Better late than never -- here's a belated preview from Kevin, written before the game but accidentally not published until haltime. -- MW
7:30 PM ET
Atlanta: 30-21 ( home)
Margin: +1.8 ppg (+2.0 last 25%)
Pistons: 27-23 (14-12 home)
Margin: -0.3 (-2.2 last 25%)
I can remember the last time I was this embarrassed to be a Piston Fan. It was midway through the 1990-91 season, and Detroit had just lost a game to the Charlotte Hornets. Back then, good teams didn't lose to bad teams. It just didn't happen. The next game was a nationally televised afternoon game against the Lakers. Being immature and twelve years old, I rooted against the Pistons.
My dad told me to stop being a pussy, and I did so just before the game went into overtime. Unfortunately, we lost that game too.
With that anecdote out of the way, here come the Atlanta Hawks. They were able to beat us last time because Allen Iverson didn't play any defense. Given that the rest of the team has now followed suit, this game should be in the bag for them. Which means the Pistons will win by 14, cause they're not going to let anyone tell THEM what to do.
Also, I was totally right about Josh Smith being overrated.
Speaking of memories, remember the last time Atlanta and Detroit squared off in a 4-5 matchup?
Keys for Detroit:
Rebound:Woulda been helpful in the 4th quarter of the last one, eh?
Break the zone: Say what you want about Sheed taking threes. That's what we are given. AI can't shoot, which means the other Pistons need to step up. Otherwise, Detroit becomes one of those highly talented but easily solved teams.
Guard Bibby: I mean, don'cha think?
Question of the game:
Is Joe already checked into his Phoenix hotel? I submit that nobody in the NBA has more tradable pieces. Does anyone here place a lot of stock in this game? If we don't, you can guess that the Pistons don't either.