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Pistons-Lakers Game Thread

Game tips at 10:30 pm ET

Los Angeles: 7-3 (5-2 home)
Margin: +2.0

Pistons: 5-5 (2-3 road)
Margin: +1.8

Oppo research

The Lakers are tough to gauge right now. When healthy, they are the best team in the league. When not entirely healthy, they won an NBA championship. At present, they are not really a contending team.

As such, the Pistons have an opportunity for a big win. Pau Gasol is out, and Kobe Bryant is hobbled by a groin injury. Without Luke Walton, the team is lacking the depth that carried them through rough stretches last year.

Nonetheless, this would be a great win for a Piston team that has overcome some enormous diversity. Other than Ben Wallace, nobody playing tonight will be over the age of 27. Wins like this can go a long way toward inspiring confidence on the defensive end.

The Drama:

Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!

Keys for Detroit

Crash the boards: I have the feeling I can just cut and paste this one for the remainder of the season. That said, don't look now, but Big Ben is sporting a PER comparable to his DPOY years. That was a nice signing, no?

Ben Gordon: Suffices to say, we'll need more than one field goal from him tonight.

Take it to Kobe: Groin injuries are hard on jump shooters, for obvious reasons. Without his explosiveness, Kobe is going to be easier to contain, and the Lakers don't have much else.

Question of the Game

Can Gordon bounce back? Outside of Sunday's performance, he has been a superstar. Was 1-16 an aberration, or is he primed for a slump?