Game Tips at 7:30 P.M. EST
New Jersey Nyets: 15-35 (3-23 road)
Detroit Pistons: 17-32 (12-11 home)
Tonight's match-up with the Nets will see another battered lineup by the Pistons, as Rodney Stuckey is still out, joined by Jason Maxiell (back) and Richard Hamilton ("sand in his granny"-- my niece once said that and I've been laughing ever since). The Nets are at full-strength, aiming to end an 11-game losing streak on the road, as well as 7 straight at the Palace. Let's hope they don't take inspiration from their once-trade-partner Denver, who stomped their own bad record in Detroit last month.
The best part about tonight? We don't have to worry about Richard Hamilton having a Statement Game (tm) against his former Pistons, dropping 51 on us (what up tony buckets!) for trading him. That would totally suck. Thank god that trade fell through. Do you hear me, Ujiri?
The Situation: Sponsored by 8-Minute New Jersey Abs
The last time the Pistons played the Nyets, Detroit lost four quarters in a row in what might have been the most embarrassing game of basketball they've played all season. The Pistons shot 33% and were invisible on defense, on a night were the Isolayshaun's just weren't falling. You know how people make comparisons of seeing an old, cherished Pistons player on another team like seeing an ex with a new flame? This game was like watching your current girlfriend get eaten alive by red pandas. In slow motion. 3D slow motion. 3D slow motion in surround sound.
But as for the real situation, tonight is about as "must win" as it gets for Keith Langlois and other homers. If the Pistons lose this game against the New Jersey Nets tonight, Detroit can officially forget the playoffs if they haven't already. After losing to Charlotte, a loss to the Nets would be the icing on the lottery cake.
Fun with Numbers:
Since this preview is becoming increasingly depressing, I thought it was time to poke some fun. Remember last season when Brook Lopez was looking like a monster? Yeah, not so much anymore. I'm going to ask a question where the answer is obvious, given the context, and instead of you guessing I'll just answer that question myself. Question: who is the absolute worst rebounding center in the entire NBA? Okay, let me ask a better question. Who is the absolute worst rebounding center or power forward in the entire NBA? Brook Lopez, ladies and gentlemen. His 9.9% total rebounding rate is not only worst amongst centers, it's off the charts for power forwards too. For this achievement, Brook wins untouchable status on one of the league's worst teams without any stand-out talent.
I feel better now. There's nothing like (objectively, mind you) pointing at another team's woes to get your mind off of your own. Sorry, New Jersey and NetsDaily. Hey, it could be worse. Your team could employ wife beaters and shoulder tattooers. Wait...
How to Win This Game:
This is generally the section where I put in the most work. But due to a scheduling conflict, I was called in late to write up a preview and I don't have much time for this one. The best way to win this game is to score more points than New Jersey does before the clock runs out. A few ways to do this are to grab more loose balls than NJ (that's not what I meant, KG), turn the ball over less than NJ (that's not what I meant, KG), and shoot the ball more efficiently than NJ (dude, that's not what I meant, KG).
Question of the Game:
Since it's all we really care about anyway, let's cut straight to the point. Hey Moose, you gonna break it open tonight? You won't have much competition for rebounds (when Humphries is not on the floor), and it's time to show NJ they made a mistake with Favors. I think 40 points and 40 rebounds are not out of the question.
Questions for Links: What would you rather live with on a deserted island, the Jersey Shore or Pauly Shore?