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It's lonely at the Palace: Rockets at Pistons Game Thread

Game Tips at 7:30 p.m. EST

Houston Rockets: 26-31 (11-18 away)

Detroit Pistons: 21-36 (14-15 home)

Pre-game News:

Rip will miss yet another game due to a peculiar groin injury. John Kuester hinted at some lineup changes, but will keep the starters the same as they were before the break. Houston's Courtney Lee, who dreads the trade deadline, is a game-time decision.

What's up?

Not much, dude. Tayshaun Prince said what the majority of Pistons fans have been thinking -- playoffs are possibly impossible. The team has a favorable schedule to close out the season, but it'll take a lot of unprecedented play and some help to earn the privilege of a first round whoopin'.

At any rate, "it" -- whatever "it" is -- starts tonight against a somewhat reeling Houston Rockets team, full of players with a watchful eye on where they might get traded before the deadline on the 24th.

One guy who probably isn't going anywhere is Luis Scola who dropped a 35-burger and the works on the Pistons back in December when the Pistons lost 97-83. Scola may very well love playing against the Pistons more than obscure players, who realize they have a chance to go off -- he averages nearly 19 points and eight rebounds per game while shooting a personal best 61-percent. He's also won four of the five games he's played against Detroit.

The December loss was arguably one of the worst games of the season for the Pistons (season-high 18 turnovers), so with a fresh start after the All-Star break, a home game, and the celebration of Jonas Jerebko officially joining Twitter, this game has all the makings of something truly special. That kind of special.

Keys to winning:

Hope Scola misses the team bus to the game. See above. He usually does pretty well against the Pistons. If he happens to catch the bus, let's hope he doesn't go all 20/20 on us.

Move the ball. We've been cutting and pasting this pretty much all year. The December 7 game saw the Pistons turn it over 18 times and only 14 assists. Flipping those around would be a good start, but, in order to keep up with the 7th fastest paced team in the league (who has dropped 100-plus points in five straight games), moving it around will be a necesssssssity.

Ben Gordon: I just feel like he's a key tonight, with no sabr to back that up.

If you have serious shaking problems in your dreams, you should see a doctor. This is a basketball link:

The Dream Shake