Flip Saunders wasn't happy about his team's overall effort in Sunday's loss to the Sixers, and he's suggested he might give his starters a little more time tonight to work on their execution. From the Detroit Free Press:
"I think that, one, you don't want to be in a situation where you've gone too long without being extremely competitive," Saunders said. "And so I want our mind-set to go into this game, we're going to be more competitive going in knowing that in five days we'll be going at it again when it really matters."
Forward Tayshaun Prince seemed to get the point.
"I think he feels we need to just get more rhythm out there together," Prince said. "I think from a concern of playing 20-22 minutes, I think that's plenty of enough time to get some good rhythm out there. But at the same time, I think he feels we need to get a better establishment of what needs to be done."
No matter what Flip says, anything more than 25-30 minutes for the starters will be a huge shock.
The Pistons also flubbed away last Friday's game in the final minutes against the Raps, in part because of the bench's inexperience but also because the Raps simply had the better team on the floor with their key starters still in the game. This time, though, the playing field will be a bit more level for Detroit's youngsters, as the Raptors are taking a page out of Detroit's book and resting several of their key players for the playoffs. From the Toronto Star:
Bargnani isn't the only significant Raptor who'll get tonight off. Mitchell said Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker, who have logged substantial minutes over the past month, will sit out.
Kris Humphries will start in Bosh's place, while Morris Peterson could replace Parker at shooting guard, Mitchell said.
On a sidenote, I'd like to point out a great example of cooperative blogging by The Ghosts of Wayne Fontes, who rounded up the opinions of several Detroit bloggers to comment on Chauncey Billups and his future prospects in Detroit. We were invited to the party and meant to contribute but we botched it -- there just aren't enough hours in the day -- but everyone who contributed did an outstanding job.
Ball tips against the Raptors at 7:30 -- as usual, leave your thoughts in the comments.