GAME TIME: 6:30 PM ET
Houston: 24-18 (12-12 road)
Margin: +2.8 ppg (+0.2 last 25%)
Pistons: 24-18 (13-8 home)
Margin: +0.1 ppg (-2.7 last 25%)
Last 10: 3-7
It has been business and usual for John Hollinger's computer's favorite team. This is a great team on paper, but a bad team on the court. Or, rather, an incomplete team on the court. If the season were eight games long, Houston would be a championship contender, as it stands, they're first round fodder.
In fact, it is very possible that none of the Rockets' big three will be available. Yao Ming injured himself in Friday night's game, Ron Artest hasn't played in awhile, and, um T-Mac? Apparently, his competitive nature has gotten the best of him, as Artests arrival has driven him to outdo his new teammate in the realm of crazy. Seriously, taking a couple of weeks off to do your typical pre-season prep program?
Not that T-Back has been any great shakes this season, anyway. He's basically become the Iverson of the West, a low percentage volume shooter who doesn't really play defense. Nonetheless, coach Adelman predicts McGrady will play.
I guess none of that counts as oppo research, but how the team plays greatly depends on who shows up (physically and mentally). Here's some research for you... Six of the Rockets top ten scorers shoot under 40%. Has that ever happened? And yet the team is above .500 thanks to a top five defensive efficiency rating. Without Yao and Artest, however, that simply isn't the case.
Are they seriously going to bring Artest back from injury for a game at the Palace? Seems like a bad idea.
Keys for Detroit:
Remember, this is a Sunday game, so I'm lowering expectations a bit.
Play five players: In professional basketball, teams are permitted to play five players at any given time. It is strongly recommended that the coach utilize the maximum number of players, as the opposing team is likely to execute a similar strategy.
Continue to dribble: Once you stop dribbling, you must either pass the ball or take a shot at the basket. Therefore, it is recommended that a player continue to dribble until he is ready to execute either maneuver.
Do not physically harm the fans: Avoid the temptation to punch, maim, or kill a spectator during an NBA game. In addition to various legal consequences, such behavior is likely to have a negative impact on the court as well.
Question of the game:
Can we break the Sunday Jinx? Sorry, a one point win over the Clippers B-squad doesn't have me convinced.