Game coverage begins Mar 6 2011, 6:00 PM EST
Does anybody remember the last time we played Washington?
I'll try to paint the picture since I can't upload the video. It was early in the season, Rodney Stuckey was finishing with Dunks, and Charlie V. was passing up 3 pointers to take on Washington's shot blockers in the paint! Rip was coming off screens and hitting jumper after jumper to power the Pistons to an overtime victory. The night was magical, and the hopes of a playoff drive were starting to emerge. Amazing how much can change over the course of half a season.
Pistons: Maybe this lineup will work???
The Pistons are still recovering from the boycott that may or may not have happened. In the time since the All-Star break the team has gone 1-4 while receiving solid contributions from the players who were sitting out. Kuester announces Tayshaun Prince will return to the starting lineup, signaling:
- He served his punishment for his role in the alleged boycott
- A beginning of a campaign to inflate his value so JOD can sign in trade,
- Tayshaun really "got after it," and climbed into the coach's starting up-for-grabs lineup,
- Tayshaun's sore back is healed
The state of the last few games of the season makes one wonder if the pistons really are going to "make a push" or if they are going to unabashedly tank. Losing at home to Minnesota seems to favor the later, as the pistons now are the seventh worse team in the league, and a surge of wins from the sixth worst New Jersey Nets may leave the Pistons with an even better draft position.
Wizards: In Search of a Road Win - Part Two
The Wizards are coming off of their second win in ten games after beating the Timberwolves, despite Kevin Love's 50th double double of the season. It was a team effort as Flip Saunders ailing mother passed away shortly after he left her bedside as he flew back to Washington to prepare for Saturday's game. The former Piston coach is expected to miss Sunday's game against his former team. The Wizards were led by Andray Blatche's 20 points, John Wall's 11 Assists, and some huge fourth quarter put back slams by rookie Trevor Booker. The win came without the Wizards' leading scorer, shooting guard Nick Young, and small forward Josh Howard, both of whom are questionable for today.
Key Matchup: John Wall vs. Greg Monroe
First pick in the draft John Wall comes into the palace with his shoe contract, rookie-sophomore MVP trophy, and his Multiple Dance Crazes, to face Greg Monroe who is 3rd among rookies in win shares, 2nd among rookies in PER, and is coming off a 18 point 11 rebound game. As Wall lines up against the Pistons his ability to handle the much bigger Rodney Stuckey defensively could be a key to the game, as will the Pistons ability to prevent Wall from getting fast break layups. Monroe will be matching up against one of the league's best young centers in 3rd-year player Javale McGee. The Pistons may have a edge here with Greg Monroe whose stats are shockingly similar to Mcgee despite the fact that the New Orleans native can't legally drink a hand grenade on Bourbon Street.
2011 Points / Rebounds / Blocks / Steals / Minutes
Monroe: 8.3 / 6.9 / 0.5 / 1.0 / 26.3 vs. McGee: 8.9 / 7.7 / 2.2 / 0.5 / 26.9
The last time these two teams played Monroe was limited to 12 minutes, so expect a break out from the young moose.
Keys to the game
Did you know the Pistons are 30th in the league in Rebounding? (Glowers at Charlie Villanueva). They will have to do better against the Wizards interior. Probable starters Greg Monroe and Chris Wilcox received 12 mins and a DNP last time we played them, and those two have been good in the paint lately. Still, don't be surprised to see Jason Maxiell step on the court and hopefully eat some babies, especially if CV31 puts up a performance in-line with his February average of 2.2 RPG.
Tayshaun vs. Austin
Austin Daye has been playing sick as of late, it would be nice if he could maintain that momentum and not have his minutes yanked on behalf of Tayshaun and to a lesser degree Rip. In what has become the theme of the season, Kuester's lineups may mean the wrong player will bear the brunt of lessened minutes.
Question of the Game
A Brief Look at Ownership Transitions
The Washington Wizards began transitioning to a new owner in November of 2009 after long time owner Abe Pollin passed away. This sounds familiar to Pistons fans whose long time owner William Davidson passed away eight months later. When the owner of the Wizards passed away, a detailed succession plan kicked in, where the local NHL hockey owner took control of the team while working alongside Abe Pollin's Widow. When the owner of the Pistons passed it kicked off a period of chaos where the President of the team bolted to work with the local hockey owner in attempts to buy the team from William Davidson's widow. These efforts failed as Karen Davidson has effectively held the team hostage expecting a 400+ million dollar payday, markedly higher than Forbes Magazine's recent valuations of the team, and seemingly preventing any player movement that can help the team move forward. Meanwhile Washington's ownership is already rallying around their young players, elite coach, and bright future, Detroit's ownership is focused on milking their past success for the biggest payout, regardless of what it means for the future of the organization. (Steps off soap box)
Random Thought That I Couldn't Work In
It amazes me how much more STRUGGLE was involved in Greg Monroe being a Piston, compared to John Wall being a rookie. The Wizards started him from day one and spoon fed him minutes, while the Pistons gave him a DNP and don't even run plays for him, and who knows what kind of hazing goes on behind the scenes. I imagine that one day in the future, when John Wall is like a future version of Mike Conley and Moose is on his 8th MVP, and the two meet on the bleachers outside of an all-star game and John Wall is trying to learn why he hasn't succeeded like Greg Monroe has. The two then have this exchange where Wall is the white kid, Monroe is Tracy Morgan, and every time either one says the word "Black," replace it with the word "Detroit Piston."
Tracy Morgan is Totally Awesome. (via APEDOGBARKS)