Los Angeles Lakers: Jason Maxiell

Lakers vs. Pistons: What to watch

November, 4, 2012
11/04/12
11:58
AM PT
By akamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
As I mentioned in the Rapid Reaction from Friday's loss to the Clippers, I'm not losing my head over this 0-3 start. However, if the Lakers remain winless after a date with the Detroit Pistons, a team that probably won't make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, I will in fact panic. Not in response to the loss itself, but rather because the streets of L.A. will be filled with fans who've lost their minds. They'll inevitably turn on each other, which will quickly transform L.A. into an apocalyptic free-for-all. And I care too much about my loved ones to expose them to such madness. Thus, I'll pack up the fam and the cat, and we'll head to an undisclosed location, preferably at higher ground. (Big Bear sounds safe enough.)

So those are the additional stakes in play as the Lakers try to get off the schneid: My ability to continue living in Los Angeles County.

For more perspective on the Pistons, I sent five questions to Patrick Hayes, who covers the team for the TrueHoop network's Piston Powered blog.

Land O' Lakers: With the season now underway, what have been your biggest takeaways of the Pistons? Do you think they have any ability to surprise this year?

Patrick Hayes: The Pistons appear to be taking advantage of all of the youth on the roster by looking to run more on offense after being one of the slowest-paced teams in the league the past three seasons or so. In the season opener against Houston, although the defense was bad, the Pistons did come up with 12 steals, which helped their transition game. Most of the players on the roster will never be confused with good defenders, but they do have a lot of length, even at the guard position, and quickness, so being disruptive in passing lanes could be a new skill displayed this season.

As far as ability to surprise, I'm not convinced. I think they'll be improved and more fun to watch, but I don't necessarily think that will automatically lead to more wins. They'll be in the conversation, along with three or four other teams, for the final playoff spot in the East if everything goes perfectly. My guess, though, is 30-35 wins.

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SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0