8:o0 pm ET
New Jersey: 32-46 (15-24 road)
Margin: -2.3 ppg (-2.1 last 25%)
Pistons: 38-40 (20-19 home)
Margin: -0.4 (+0.8 last 25%)
Before the last matchup between these two teams, I wrote "The Nets have phoned it in". But it was the Pistons using their rollover minutes. Led by a paltry curtain call by Allen "Sprewell" Iverson, Detroit was summarily thumped to the tune of 111 points.
In that game, the Nets guards combined for 48 points off of 30 shots. We're talking Keyon Dooling and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Great.
They followed up that effort by destroying Philadelphia at home, and nearly defeating the Celtics in Boston. Rumors of AT&T enrollment plans were greatly exaggerated, so this will be an excellent test of Detroit's newfound swagger.
The Pistons can clinch the playoffs tonight. Better late than never.
Keys for Detroit
Don't phone it in: Like, you know, last time.
Win the long distance battle: The Nets like to shoot the three, but their opponents should like it even more. NJ allows opponents to shoot 39.4% from behind the arc, a major reason why they are out of the playoff hunt.
Give Iverson some minutes: This was my key for Detroit the last time. Wow, I should just hang it up.
Question of the Game
42-40? The Pistons finish the regular season with four winnable games, representing their last opportunity to get some momentum heading into the playoffs. In fact, with the 76ers remaining schedule (Cleveland twice and the Celtics... Yikes), the coveted six seed is not out of the question. It's swagger time!