(note: in the spirit of Matt Watson's phoned in game thread post, which, in turn, was reflexive of our team's recent effort, I humbly submit a barely tweaked version of the Cavs game thread.)
Coverage Begins at 8:00 PM ET
New Orleans: 33-22 (19-9 home)
Margin: +2.4 ppg (-0.5 last 25%)
Pistons: 27-28 (13-13 road)
Margin: -1.2 (-6.2 last 25%)
Last 10: 2-8
Let's see. Wednesday night road game against a team that is presently 19-9 at home? There is only one possibly outcome. The Pistons arbitrarily win by eight points. They'll do so by shooting 15-22 from three point range.
Of course, that is certainly not the most likely outcome. The New Orleans Hornets have erased their woes against us by vastly outperforming Detroit this year offensively and defensively. The Hornets aren't playing that well, but David West made the all-star team anyway. Someday, some curious teenager is going to scroll through all-star game box scores and blurt out "David West? Five time all-star?" Chris Paul has found his Scottie Pippen.
Actually, the Pistons have held up well against the Hornets over the past few seasons. In the last matchup between these two teams, the Hornets were against the ropes until Allen Iverson decided to Joaquin Phoenix the first two minutes of the fourth quarter (no kidding, the Hornets scored 9 points in two minutes).
If the Hornets wipe the floor with Detroit, apparently it won't matter one damn bit.
Keys for Detroit:
Man the perimeter: Stopping Chris Paul's dribble penetration is obviously vitally important. But the Hornets are a very good three point shooting team, and so are able to capitalize on Paul's unique ability to deform the defense. Paul is going to get his, but this team can still be stopped.
Put Prince on Peja: I don't care if it means putting AI on David West. You have a defender who can help in the lane and still close out on a three point shooter. You do not put him on a guy whose specialty is mid-range jumpshooting. Seriously.
Make Paul work on D: Paul isn't a great defender, and Tyson Chandler is hobbled. Stuckey had a tough game the other night, but that should not discourage him from taking it to the basket, which prevents Paul from playing the passing lanes.
Question of the game:
Can we make it 11 in a row? Would any reasonable person favor the Pistons in any of their next four games?