Programming note: Immediately after the final horn of the Warriors-Cavs showdown on Christmas Day, change the channel to CSN Bay Area for a special Warriors edition of SportsNet Central.
It was a little more than 11 months ago that the Warriors glided into Detroit with a glossy 37-3 record and left town with the bruises that come with an 18-point loss.
That’s not something a proud team forgets, and that memory will shadow the Warriors when they face the Pistons Friday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Warriors (26-4) have won six in a row, including a 117-101 comeback win at Brooklyn on Thursday. All-Star forward and defensive ace Draymond Green missed the game because he returned to the East Bay for the birth of his son, but is available to face the Pistons.
The Pistons (14-17) have been among the more disappointing teams in the NBA and currently are on a four-game losing streak – with all four losses by double digits.
Warriors by 7.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Zaza Pachulia/JaVale McGee vs. Andre Drummond. Drummond’s presence in the paint hurt the Warriors last January. Though the 6-11, 280-pound center scored only 14 points, he grabbed 21 rebounds and blocked three shots. A major priority for Pachulia and McGee is to keep Drummond from cleaning the offensive glass.
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Pistons: F Reggie Bullock (L knee surgery) is listed as out.
Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the Development League.
Warriors: 9-1. Pistons: 3-7.
The Warriors have won nine of the last 10 meetings.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) Bring the D -- In forcing 18 second-half turnovers Thursday at Brooklyn, the Warriors reminded themselves that the surest path to easy buckets is paved by ferocious defense. The Pistons lead the NBA in turnovers, so the Warriors will try to exploit this weakness.
2) Push the pace -- Ranking third in pace, the Warriors want to set a fast tempo. Detroit wants nothing of the sort. The Pistons are bottom-five in pace and in true shooting percentage, mostly because they are 29th in 3-point makes and 24th in 3-point shooting percentage. They want to grind it out.
3) Different Detroit? -- Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy ripped into his team this week, vowing lineup changes. He made none Wednesday against Memphis but left open the possibility of doing so Friday night. The likeliest candidates for replacements reportedly are forwards Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris. The Warriors may need to adjust.