Game Tips at 7:00 P.M. EST
Detroit Pistons 0 - Winfrey (Road 0 - 2)
Atlanta Hawks 4 - 0 (Home 1 - 0)
The Pistons take on the Eastern Conference's only undefeated team tonight in Atlanta. I'll bet you RalphGoBlue's dignity that George Blaha calls them the "high flying Atlanta Hawks" in the introduction. This will be a short preview tonight, as I realized at the last minute that no one else is on it. I'm publishing this now for a game thread, will update with more details hopefully before the game tips...
Like Boston last night, here's another team that is playing at their best. They've won four in a row to remain one of the league's three unbeaten teams, joined with the Lakers and the Hornets. The Hawks are killing it on the shoulders of the recently-extended Al Horford, who is averaging 15, 10 and 3 assists a game. Josh Smith is blocking shots at nearly double his career rate, dishing out assists per usual and cleaning up the defensive glass. Mike Bibby is hitting nearly 48% of his threes and rarely turning the ball over. As a team, they're scoring 105.5 points a game and winning by an average of 8.5 points. Inversely, the Pistons are losing by 9 points per game and giving up 104. This makes me nervous.
Granted, Atlanta has had one of the easiest schedules available thus far, having played mostly Eastern Conference bottom feeders save for the Memphis Moneyball Grizzlies. Last I checked, sadly, Detroit also happens to be an Eastern Conference basement dweller team. This makes me nervous.
One of the Pistons greatest weaknesses thus far is its lack of a frontcourt presence on the boards and in the paint. Atlanta happens to have two double-double starters in the frontcourt between Smith and Horford. This, too, makes me nervous.
Keys to the Game:
Austin Daye needs to go to the bench. This is the third game in a row where I've said this, and I'm going to repeat it until it happens (or until he starts kicking names and taking ass. i meant it that way, MFBM).
Rebound. Even though this may not fit with the last key, as Daye has been a superior rebounder to Villanueva, this team needs a daily rebound clinic. If they haven't figured out how to rebound yet, don't worry, Atlanta will show them how it's done.
Score More Points than Atlanta. If you score more than the other team, you will win. Every time.
Question of the Game:
When will it stop?