Sixers-Pistons 5 Things: Returning to the Scene of Their Most Lopsided Win

The Sixers (18-32) will try to salvage their four-game road trip when they face the Detroit Pistons (23-28) at the Palace of Auburn Hills (7:30 p.m./TCN, and the NBC Sports app).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Pushed around in the paint
The Sixers' recent inability to control the low post took a turn for the worse over the weekend.

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The team was dominated inside by center Hassan Whiteside and the streaking Miami Heat in a 125-102 loss on Saturday. Whiteside had a double-double by the end of the first quarter as he rolled to a 30-point, 20-rebound effort in 27 minutes.

Even with Joel Embiid still sidelined and Jahlil Okafor a DNP-CD, the Sixers didn't want to take anything away from Whiteside's assertive performance.

"I give him a lot of credit the way he just took over the game," Brett Brown said of Whiteside. "[His stat line] is beyond dominating. Maybe with more healthy bodies, you could have competed a little bit more, but I don't want to take anything away from him. That was an incredibly impactful performance and an incredibly impactful first half that he had."

Overall, the Sixers were out-rebounded again (52-42) and allowed 54 points in the paint, which has to have their next opponent licking their chops.

2. Andre the giant
Speaking of the next opponent, that team just so happens to have a bruising big man of its own.

Pistons center Andre Drummond is a force down on the block. He is averaging 14.6 points and is third in the NBA with 13.6 rebounds per game this season.

After watching the Sixers give up big games on this road trip to Dallas' Salah Mejri (16 points, 17 rebounds), San Antonio's Dewayne Dedmon (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Whiteside, Drummond has to be salivating at the thought of what he can do against a banged-up roster.

3. Will history repeat itself?
Of course, this visit to the Motor City could be just what the Sixers need at the moment.

In their last trip to Detroit, the undermanned Sixers rolled to a 97-79 win - their largest of the season - to give them back-to-back victories following an eight-game losing skid. 

Embiid and Sergio Rodriguez sat out that Dec. 11 game while Nerlens Noel played just 10 minutes in his season debut. 

However, T.J. McConnell seized control of the starting point guard role that day with a near-triple-double (12 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists). Plus, the Sixers received balanced scoring with Robert Covington (16), Ersan Ilyasova (15), Okafor (14) and Nik Stauskas (10) all putting up double-digit points in the win.

With the Sixers limping to the end of this road trip on three straight defeats, they will need a similar effort to snap this skid.

4. Injuries
Covington (hand) is probable to return after missing three straight games. Okafor will start and Noel will come off the bench.

Embiid (knee), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

The Pistons have no players listed on the injury report.

5. This and that
• The Sixers snapped a four-game skid to the Pistons with their win in the season's first meeting.

• Philly native Marcus Morris had 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting in the first matchup.

• The Pistons had a stretch of eight games with at least 100 points snapped in a 105-84 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. The Sixers allow 106.4 points per game.

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