Game Tips at 7:30 P.M. EST
Miami Heat: 38-14 (18-9 away)
Detroit Pistons: 20-33 (13-12 home)
Line: Miami -8.5
Keith Langlois tweets that Rodney Stuckey will be back in the starting lineup for Ben Gordon, and he will guard Dwyane Wade.
LeBron (and rehab) has put the Douchetastic Trio together again and they'll be at The Palace of Auburn Hills tonight, looking to win Miami's eighth straight game, a winning streak that started less than two weeks ago in Miami against a team you are definitely familiar with. In that one, LeBron and Eddie House carried the Heat (in the last six minutes) to a one-point win, 88-87.
The Pistons have not won against the Heat at The Palace in the last three tries and have lost a total seven of the last eight games by an average margin of 16.3 points, which is really bad when you consider the one-point loss.
The Heat are led by
Carlos Arroyo LeBron James who is the only active player in the NBA to be averaging 20/7/7. Against the Pistons in his career, he's averaging 25/6/6.
More in a second.
How to Win This Game:
Stay Focused: This is not the type of game that any team can write off as an easy win... Oh, wait, that's what MFMP said for the Cavs game, but the "stay focused" part remains very true. The Pistons can hang with the best of teams -- they proved that earlier in the week against the Spurs -- but they need to put it together for 48 minutes, not just 46, or whatever. A lot of that has to do with how the game plan evolves throughout the game, but there's definitely elements of focus and executing that game plan that rests on the players' shoulders.
Help defense! A lot of one-on-one basketball with Wade & James -- it's nearly impossible to stop James and Wade with just one defender, so once they undoubtedly blow by the initial line of defense, somebody will need to be in the middle to help out. I'm expecting a couple charges drawn from the Pistons front-court tonight. Big Ben? Moose? Charlie V? Who will take any?
Move the Ball, Feed the Moose: The better the Pistons move the ball, the better the team plays. So do that. You can cut and paste this from MFMP all season. Seriously, the Pistons hang with the better teams when the play-by-play on NBA.com has a whole lot more of "makes layup," as opposed to "misses 19-foot jumper." And that is a scientific fact.
Questions of the Game:
Will the Pistons be motivated enough after their big win against the Cavs to play a full 48 minutes of good basketball against one of the NBA's best? Will LeBron run into Miss Karma? Will The Moose get loose? Will we keep our pants on? Will the questions ever end?
A mighty link: