I'm a bit disappointed. I would have assumed that if any of this year's match-ups were to be voted in to TNT fan night, it'd be Bobcats vs. Pistons.
Game Tips Off at 7:30 P.M. EST
Charlotte Bobcats: 7 - 42 (3 - 22 road)
Detroit Pistons: 18 - 33 (12 - 12 home)
Tonight's game is destined to be a quiet one. The NCAA Final Four series is held tonight, kicking off between Kentucky and Louisville as I type. Some of the top draft prospects will be shown tonight, as Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Jared Sullinger and more will be under the big lights. Meanwhile, a match between two of the NBA's worst teams won't register much interest from anyone.
Except for us, of course. This is a game that the Pistons have no business losing, especially since they've beaten the Bobcats by an average of 16 points in two games this season. Greg Monroe has largely dominated the series, averaging 19 points and 15 rebounds against Charlotte. If fans would like to see the Pistons run a cohesive offense and an effective defense, playing well on both ends of the court, they're likely to see it tonight.
But beyond this game, the real discussion will be about who from the NCAA Final Four games might be joining these teams this summer. Anthony Davis will likely be the top prize in the 2012 NBA Draft, and Charlotte has the best shot at retaining him. If the Pistons play their cards right, they might have a clean shot at a player like Jared Sullinger or Michael Kidd Gilchrist. Otherwise, hey, there are always white stiffs and combo guards.
Keys to the Game:
Feed the Moose: Yes. Run the offense through him. It's not like anyone else can distribute effectively.
Bench production would be nice: Detroit's bench was ugly against Chicago, and we'll need well-rounded production tonight if we want another blow-out.
Defend the Perimeter: While the Cats will likely get more scoring out of a frontcourt that does not include Boris Diaw, their offensive threat is largely on the wings. Contain Corey Maggette without fouling, and work to prevent dribble penetration from the young guards from Charlotte.
Question of the Game:
Which teams from tonight's Final Four game will face off for the NCAA Championship? Who is most likely to be the MVP from that game?