8:00 pm ET
Golden St.: 21-40 (6-25 road)
Margin: -3.4 ppg (-0.8 last 25%)
Pistons: 30-29 (15-15 home)
Margin: -0.8 (-3.5 last 25%)
Last 10: 3-7
Golden State is a team that doesn't even know how to tank right. In spite of the best efforts of Don Nelson, who has arbitrarily shuffled key players in and out of the rotation, the Warriors have won five of their last ten. It seems like just about anyone can step into Nelson's system and become a three point specialist.
As it stands though, the team is likely to be without Andris Biedrins, Monta Ellis and Brandan Wright. Kellena Azubuike is a maybe, and Nelson is almost certain to sit someone else. When you consider that this team has six road wins all season, it would stand to reason that the Pistons are in great shape to win their 4th straight game, and second straight at home for the first time in two months.
Like all Nelson coached teams, the Warriors are competent offensively. But their defense is woeful. The absence of Biedrins, in particular, bodes well for a Detroit team that has been uneven on the boards.
It's always fun to see what Don Nelson will do with rotations. He'd probably throw AI out there if he could.
Keys for Detroit:
Slow down the pace: Hey, there's something we can do. Forcing Golden State to play a perimeter-oriented game will allow Detroit to play up its advantage on the boards, and keep Corey Maggette off the free throw line.
Take the open three: The Warriors have been particularly vulnerable to the three pointer this year, largely because they lack solid perimeter defense. If the Pistons can get into a groove from downtown, they could put the game away quickly.
Don't let up: This season, more than ever, the Pistons have been playing down to the competition. Detroit has yet to beat any team by 20 points or more, and those kinds of wins are the hallmark of a team with a real shot in the playoffs.
Question of the game:
Will Detroit get caught looking ahead? A road game with potential first round matchup Atlanta looms.