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Pistons-Bobcats game thread

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GAME TIME: 7:30 PM ET

Bobcats: 14-24 (4-12 Road)
Margin: -3.0 ppg (-3.6 Road)
Last 10: 5-5 (margin -4.2)

Pistons: 22-13 (12-5 Home)
Margin: +0.5 ppg (+2.9 Home)
Last 10: 8-2 (margin +2.5)

Oppo research:

I feel like we play the Bobcats every week. This is only the third matchup between the two teams. This time around, they might have problems fielding a lineup. D.J. Augustin is out. Sean May is obese. Raymond Felton, Raja Bell and Matt Carrol are hobbled.

Of course, this won't keep the Bobcats from making it a close game. The last time these two teams met, the Bobcats melted a 22 point fourth quarter lead to one before finally losing by four.

The Bobcats rely on a cadre of small guards to wear down defenses, but their lack of interior presence makes them an uneven team at best, and they have no perimeter game to speak of. When Raja Bell is one of your biggest scoring threats, you're in trouble.

The Drama:

Yay. The return of small ball. Let's all huff gun together, shall we?

Keys for Detroit:

Don't play down to the competition: Small ball or no small ball, this should be a gimme. With a game tomorrow night, and the Pistons themselves hobbled, it would be valuable to get some rest.

Get Hamilton involved: Without Rip in the lineup, Iverson was left floundering on offense, leading to some horrendous starts. If we're going to do the small ball thing, let's at least distribute.

Give Sheed a break: That's not really a key to this game, but there is no reason for him to play and risk further damage to his foot.

Question of the game:

With the first legitimate controversy since Big Ben's refusal to enter a game, will the Pistons be able to take care of business this week?