NBA Regular Season
5-5 (2-3 away)
|7-3 (5-2 home)|
Lakers Blog: Silver Screen and Roll
| November 17, 2009 10:30 PM ET|
| TV: Fox Sports Detroit Radio: 97.1 The Ticket|
|Rodney Stuckey||PG||Derek Fisher|
|Ben Gordon||SG||Kobe Bryant|
|Jonas Jerebko||SF||Ron Artest|
|Charlie Villanueva||PF||Lamar Odom|
If you thought playing the Magic twice already (who the Pistons have owned over the years) and playing the Mavericks on Sunday in the second game of a back-to-back was a test for the Pistons, then consider this the ultimate test for the new-look squad.
Not only will the Pistons be without Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, but the Pistons will be venturing into Championship territory out west against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. And what's scary is this Lakers team might be better than last year's.
With the addition of Ron Artest (in place of Trevor Ariza, an upgrade in my eyes) and the steady improvement of center, Andrew Bynum this team has to be automatic favorites to defend their title. Bynum, just 22-years old, is starting to look like a dominant center in the league. Through ten games, he's averaging about 21 points per game and nearly 12 rebounds.
Bynum's surge has a lot to do with the fact that Pau Gasol, who averaged nearly 20 & 10 last year, has yet to suit up for the Lake Show. Gasol is out with a strained right hamstring, similar to what kept Charlie Villanueva out for the first half of the preseason.
The injuries don't stop there for the Lakers, either. Luke Walton is out at least six weeks with a pinched nerve in his back (back injuries don't fall far from the tree), and Kobe Bryant tweaked his groin last game, but will apparently man through it tonight.
As you can imagine, Detroit's defense will have their hands full tonight. The Lakers come in averaging 101 points per game, good for 11th in the league. Detroit's defense has been allowing the league's sixth best, 91.5 per game.
Detroit will have its work cut out on rotating and getting back out to the perimeter while still keeping Bynum in check down low, as the Lakers are averaging roughly 19 three point tries at about a 37% clip per game. Despite all the open looks Detroit gives opponents from beyond the arc, opponents are only making 31% of their tries (and that's slightly skewed, it'd be better than that if it weren't for the Wizards shooting 53% from there the other night).
Hopefully, Ben Gordon can bounce back against the Lakers, who are allowing 99 points her game (14th in the league). It's extremely comforting to know that the Pistons hung tough with the Mavericks on Sunday despite one of Gordon's worst games in his career. I expect him to respond in a big way in LA tonight and hopefully the rest of the Pistons follow suit.
For more, continue reading. There's videos!
Hear what the Pistons have to say about tonight's match up from their morning shootaround [via Pistons.com]:
And tonight's scouting report from Pistons Weekly [also via Pistons.com]
Tip off is 10:30 EST, so if you're an insomniac on the East Coast, like myself, I'll see you in the game thread.