Record: 25-21(13-11 Home)
Margin: -0.2 (-3.8 last 25%)
Record: 26-21 (10-13 Road)
Margin: +0.7 (+2.8 last 25%)
Is it me, or does it still seem strange that the Heat are once again ahead of the Pistons in the standings? Anyone who remembers how bad this team was last year needs to wake up: Dwyane Wade is healthy and leading the league in scoring; Michael Beasley hasn't been quite the beast everyone expected out of the gate but is getting better; and Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem combine to round out a very capable front court.
If/when this team deals Marion for a legitimate center, watch out. This team isn't built to be a serious contender, but it'd certainly be an annoying team to face in the playoffs. Fortunately, Wade is the only serious threat in the backcourt -- nothing against Mario Chalmers, but he's one of the few starting point guards in the league I'm comfortable letting AI cover without help.
Um, the Pistons are in free-fall? They've lost nine of 12, including four in a row at home?
Keys for Detroit:
Don't let Wade go off. Easier said than done, I know. But here's the thing: I'm perfectly fine with Wade getting 25-30; once he gets in that 30-35+ range is when it's time to panic.
Play the effin' bench: Miami has some nice pieces in their frontcourt, but that's really all they are: nice pieces. There's not a dominant presence to be found, and there's really no reason why Detroit's young bigs shouldn't get serious burn.
Question of the Game:
Will someone remember to wake Tayshaun Prince? He's a guy most fans take for granted and rarely talk, but holy hell has he been awful lately. Since exploding for 25 points against the Raptors, he's proceeded to score 12, 6, 11, 4 and 11.
I know he does a lot of intangibles, but is it too much to ask to occasionally see a few tangibles, as well? This type of up-and-down performance has become routine with him, and it's the biggest reason why I've never understood the wishful thinking of him ever making an All-Star team.