Game Tips at 6:00 p.m. EST
Louisville Hornets: 16-10 (5-7 road)
Detroit Pistons: 8-19 (6-7 home)
LINEUP UPDATE: Chris Iott is telling his Twitter followers to expect Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to start. -BP
You ready for this? Stingin' 2: Electric Boogaloo comes to the Palace to with an aim to repeat their 93-74 rout of the Pistons 11 days ago. On December 8th, David West and Marco Belinelli had their way with the Pistons defense to the tune of 47 combined points on 70% shooting, thanks in part to Chris Paul's 14 assists. The Pistons, meanwhile, didn't really do anything of consequence-- you know, like play defense and move the ball. Tracy McGrady led the team with 3 assists, and New Orleans scored pretty much at will from the perimeter and the paint. Like so many other games this season, it was a pure joy to watch.
Over the last two games, New Orleans has seen a lot more out of their bench, namely from the production of one-time-rookie-sensation Marcus Thornton. He's added 19 points in both of NO's last two games, having fought his way back into the rotation by committing himself to playing defense. Thornton has helped NOLA get her groove back, having won the last two games after a 2-5 record over the first seven games of December.
The Pistons, however, should worry more about their own performance than those of the Hornets players. Yes, Chris Paul is very good at the game of basketball. David West is also good. Trevor Ariza is garbage. But winning this game tonight shouldn't involve worrying about these players specifically, but focusing on a few points of discipline that Detroit should practice. These are your keys to the game.
Keys to the Game:
Perimeter Defense: The Pistons guards really need to focus on guarding the perimeter tonight. Belinelli shot 7-9 on 3's and long 2's when these teams faced on the 8th. Marcus Thornton would love to do the same tonight, and he'll gladly slip by a weak perimeter defender for a drive and a layup. He shot 4-4 within 6' of the basket against Utah on Friday night.
Defend the Paint: The Hornet's shot chart from the last meeting is pretty remarkable-- nearly every successful shot came from either the perimeter or the paint. Wallace and Monroe will have their hands full tonight, and hopefully Monroe's addition to the starting lineup will be more effective on David West and get the Pistons more 2nd chance opportunities. Monroe had 4 offensive boards on the 8th, as many as the Hornets had as a team.
Move the Ball: As mentioned above, Tracy McGrady led the Pistons with 3 assists the last time around, in just 19 minutes of play. Tonight, the team as a whole needs to move the ball and look to pass-- another 15 assists and 12 turnovers will shackle the stones to another loss tonight.
Question of the Game:
Who would you rather have as your starting point guard if games were won and lost on cuteness-- Chris Paul or Ramon Sessions?
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