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The Silver Lining Express Arrives in Denver

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Game Tips at 10:30 pm ET

Detroit Pistons: 21-36 (7-20 road)
Denver Nuggets: 38-19 (24-5 home)

Oppo Research

My wife is a Green Bay Packers fan. I also hate the Vikings and their crappy, bandwagon-cruising fanbase. As such, I'm kind of a Packer fan by proxy.

Each year, then, there comes a point, when the Lions are theoretically, if not mathematically, eliminated from the playoffs, at which I make a sort of conversion. At this point, the Packers represent the best hope for my family's happiness. In short, when the Lions play the Packers, I go Pack, at least passively.

Which brings me to Denver. After Joe D. traded away our best player for a very hostile bag of beans, I sorta adopted the Nuggets as my Packers. Seemed like a safe move, what with them all the way over in the Western Conference. It's not like they are the Spurs or Lakers. Besides, Denver deserves a shot at the gold.

So what of tonight? A Piston win would be a moral victory, at best, and reduce their draft standing, at worst. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are battling to preserve the two seed. I won't say it, but you know what I'm getting at...

Keys for Detroit

Watch Spellcheck-- The Pistons have the size to throw at Chauncey Billups, and the agility to man up on Carmelo. But Afflalo has quietly become a devastatingly efficient three-point shooter. All it takes is for him to knock down three, and Denver's odds of winning elevate substantially.

Make free throws -- Seriously, what the hell happened on Wednesday?

Keep it up - Kind of a dumb key to winning, but relevant at high altitudes. Detroit is essentially on a three game winning streak heading into this one (if free throws average out, the Pistons run away with it). I could easily see Detroit holding a nice lead for three quarters and giving it up.

Question of the Game

What's up with the Ben Gordon goose eggs? He has had one or fewer field goals in seven games this season. That's ridiculous.

Valuable Links

Before you jump off a cliff, visit Denver Stiffs.