Game tips at 8:00 pm ET
Detroit Pistons: 12-25 (8-9 home, -5.4 margin)
New Orleans Hornets: 20-17 (5-14 road, -1.5 margin)
The Hornets are becoming a one-man team. Fortunately, that man is Chris Paul, one of the best Point Guards in history. Unfortunately, Paul sometimes hurts himself, and the team doesn't win any games. Since his return from injury, his team is 13-6, even though he hasn't approached his searing numbers at the start of the season.
Instead, he's garnering gobs of assists (13.1 for the month of January). In related news, David West seems to be rebounding to his fringe all-star form, and Emeka Okafor seems to be rebounding period (he is averaging a double-double for the month. Even Peja is starting to hit baskets, which is probablly more of a fluke than anything to do with Paul's presence.
What keeps the Hornets out of the top echelon of championship contenders? Consider the supporting cast. James Posey is too much of a liability on offense to compensate for his (overrated) defensive skills. Devin Brown is one of those coveted shoot-first types who can't shoot, and only his flukish three-point percentage is between him and a disastrous season. The lone bright spot is Darren Collison, who plays, um, Point Guard.
Add to this the fact that the Hornets are pretty terrible on the road, and the Pistons have a decent shot at keeping one streak going and ending another. The Pistons have lost their last five at home.
Remember when Jarvis Hayes arbitrarily torched this team? I think I'm going to turn this segment of the game thread into a "great moments in Pistons history".
Keys for Detroit
Crash The Boards - The Hornets are not a great rebounding team, and the Pistons need to make David West get out of his comfort zone.
Stick to Paul - This isn't one of those ironic "easier said than done" type observations. Chris Paul is able to add to his efficiency by getting open looks from beyond the arc, since defenders stay back on him. Our defenders have the speed to keep up with him, and we have Big Ben in the middle. Make sure he puts the ball on the floor.
Forget about last game - As much as I'd like to get excited for a road win against the Bullets 2.0, that was basically a game in which we played poorly, and compensated by randomly hitting 10-16 from three point range. 22 minutes of Chucky time is NOT the answer. has all the stinging hot Hornets action you could want.
Question of the Game
That said, can we shoot 10-16 from three point range again? Cause that'll make the whole winning thing easier.
At The Hive has all the buzz on the stinging hot Hornets action.