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In the shadow of Darko: Pistons trounce Nets

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The talk around the Pistons (and around Detroit Bad Boys) has been the proposed trade of Darko Milicic to the Orlando Magic. But if Tuesday's night's victory over the Nets is any indication, the Pistons are undeterred by the mini-media frenzy surrounding the deal.

The Pistons dispatched of the Nets last night with an element absent in their recent mediocre stretch: namely tough defense and control of the boards. Detroit's shooting was off--only 38.6% from the field (24% from three)--but forcing the Nets into 16 turnovers and limiting them to only 4 offensive boards resulted in 14 more shot opportunities for the Pistons. Even on the worst of shooting nights, defense like that will keep them in any game.

So who get's the gold star and smiley face for the night? Ben Wallace--struggling as of late--returned to form after being victimized by Kazaam and the Heat on Sunday. Last night's double-double was Ben's first since the win over Mamba and the Lakers on January 29.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the spark that Carlos Delfino gave the Pistons off the bench. He has established himself as a defensive presence, having followed up his great D on Dwayne Wade Sunday night with another shut-down performance on Vince Carter last night. Given the hetero-mancrush that we at Detrot Bad Boys have on Delfino's game, I can't fault my fiance for developing her own crush on Carlos. And she made a good point during last night's game [ed. yes, we watched the Pistons on Valentine's Day]--Carlos Delfino lacks an appropriate nickname. Have a suggestion? Post it in the comments.

[P.S.--Sadly, if the trade with the Magic goes down, it would be a most appropriate ending to the Darko era if the airball he threw up late in the fourth quarter of last night's game was his last shot as a Piston. Has such a high-profile player ever offered so little for fans to remember him by?]

Pistons 85, Nets 71 box score [ESPN]