The winless Pistons venture into the Toyota Center on Saturday night for a win-hungry Rockets team.
Of course, the Pistons would be considered hungry for a win too.
But, on paper at least, this game would be one where Houston would hope to bounce back after three straight losses after two wins to start the season.
Houston is coming off a 93-85 loss to the Grizzlies on Friday night. The Pistons also played, losing 105-94 to the Thunder. So both teams are travelling into Houston and playing on back-to-back nights. Any fatigue would affect both teams.
This matchup is a rematch of the season opener on Halloween, when the Rockets defeated the Pistons 105-96. That game will be remembered for James Harden's spectacular debut in Rockets red, with 37 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, and four steals. All of Carlos Delfino's six field-goal attempts for that game came from three-point land. He made five of them.
But a few things have changed since that time.
The Pistons only played rookie Andre Drummond for less than 13 minutes that game and his production was limited. Last night against the Thunder, they started experimenting with having both Drummond and fellow big man Greg Monroe on the floor at the same time. The results were good to the extent that the Pistons nearly toppled Oklahoma City with the resulting run. Drummond had 22 points and 8 rebounds. Monroe had a double double and also had six assists. If this is a lineup the Rockets will be facing, it might be a tough matchup.
On the flipside, the Pistons defense has not been among the NBA's best and is a big reason the team's still winless. No doubt, they'll try to swarm Harden into not having as effective an outing as he did the first time around. It's just a matter of whether or not they'll succeed in doing so. For the Rockets, they'll need to get back to what they've been preaching: ball movement. Movement without the ball.
Saturday would be a prime opportunity for the Rockets to work out those kinks and break out of a slump at the same time.