Game tips at 7:30 pm ET
Detroit Pistons: 13-25 (9-9 home, -5.0 margin)
New York Knicks: 16-23 (7-12 road, -1.4 margin)
The last time these two teams met, on December 29th, the Knicks put the beat down on the Pistons in Rip Hamilton's second game back in the lineup. But that was then, and this is now. Everything has changed.
For a Mike D'Antoni team, this Knicks squad isn't quite so quick up and down the court. Part of the reason for that is David Lee, who is leading the team in points and rebounds. The Knicks have finally started incorporating their best player in the offense, which makes some sense.
As for the rest of the squad, the shooting just isn't there. The Knicks are shooting a modest 34% from three point range, though they take 27 attempts per game. One exception is Danilo Gallinari, who has blossomed this year as a prototypical stretch four.
Like the Hornets, the Knicks are forced to give minutes to some pretty poor players. Chris Duhon and Jared Jeffries feature prominently in the rotation. D'Antoni's hate/hate relationship with Nate Robinson has forced him to explore a very thing bench, which more than offsets suprising years from Lee and Al Harrington.
Pistons Retro Moment
Rip Hamilton once took it to the Knicks to the tune of 51 points. Alas, it was in a triple-overtime loss.
Keys for Detroit
Keep Lee quiet -Forcing the Knicks to become a three point shooting team is a good a way as any to beat them. If Lee gets 30 and 15, the Knicks win.
All Daye - He's not going to show up on the scouting report, and he has been very effective over the last few games. It is time to start giving him minutes to see what he can do.
Get Rip going - It's been three years since he scored 51, but the Knicks still won't have an answer for him. If Detroit is going to rattle off some wins to end the month, they'll need big contributions from their healthies guard not named Chucky.
Question of the Game
Does Detroit have anything left in the tank after an exhausting overtime win against the Hornets.
Visit Posting and Toasting as we stick a fork in New York.