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Pistons host Mavericks

The Pistons host the Mavericks tonight at the Palace. Once again, this game won't be on basic cable, but at least those lucky subscribers with access to NBA TV will be able to tune in. Chauncey Billups is expected to go after sitting out against the Spurs, a good sign that his elbow and ankle injuries are no longer an issue.

The Mavs are coached by a familiar face, former Pistons coach Rick Carlisle, whom Michael Curry described as an early mentor. From Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Carlisle told the Dallas Morning News "the circle of life in the NBA is a circle of ironies." As if to validate that, his coaching opponent in his return to The Palace is Michael Curry, one of Carlisle's leaders in Detroit and Indiana.

"I wasn't surprised in the least that Michael ended up coaching in Detroit," Carlisle said. "I always had a high opinion of Michael and his ability to do anything."

Said Curry: "I picked up a lot from Rick. The way I organize things and the precision with which I do things here, I got that from Rick."

Here's to hoping the student takes one from the teacher tonight. Ball tips at 7:30 -- leave your thoughts in the comments.