First, the good news: Basketball is (kinda) back!
After their busiest offseason in ages, the Detroit Pistons open their eight-game NBA preseason slate with a game against Maccabi Haifa B.C., the reigning champions in the Ligat HaAl (ahem, the Israeli Basketball Super League).
Now, the bad news: Unless you buy a ticket and drive to Auburn Hills, you're not going to be able to watch this game. The game isn't televised, which means most fans will be stuck refreshing NBA.com box scores, listening on the radio (97.1 FM / 1270 AM) and/or following beat reporters on Twitter. The ball tips at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The silver lining, of course, is that you can do all of the above while talking about the game with your DBB brethren in this, the first official game thread of the 2013-14 season. If you want to learn more about Maccabi Haifa, this brief intro from earlier this afternoon is a good place to start. (And if you want to learn more about the new roster, it's about time you peruse our player preview section.)
Maccabi is coming off a 41-point beatdown at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. Given that Maccabi is on the wrong end of a back-to-back and traveled halfway across the country, the fact the Pistons are a mere 25.5-point favorite (according to this random Australian betting site) seems surprising. Go make some money, Aussie readers.
(Disclaimer: Don't bet on NBA preseason games, that's just stupid.)
Despite some concerns earlier in the day that Greg Monroe might sit this one out, he's reportedly in the starting lineup:
Billups, Moose, Drummond, Smith, Jennings tonight vs. Maccabi Haifa. #Pistons— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) October 8, 2013
Get used to that lineup, because it might be the same one we see on opening night:
Cheeks reserved the right to change his mind, but said either Billups or Stuckey will get nod opening night. Says he is a "veterans coach."— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) October 8, 2013
It's a post for another day, but unless Rodney Stuckey has an amazing preseason and Chauncey Billups struggles, I'll be shocked if Stuckey gets the nod over the fan favorite.
Now your thoughts.