About this Pistons team, head coach Lawrence Frank recently said, "Everyone wants a baby, but few people want to go through the pregnancy. This is going to be hard." I don't think its healthy to hang out in the beer capitol of the world when you're pregnant, Larry. Just sayin'. Also, who's the father?
Game Tips at 8:00 P.M. EST
Detroit Pistons: 2 - 8 (0 - 4 away)
Milwaukee Bucks: 3 - 6 (3 - 0 home)
It's not surprising that Milwaukee is capable of .500 basketball when Andrew Bogut is suited up. That's pretty much always been the case, as it still is today. The Bucks are 3-2 with Bogut, starting this abbreviated season with an undefeated home record. Beyond Bogut, however, the rest of this roster is kind-of-a-mess. They've got a point guard who doesn't pass and can't shoot, and the rest of the squad is made up of wannabe sixth men. I can't imagine how it feels to root for a team like that...
The Bucks' are getting solid production from vets like Carlos Delphino and Drew Gooden while rookies Jon Leuer and Tobias Harris are contributing as well. Delphino is hitting at 43% from outside, Gooden is crashing the boards, Leuer is hustling (every day) and Harris is scoring at an admirable rate. There are things to feel good about in Milwaukee, and I wish we could say the same in Detroit.
Injury Update - the Pistons will still be without Rodney Stuckey (groin) and Charlie Villanueva (ankle). Combo dog Mosa T. Aloysius P. McFluffyStuff Burns will also miss tonight's game, getting stitches removed from his right eye (h/t brgulker).
Fun with Numbers:
As Packey pointed out this morning, the Pistons are "30th in points per game, 30th in turnover rate, 30th in efficiency, 30th in win shares, 30th in PER, 27th in pace, 26th in field goal and opposing field goal percentage, 26th in true shooting percentage". Which players are responsible for all of this suck? Which players have the most negative impact on court?
Will Bynum, Tayshaun Prince, Brandon Knight and Austin Daye are the worst offenders when it comes to wins and losses. Collectively, in 100 possessions, these players score 77 points while giving up 109 on the other end. They turn the ball over 18% of the time, a number that trumps how often they pass the ball. While these players are guilty of some horrible crimes on court, only one Piston player is registering a positive offensive/defensive rating margin in 2011-12. It should be a shock to no one that Greg Monroe is scoring 116 points per 100 possessions while giving up only 108.
Keys to the Game:
Defend those free throws - the Pistons are last in the league in a lotta things, and free throw defense is one of them. Detroit is allowing a league high 79.9% at the charity stripe, a statistic led by the Golden State Warriors who allow only 67.1%. Get your act together, Detroit.
Feed the Moose - Ben Gordon, Will Bynum, Brandon Knight and Austin Daye are taking more shots per minute than Greg Monroe. Stop this, Larry Frank. Also, Greg, when you get the ball, I'd much prefer you pass it instead of taking a contested jumper. (which means I want to see the rest of you moving without the ball)
Pass the round thing and try not to drop it - Detroit is one of the league's worst passing teams as well as one of its most turnover prone. The team won two games when it was passing well and cleaning the glass, so it'd be nice to see those things happen again tonight. Bonus points go to players who are moving without the ball and find an open spot on the perimeter, because this Bucks team is not good at defending 3-point shots.
Question of the Game:
Would Joe Dumars feel hungry or nostalgic if he heard the phrase "Hammond Sandwich"?