The Pistons are back home tonight vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves to play their third game in three nights. They lost to the Wolves earlier this season, thanks to Kevin Love's 20 points and 17 rebounds, but the Wolves they will see tonight simply aren’t the same team.
Game Tips at 7:30 p.m.
Detroit Pistons: 23-39 (16-14 home)
Minnesota Timberwolves: 25-38 (12-20 road)
The Wolves come into play with an 11-game losing streak. And as I said, the Wolves just aren’t the same team they were earlier in the season. The reason? They lost Ricky Rubio for the season back in early March with a torn ACL. And that was while they were playing their best ball since the Kevin Garnett era and looked like a viable contender for the 8th seed in the West. Everyone loves Rubio for his outstanding playmaking ability, but I think the Wolves have missed him most on the defensive side. Then, about a week ago, they lost Kevin Love because of a concussion. My guess is he’s done for the season. No need to bring him back with nothing to play for.
But they do still have Nikola Pekovic. He’s awesome. And scary.
Michael Beasley has also played well for them this month. He has scored in double figures in five of the past seven games and he’s shooting 48.8 percent in April.
And here’s something you won’t believe. The Wolves haven’t won a game in April since 2009. I’m serious. And they haven’t won a home game in April since 2008. That’s just crazy to me. But, having said that, they still have a MUCH brighter future than the Pistons. And you have to think tonight might be their best chance of snapping that streak.
And as for those Pistons…they got romped last night to the Atlanta Hawks. But at least Vernon Macklin finally played meaningful minutes for the first time this season, which is what we all wanted. Hopefully tonight he will get even more playing time.
I’ll be looking for a bounce back game from Rodney Stuckey. Last night, he just looked very passive and lifeless. I know most of the team played like crap, but I hadn’t seen Stuckey like that at all this season. Only three shots and zero points? That wasn’t the Stuckey that has won us over this season.
Lawrence Frank has been tinkering with the lineup and using different combinations, but made absolutely no excuses for their pathetic play last night. He sounded disappointed and rightfully so.
Keys to the game:
Moose Mack: It's time to see what Vernon Macklin can do. (Copy and pasted from Packey)
Rodney Stuckey: I know the Pistons usually do well when Stuckey does well, and at this point, we want losses. But I still want to see him have a bounce back game.
Have fun: There are only four games left in the season. Might as well go out there, play loose and have fun playing each other.
Question of the game:
Will the Wolves finally win a game in April?