The Detroit Pistons will end their lockout-truncated preseason with a road game against Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night before the NBA regular season begins on Christmas Day. The Pistons will likely be without a few of their projected starters, but that means first round pick Brandon Knight will be inserted into the starting lineup when the game tips off at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit.
The Pistons are planning to be without both Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon due to family issues, according to reports coming out of Cleveland, though Villanueva could make it to Ohio in time for the game. A third starter will be moved to the bench, apparently, as Knight will replace Will Bynum in the starting lineup.
With both Villanueva and Gordon out, it will be interesting to see what kind of lineups the Pistons put on the floor. Camp invites Walker Russell Jr. and Jake Voskuhl both were DNP-Coaches Decisions in the first preseason game while Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace sat out as well. Second round pick Vernon Macklin will also likely see an increase in playing time after getting just 35 seconds of burn in the first game.
The Cavaliers expect Omri Casspi to make his debut for the team tonight, though it seems that Alonzo Gee will still get the start at the small forward spot. If first round pick Kyrie Irving is relegated to back-up point guard duties, it'll be interesting to see how often he and Knight are able to match up.
The Pistons will have a few days off following the preseason game, at least as far as games are concerned, until the regular season begins on Dec. 26 with a game against the Indiana Pacers.