Game Tips at 7:30 P.M. EST
Charlotte Bobcats: 1 - 3 (1 - 2 road)
Detroit Pistons: 0 - 5 ( 0 - 2 home)
This team has a shoot-first point guard who hasn't shown that he can be a reliable starter. Their starting 2 guard is an aging vet who doesn't shoot well and tends to defer to his teammates instead of creating for himself. Their front court rotation consists of a center in the twilight of his career and a power forward who's a crafty passer but less-than-traditional as a big man. The team's front office is ran by a Hall of Fame player and their coach is a disciple of Dean Smith who plays blindingly slow-paced basketball. I give you the Chartroit Piscats.
Okay, so the team has some differences. Namely Gerald Wallace, and that's about it. (okay, I kid)
The two primary differences between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Detroit Pistons are the disparity in bench talent and the lack of frontcourt scoring. The Pistons are deep at the 2, the 3 and the 4, whereas the 'Cats are in trouble when Gerald Wallace is off the court. Derrick Brown and Gerald Henderson are this team's wing backups, neither of which have done anything of significance yet this season (although Brown is 100% from the field, he's just not being used). In terms of frontcourt scoring, Boris Diaw is Charlotte's main weapon, a player who has averaged less than 10 points a game on his career. Beyond Diaw, Charlotte has the offensively prolific duo of Nazr Mohammed and Desagana Diop manning the five. Sure, Ty Thomas likes to have nice games against Detroit, but his athleticism is often outweighed by his headcase.
What does this mean for Detroit? The bulk of Charlotte's scoring is going to come from the point and the wings. If the Pistons can exploit their depth at these positions, using tough matchups on the 'Cats offensive heat, Detroit can actually win this one on both ends of the court. Our offensive advantage in the frontcourt could be neutralized against a Larry Brown defense, but not if Kuester follows the keys to the game below...
Keys to the Game:
Push the Pace: Charlotte plays the slowest pace in the league and they lead the league in turnover percentage. Detroit needs to exploit the turnovers and run the court against Charlotte. Let Monroe, Daye and Villanueva get some outlet passes to Detroit's quick guards like Gordon and Stuckey (if he does in fact play tonight).
Move the Ball: Again, Charlotte plays at the league's slowest pace and Brown manages a pretty tight half court defense. Find your teammates, move the ball and fight Charlotte's D through passing, not predictable drives to the basket.
Coach the Damn Team: Attn: Kuester. Daye is not working at the 4. This has been involved in every preview I've ran thus far. Second, I don't care who is bitching at who, don't power-play your way into a loss-- like giving the last two quarters to DaJuan Summers when the game is on the line. If this team is consistently losing games in the closing minutes, it's your fault more so than the players themselves. Yeah, dick move by Stuckey, but had you waited until after the game to discipline him, we might not be off to our worst start in 30 years.
Question of the Game:
When is it gonna happen?
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