The Detroit Pistons face off against the Charlotte Hornets for the first time this season on Thursday night from the Spectrum Center as both teams return from the All-Star break. The Pistons sit in last place in the Eastern Conference standings and had dropped four of their last five games prior to the break. The Hornets find themselves right in the thick of the playoff race, sitting as the seven-seed, but have struggled to string together consecutive wins all season long. Plenty of players are day-to-day as teams return for the second half, so it’ll be interesting to see which team can start things off quickly.

Charlotte Hornets vs Detroit Pistons Live Stream

Now that Blake Griffin has officially etched his name with the Brooklyn Nets, it’s time for the Pistons to move on from that failed experiment and focus on developing their young core. The Pistons, while their record isn’t impressive, have been able to get key contributions from a number of their offseason additions. The star of the show this year has been Jerami Grant (23.4 ppg) who has upped his level incrementally from his time in Denver. Mason Plumlee leads the way on the glass with 9.1 rpg, and then Delon Wright continues to do it all. Maybe the biggest storyline has been the resurgence of Josh Jackson, who went from almost not being in the league, to
Unfortunately for the Pistons, the injury bug has hit despite the league-wide break, as Jackson is probably after battling an illness, and Grant is questionable, while Wright will be out until the middle of the month. This is a perfect time for players like Saddiq Bey and Svi Mykhailiuk to continue to get experience, but that doesn’t bode well from their outlook in the win-loss column, especially against a team as strong as the Hornets.

After a lengthy injury report to close the first half of the regular season, the lone name to appear on the injury report ahead of Thursday’s game is Devonte’ Graham, who is probable to make a return from the left knee patella femoral discomfort that has kept him out since Feb. 20.

Here’s when you should tune in to see the game

Date: Thursday, March 11
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Southeast

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The Pistons rank near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistic, according to lineups.com, and it’s no surprise they’re likely more intrigued by the lottery than the playoff run. The biggest concern will be limiting turnovers and limiting Charlotte’s transition game, which is two-fold and can make Detroit pay. With the constant disadvantages in this game, it does look like the Pistons could have the advantage on the boards. Plumlee is playing some of the best basketball of his life, and Grant gives an added look on the wings to attack the rim on both the offensive and defensive end. If he plays, look for Grant to have a field day against the Charlotte wings, but it likely won’t be enough.

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The talk of the Hornets this season has been LaMello Ball, and for good reason, as the rookie of the year leader has been putting on a show all season. Between his scoring (15.8 ppg), passing (team-high 6.3 apg), and rebounds (6 rpg), the Hornets have to be delighted with their selection. Quietly though, the off-season signing of Gordon Hayward, which was mocked by many, has been what’s set these teams a step up and put them in position for a playoff run. Hayward has seamlessly picked up from his best days in Boston and leads the team with 21.5 ppg. Right behind him though is P.J. Washington (20.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and the Hornets core is looking scarier and scarier by the day in regards to the future.

The Hornets, like many teams, struggled towards the end of the first-half from an injury standpoint. Washington and Devonte Graham both missed time, but are due back for Thursday’s game. Comparing how healthy Charlotte is to how depleted the Pistons could be with their game-time decisions, it’s clear the Hornets are in a much better position and better suited to get off to a quick start in the second half.

Here are some of our favorite flicks and moments from the first half of the season!
— Charlotte Hornets (hornets) March 11, 2021

The Hornets are better than the Pistons across nearly every statistic, according to lineups.com, and even if the Pistons were playing at full strength (which they aren’t), the advantages would be numerous for the Hornets. The major one to keep an eye on is the Hornets’ ability to pass the ball and consistently create the open shot, and while they have a number of scorers, their sharing allows for defenses to struggle on who to key in on. Another thing to keep an eye on is the three-point ball, where the Hornets have low key become one of the best shooting teams in the league. If the Hornets can drill their three-point shots, the Pistons will be playing from behind and struggling to stay close.