Bobcats-Pistons Preview

While the Detroit Pistons have been the league’s top scoring

team in the paint, they’ll become even more dangerous if Brandon

Jennings can continue making shots from the perimeter.

Executing that plan could be tough against one of the NBA’s top

defensive clubs.

Though they’ve played well on the road, the Pistons try for only

their fifth win in their last 13 home games Friday night while the

Charlotte Bobcats seek a season-high third straight win.

Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond present a difficult matchup

inside, and they teamed for 26 points and 24 rebounds as Detroit

scored 52 in the paint en route to a 107-106 victory at Boston on

Wednesday.

The Pistons (13-14), averaging a league-high 51.6 paint points,

rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit to win for the seventh

time in 11 games.

Led by Jennings’ five 3-pointers, Detroit, which came in

shooting just 31.2 percent from long range, complemented its

interior production by going 10 for 27 from beyond the arc.

Jennings finished with 28 points and matched a season high with 14

assists.

”He made plays,” said coach Maurice Cheeks, whose club won at

Indiana in its previous contest. ”If it wasn’t for him, he made it

for other players like Monroe and had plays down low.”

Jennings has averaged 20.8 points while hitting 20 of 49 from

beyond the arc over his last eight contests.

Monroe and Drummond combined for 27 points and 15 boards to help

the Pistons hold a 58-28 advantage in the paint on the way to a

113-93 victory in the most recent matchup with the Bobcats in

Detroit on April 12.

Things aren’t likely to come as easy against this Charlotte

team, which ranks near the top of the NBA by allowing averages of

35.7 paint points and 92.7 points overall.

Charlotte has limited its opponents to 10-of-41 shooting from

3-point range in its last two, but also has given up 88 paint

points in wins over Sacramento and Toronto.

After missing two free throws in the final 20 seconds of

overtime, Kemba Walker made amends by sinking a jumper as time

expired to give the Bobcats a 104-102 road win over the Raptors on

Wednesday.

Walker finished with 29 points and Al Jefferson added 24 and 11

rebounds for the Bobcats, who haven’t won three straight since the

end of last season.

”Kemba, he lives for those shots,” Jefferson said. ”I really

think he missed those free throws on purpose so we could be in that

situation, because that’s what he lives for.”

Walker has scored 25.7 per game on 61.4 percent shooting –

including 10 for 19 from 3-point range – over his last three games.

Now he’ll try for his fifth straight 20-point effort against the

Pistons.

Despite Walker’s scoring surge, Charlotte ranks near the bottom

of the league with 91.1 points per game while sitting last with a

30.6 3-point percentage.

The Pistons are hoping to carry over some of their road success

to the home court. They’ve given up an average of 97.1 points

during a 6-1 road stretch, but have allowed 106.6 while dropping

five of seven at home.

Dating back to his time with Atlanta, Detroit’s Josh Smith has

averaged 20.9 points on 56.2 percent shooting in eight straight

wins against Charlotte.