AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Should the Sixers win tonight's game here in snowy Detroit, it would be the first time they've won consecutive games on the road in almost two years. But to accomplish this feat, which they last did on Dec. 21 and 23 in Orlando and Miami, they'll have to shut down one of the most dominant big men in the league right now.
Here's a look at three keys to tonight's 6 o'clock game at the Palace of Auburn Hills against the Pistons (13-12).
Somehow contain Andre Drummond. The 6-11 center is averaging 15 points and 13.6 rebounds this season, but has been monstrous of late. In his last two games, Drummond has accumulated 48 points and 42 rebounds and shot 21 for 27 from the floor. Five times this season, he has snared 20 or more rebounds in a game, and the Pistons have won four of them. The trio of Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Richaun Holmes will have to do a decent job of keeping Drummond from controlling the backboards.
Sixers' big-man rotation. Noel will be making his season debut now that his left knee is fully healed. How, exactly, Brown will use him is anyone's guess. Maybe he'll line up next to Okafor. Perhaps he backs him up. And with Joel Embiid back in Philadelphia with an inflamed elbow, Richaun Holmes will also get some minutes.
Sixers defense. They have played very well at the defensive end lately. They've held the last two opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor, and for the first time this season didn't allow more than 100 points in consecutive games. Noel and his defensive presence might help them even more at that end of the floor.