Kings vs. Pistons Preview: The Road trip continues in the land of What If.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings and Pistons face off in a battle of players that could have been on either team had recent drafts shaken out a little differently.

Sacramento's road trip continues tonight in Detroit (4:30 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140) to face a team of guys that could have been on the Sacramento Kings had things gone down differently. In a way, the Pistons are an alternate universe's version of the Kings, and neither team is really any good.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

DeMarcus Cousins vs. Andre Drummond

These two guys could have been teammates if Petrie had been willing to take more of a risk, but instead they're rivals. They're much different players; Cousins relies on his deft scoring touch and good all-around skills while Drummond is a fantastic athlete who also possesses a nose for the ball on both ends, blocks shots and is excellent at finishing around the basket. The last time these two teams met, Drummond had 15 points and 18 rebounds, including 8 offensive. Cousins had a good game in his own right with 26 points and 13 rebounds. DeMarcus said it was his fault that Drummond was able to get so many second chance opportunities after last game, and he'll have to work doubly hard tonight to make sure it doesn't happen again.

3 THINGS

1. Here's what I mean from above when I say the Pistons are like an alternate universe's version of the Kings. Both teams have been stuck in the draft lottery for the last few years, and seemingly each year the Pistons are a spot or two behind the Kings, always coveting a player that the Kings draft while they themselves draft a player that could have been a good fit for the Kings. In 2010, the Kings ended up taking Cousins at 5, while Detroit took Monroe 7th. The next year, many Kings fans wanted Brandon Knight, who went 8th to the Pistons. The Kings of course traded the 7th pick for the 10th pick ANDABIGGERCONTRACTAREYOUFREAKINGKIDDINGME and took Jimmer Fredette. The year after that the Kings took Thomas Robinson while Detroit took Andre Drummond 9th, a slot where his question marks were worth taking a chance on. Finally this year, both teams took Shooting Guards, one after another, in Ben McLemore and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. While both teams have drafted promising players, the end result has still been two pretty crappy teams during that time.

2. Detroit's been especially bad lately. They've lost 10 of their last 12 with their only wins coming against the Knicks and Hawks. Part of that is because of the Pistons stubbornness in making a Drummond/Monroe/Smith frontline work, despite all the numbers suggesting that any two of those players on the court is better than all three at the same time. That's because Smith works best as a Power Forward, and he's spent all season playing out of position at Small Forward. That problem could be solved this summer though, as the Pistons seem hesitant on giving Monroe the big salary that he will command.

3. Detroit has a few strengths thanks to their size. They are one of the best in the league at scoring in the paint, and they're the best team in Offensive Rebounding Rate at a really good 31.5%. That means they rebound almost a third of their misses. They're also very good at forcing turnovers, an area in which the Kings have struggled big time lately. One area they're awful at though is outside shooting, ranking 29th in three point field goals.

PRE-GAME HAIKU

Dumars and Petrie,
drafting players in a tree.
K-I-S-S-I-N-G? (So it doesn't fit the haiku, sue me)

PREDICTION

Kings 32, Pistons 47 as Kings forfeit early because they can't take Detroit's PA announcer any more.

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