging 5.4 points in his first 20 games, Bynum is putting up 19.8 in his last four contests - including a season-high 31 against the Hawks. "Everybody chipping in and there is a lot of balance," said starting point guard Brandon Knight, who ranks second on his team with 14.1 ppg and is tied for the team lead with 4.6 assists. "I have to congratulate my teammates for the way we've been playing together and how guys have been stepping it up and really doing their part. I think that is what is getting us a boost, especially our second unit, so we definitely have to congratulate those guys." Rookie Andre Drummond has also emerged lately as he receives more playing time. Drummond is averaging 9.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over his last six games with the Pistons winning five times. The ninth overall pick in June's draft, Drummond was expected by some to make slower progress after averaging 10.0 points and 7.6 rebounds as a freshman for Connecticut last season. "I'm not getting as fatigued anymore," Drummond told the Pistons' official website. "I'm getting a lot more used to the game. It's starting to come a little easier. I know the pace of the game." The Hawks (20-10) are 3-1 since their first meeting with Detroit and also boast an offense playing well of late, particularly in terms of 3-point shooting. Atlanta is shooting 45.1 percent from beyond the arc while making an average of 11 3-pointers over its last five games. The Hawks are also 5-1 since Lou Williams' insertion in the starting lineup. Williams is averaging 16.8 points in those games while hitting 42.1 percent of his 3-point attempts. "Lou has done a phenomenal job since I've inserted him in the starting lineup," coach Larry Drew told the team's official website. "He's a guy that can score. ... We'll stay with that. It's been working for us so there's no need to change that." John Jenkins, Atlanta's own first-round pick, has also been a stronger contributor lately. He only played in 11 of the team's first 26 games but is averaging 9.3 points over his last four while playing 17.0 minutes. "I have to do a better job of getting him in games and getting him more playing time because when he gets in games he affects the game," Drew said. "The guy can make shots, he's good off the dribble, he can get to the basket." Atlanta's Josh Smith, who averages a team-high 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds, had 31 points and 10 boards in the first meeting with the Pistons.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker