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Meet Maccabi Haifa, the Pistons' first preseason opponent

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The Pistons open their NBA preseason schedule with a game against Israel's Maccabi Haifa. As if the talent gap wasn't enough of an advantage for the Pistons, Maccabi is coming off a beatdown last night at the hands of the Phoenix Suns, 130-89 [box score].

From Kevin Zimmerman at Valley of the Suns:

The deal is the reigning Israeli Super League champions aren’t very good. When coach Danny Franco said prior to the game his team was going to run, it was a sign of things to come. Within the first two plays, it was clear the Suns had a clear speed advantage.

Phoenix turned 24 turnovers into 35 points — they put in a ridiculous 49 fastbreak points and 72 points in the paint — and led by as many as 42 points.

[...] The offense wasn’t tested much. An unathletic Maccabi Haifa team couldn’t cut off drives and didn’t have the ability to recover on drive-and-kicks to stop the Suns’ shooting.

The Pistons certainly have the personnel to get up and down the court in a hurry -- if Cheeks lets his young horses run, this could get ugly (as in, "very, very beautiful" from Detroit's perspective) fast. Highlights:

Maccabi Haifa may be an Israeli team but it has several American connections, from American team owner Jeff Rosen to 22-year-old shooting guard Sherwood Brown, who you may recognize from Florida Gulf Coast's "Dunk City" team that shocked the world with their run to the Sweet 16 in last year's NCAA Tournament. Roll the tape!

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