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Get ready for the real games

The Pistons wrapped up the preseason with Friday's 96-92 loss to the Timberwolves in the basketball mecca that is Rapid City, South Dakota. Pay no heed to the final score, as Chauncey, Ben and McDyess sat out to avoid injury, and Rasheed, Tay and Rip played less than 15 minutes. Carlos Arroyo made the most of his start, scoring 17 points with 12 assists, and Maurice Evans was great off the bench (24 points, four boards, two assists, three steals and a block).

I'd say the theme of the preseason has to be the emergence of the bench. It became increasingly evident that the starters were simply taxed by the end of the playoffs, so it was encouraging to see guys like Maurice Evans, Darko, Delfino and ArroyoRonald Dupree belongs in this list, but the latest scuttlebut has him being traded or waived in favor of rookie point guard Alex Acker by Monday's 6 p.m. roster deadline step up. Plus, it's nice to see a veteran team re-load through the draft: at least two rookies and possibly three (Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson and Alex Acker) will make this team.

Also, it looks like the Tayshaun deal is done: MLive is reporting reporting $47 million over five years. Sigh. I'm used to the days when $9 million a year was A LOT of money. I'll give Joe Dumars the benefit of the doubt, even though I definitely raised an eyebrow at the negotiations. Maybe I'll go deeper into this sometime in the next day or two while waiting for the real games.

So, with a meaningless month of exhibition stats in the books, gear up for Wednesday's season opener against the Sixers. Here's a bit of news to chew on: the pesky Samuel Dalembert will be sidelined.

Minnesota 96, Detroit 92 box score [ESPN]
Prince agrees to deal, Pistons to make one last cut [MLive]
Injury to sideline Dalembert up to two weeks [Philadelphia Inquirer]