My real reason for not posting a game thread actually makes me seem dumber than had I just flaked. Incompetence is what I do. Just ask the Celtics bloggers. Thanks Matt, for stepping in...
Ben Wallace got the start as the Pistons beat the piss out of the hapless Grizzlies, 96-74. Of course, they were without Allen Iverson, who managed to make close contests out of this sort of game last year.
The defense. Outside of a dominant game from Marc Gasol, the Grizz were completely ineffective, shooting 20-63 from the field. Maybe our backcourt defense is a bit better than advertised. Ben Gordon did his best Will Bynum imitation, lighting it up for 22 points in 26 minutes.
Will Bynum did his best AI impression, with a mere seven points on 2-6 shooting. That said, he added seven assists and five rebounds. More disconcerting is the horror show put on by Ben Wallace, Kwame Brown and Chris Wilcox. If they can't crack 50% from the stripe, teams are going to resort to hack-a-Piston pretty frequently.
Gotta cheat and split it between Rip and Little Ben. Here's a safe prediction. Anytime those two post a points/turnover ratio of 20:1, we win.
The Taco Bell Unsung Hero
Rodney Stuckey. Twelve points and three assists aren't going to set the world on fire, but we can expect any one or two of the Palace guards to take a backseat on any given night. He was still efficient (6-10 shooting in 27 minutes), and helped limit the Grizz backcourt to essentially zero production.
This is the sort of game we fans had to sweat last year. With one game, the Pistons have managed to match its number of 20 point victories from a season ago. One game sample sizes are generally useless for predicting future results, but 28 win teams don't blow out opponents on the road.
Elsewhere in the NBA
My bold predictions re: the Cavs and Celtics are beginning to look a bit shaky. The Celtics Polanskied the Hornets Bobcats (oops, tough to tell the difference between the two tonight, h/t some anonymous guy) 92-59 on the heels of a road victory over the Cavs, who dropped their second straight, this time to the Toronto Raptors (speaking of shaky predictions).
How about Jonny Flynn? While Ricky Rubio was applying mascara and Facebooking Santa's Elves, Flynn was busy dropping 13 fourth quarter points to lead his team to a comeback win over the Nets. That said, anyone who has Brook Lopez in fantasy should absolutely sell high. He'll be good, but not 25-17 good.