Here it is folks, the most important game of the season. A classic matchup of the mediocrities. Who will win the race to 39 and earn the right to play the Cleveland Cavaliers four times?
6:00 pm ET
Charlotte: 34-42 (12-24 road)
Margin: -0.8 ppg (+3.5 last 25%)
Last 10: 6-4
Pistons: 36-40 (19-19 home)
Margin: -0.8 (+0.2 last 25%)
Last 10: 3-7
The Bobcats have been playing quite well of late, as Gerald Wallace has continued his usual practice of phoning in the first two-thirds of the season and playing like an all-star for the remainder. Since the beginning of March, he is averaging 20 and 9 to go with his usual assortment of blocks and steals, and is shooting 59% from the field over the last 15 games.
The Bobcats' trade for Boris Diaw and Raja Bell turned out to be surprisingly lopsided... In their favor. Diaw has remembered how to play basketball, averaging 15, 6 and 5 on 50% shooting and Raja Bell... Well, he was great against Kobe Bryant a few years ago.
The Cats are still weak in the backcourt, though DJ Augustin has been playing very well of late. Depth is also an issue, since guys like Vladimir Radmanovic and, um, Juwan Howard, don't bring much of anything to the table.
The Pistons' ESPN homepage features a video about last night's Spartan's win. That's about right.
Keys for Detroit
Last Sunday edition of the regular season!
The game is at the Palace: While there have been a couple of high profile basketball games played at Ford Field, there are no National Basketball Association (NBA) game scheduled there at this time. The Pistons should report to the Palace of Auburn Hills, as usual.
Watch the clock: At the end of regulation (see below), whichever team has the most points emerges as the victor.
There are four quarters in regulation: In an NBA game, each quarter consists of twelve minutes of play. If each team has scored an equal number of points (a scenario colloquially defined as a "tie") at the end of the fourth quarter, additional five minute periods will be added to determine a victor.
Question of the Game
Seriously, the Bobcats?