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Detroit Pistons host the Atlanta Hawks: Where's Your JOD Now?

Game Tips at 7:30 P.M. EST

Atlanta Hawks: 16-9 (8-4 road)

Detroit Pistons: 7-18 (5-6 home)

UPDATE -- Greg Monroe will start at Power Forward tonight. (via pistonpowered, thanks dan!)

Oppo Research:

A quick look at the Atlanta Hawks team will tell you they're precisely the kind of team that just seems to have the Pistons number this year-- by that I mean that they play in the NBA. Seriously, though, the Hawks are 11-3 against teams with losing records, they've won 8 of their last 10 and they're 8-4 on the road. While they haven't won in Detroit since MC was AFI, they'll look to do so tonight against a collapsing frustrating dying maddening faltering Pistons team.

This season, the Hawks best player has been the newly-resigned Al Horford (who apparently hasn't gotten the "only play well in your contract year, dummy" memo). In December, he's averaging 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block in 36 minutes of play. Per 36, that's 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block!! It sure doesn't hurt the Hawks that Horford is flanked by Josh Smith, who is playing through a hamstring booboo to the tune of 17 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in December. This is a nasty frontcourt, a solid defensive duo who will give plenty of problems to slashing guards and post bigs alike. The last time these teams met, this duo went up for 40 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks on a collective 67% shooting from the field.

Fortunately for the Pistons, Atlanta will be without the league's most expensive player tonight, Mr. Joe Johnson, who was pretty ineffective the last time around. Fortunately for the Hawks, they'll have Jamal Crawford to fill that hole, who has done so quite well in scoring at least 20 in the last three games.

Keys to the Game:

Team Cohesion: This team can play well if properly coached, and one result of which, of course, is playing better as a group ... i.e. to play as a cohesive unit to perform better than their abilities. Anyone with incestual basketball acumen can notice this, only toxic-group think fans would not realize this.

Three Guard Lineup: Novice basketball fans would think that the Detroit Pistons of Auburn Hills have a problem with the guards on their roster when, in fact, it is only because they are not properly being used ... specifically, as they should be ran as a three guard lineup. Playing time should be split between Mr. Stuckey at PG, Mr. Hamilton at OG, with Ben Gordon used as a primary backup at PG while the young Austin Daye is split between responsibilities at OG and SF.

Elite Level Coaching: Mr. Kuester can be considered a poor (or bad) coach i.e. one who doesn't properly use the players in his command, but a change in how he manages his players could ... lead to more wins for the Pistons. I recall my close friend Hubie Brown, whose home phone number is displayed conveniently with a locket of his hair in front of the desk in my mom's basement from where I operate ... who is surely an elite level coach and understands my command of basketball intelligence and acumen thereof, to wit, of course, etc., and on. If Mr. Kuester can take time to study the great minds of NBA basketball, of Brown (Hubie AND Larry), of Jackson, of Kandor, of Sloan ... he will realize the ill fate to which he has set up this incorigable, toilsum and fornicaterous band of underperformers ... i.e. the Pistons roster, to a level of infamy where they may discover themselves in the playoffs.

1. A great director of film, like Kubric, Scorcese and the guy who did Paul Blart: Mall Cop ... can take any manner of poor actors and lead them to perform admirably on film, that is in front of the camera and not behind or beside it, to craft a masterpiece theater of sorts that astute and knowledgeable people (i.e. not uneducated or simple) will appreciate ... and the film will thereby succeed.

1b. A poor director, such as David Lynch (who is Mr. Lynch kidding, Dennis Hopper was terrible at portraying a baby in Blue Velvet, it just wasn't believable), Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai would have been so much better if filmed properly in color and not black and white), or the guy who did Toy Stories 1 through 3, will achieve bad performances out of good actors. This is precisely the style of Mr. Kuester, for example, thereof, doubly so, duckbill platypus, who achieves the same out of a cast of decent players that make up the Pistons roster.

2. People who think that advanced stats, like points per game, should suggest how to properly coach ... i.e. stand on the sidelines and look angry when team plays bad, are novices in the world of a smart basketball acuman like Hubie Brown or myself. A wise and smart basketball person's gut ... i.e. their instinks, don't need to look at confusing numbers like minutes per game to know how much a player has played in each game per year. They just know.

3. How many times has John Kuester had his work referenced on the great ESPN, bastion of intelligent minds of basketball like Simmons, like Sheriden, et. al. i.e. etc., where the truly gifted may link to crappy wordpress blogs?

Question of the Game:

Kuester has been quoted as considering another lineup change, possibly cutting the depth of his rotations even more. If he cuts a player from the rotation, who will it be now? (assuming Daye and Bynum are already out)

Really Amazing Links:

Peachtree Hoops