The Pistons will start Brandon Knight and Austin Daye in the backcourt tonight, filling in for Rodney Stuckey (out with a groin injury) and Ben Gordon (out for a personal reasons). The best "Daye and Knight" marketing slogan wins this thread. DBB's own C$ is currently in the lead...
Game Tips at 7:00 P.M. EST
Detroit Pistons: 2 - 4 (0 - 2 road)
Philadelphia 76ers: 3 - 2 (3 - 2 road)
Without Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon tonight, be prepared for a different kind of three-guard rotation. In their absence, Detroit will only have three guards in jerseys tonight. Knight, Daye and Will Bynum will get the majority of the burn while Wilkins (and possibly Prince) will likely fill in as needed out-of-position. How will this effect Detroit's match-up with Philadelphia?
Let's just say this is one hell of a trial by fire. Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala have been a force this season, putting up a
respectable ridiculous performance on both ends of the floor. The three are collectively shooting 47% from the perimeter so far this season, led by Iguodala's 55%. They also combine for 14 free throw attempts per game, just a few less than the entire Pistons roster. Performances like these have given Philadelphia one of the most efficient offenses in the game, second only to the Los Angeles... whoah, Clippers? Interesting.
Anyway, unlike the Clippers, the Sixers know how to play defense. They're currently sixth in the league in field goal percentage allowed, a stat led by the... what a minute, the Raptors? Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one that gives a sh!+ about the rules?
Anyway, like I was saying, the Sixers know how to play defense. On the defensive end, they're holding teams to 41.8% shooting. On offense, they're taking care of the ball, just a hair away from the lowest turnover average in the game. In short, this team shoots well, takes good care of the ball and doesn't give up many buckets. This is why they're currently atop the Atlantic Division. The fact that 18 of their next 22 games are at home certainly won't hurt their record...
Keys to the Game:
Transition and perimeter defense: Given Stuckey's knack for perimeter defense at the point, Detroit will miss him tonight. Detroit needs to rush back on defense after every play, as Philly's transition game is one of its best assets. Beyond that, be aware of spot-up plays for open three point shooters. They lack a significant inside offense, so a focus on transition, perimeter and spot up defense should suit Detroit well.
Crash the Boards - Spencer GOP Hawes would be a top ten rebounder this season... if it weren't for Greg Monroe (take that, Mr. 11th Place!). Detroit's surprising ownership of the boards will continue to serve them well tonight, but beware that Hawes and Brand can be greedy with the glass. This fast-paced Philly team will be less effective for every potential possession Detroit grabs from above them. (and since Philly takes a lot of threes, Detroit's guards will be on task tonight)
Feed the Moose - What, and you expected me to say something else? Fortunately, we're not the only ones that feel this way. Greg Monroe is currently second on the team in field goal attempts after Ben Gordon. The problem is that Tayshaun Prince is right behind him with 10.2 attempts per game-- yielding Detroit a whole 9.8 points. The more of those attempts you pass to that big guy in the middle, Tayshaun, the more points Detroit will score. It's simple math, really.
Question of the Game:
I'm kind of sick of this section of the previews. Tell ya what, how about you ask the question of the game in the comments?