Buckle up Pistons fans, we are headed towards new depths of futility. Tonight's game could mean the worst record in the league, Lawrence Franks' 21st consecutive loss as a head coach, and the worst start for our franchise since 1999 (not counting last year). The 1999 team would rebound and finish 42-40 with the help of their bald-headed, over-weight, three-point shooting big man, Terry Mills. The current team brings back welcomes their Terry Mills equivalent, Charlie Villanueva, back from suspension. CV31's return to the Pistons, and how well he's adopted Frank's defensive lessons, will be the deciding factor in this game. Certainly a more confident Brandon Knight, a sharper shooting Ben Gordon, and Greg Monroe's high post magic will be important tonight, but victory rests largely in Charlie's crumb covered hands.
Game Time: 6:00
Frank Vogel and his Pacers are on a mission this year and this party starts in the front court. Georgetown big Roy Hibbert anchors a the rotation that includes former all star David West, mildly over-rated Danny Granger, and features Psycho-T coming off the bench. The last time we played West, Hibbert, and Tyler Hansbrough combined for 39 rebounds...so yeah there's that (one less than our whole team). In the back court, 2nd year player Paul George grew two inches over the summer giving the Pacers a large set of wings, with Danny Granger. The Pacers shocked many last year when their stiffling defense gave the Bulls serious problems during last years playoffs. This years version of the Indianapolis team is likely the 5th best team in the conference and could look to make a deep playoff run this spring.
Keys To The Game
To be at all optimistic about this game the Pistons need to drink some Charlie V Koolaid. As a Pistons fan, asking you to get excited about Charlie V is as foreign as asking Charlie V to get excited about a vegetable tray, but this time it's different!
- We really need bench scoring - Excluding Brandon Knight, our bench has combined for 12.3 points per game. With such paltry bench production, CV scoring points in bunches will certainly be "impactful"
- He will play down low - Have you noticed that Daye is not playing the 4? Frank knows that he's best used on the perimeter. Likewise, I assume CV will be posting up more since he is effective down there.
- He will be aggressive - The last regular season game he played he was so riled up he got kicked out. Because Charlie knows that if he is going to do anything in this league it starts inside, and playing with some pride. This one is kind of a stretch (since he played awful in preseason and couldn't start for the Dominican National team this summer), but I'm sure we all would happy if he took more players to the loading docks.
If these things don't happen at least the Pistons can have more fouls to throw at the Pacers front line, to prevent Monroe from getting in foul trouble like last game. Also, Charlie V provides another shooter for Monroe or Knight to feed.
Other Keys To The Game
- Defend three point shooters,
- Box out down low and crash the boards from the perimeter
- Give Monroe the ball every possession
- Get Stuckey in the post
Question Of The Game
Can the Pistons neutralize the Pacers front court?Quote Of The Game
"people will hate you, rate you, shake you, and break you. But how strong you stand is what makes you"
Edit: Changed the number of Frank losses. How do you guys put those pictures in the game thread?