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Pistons vs Lakers preview: Which chucker will reign supreme?

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Josh Smith and Kobe Bryant promise to throw up a tantalizing display of low efficiency volume scoring in Tuesday night's showdown.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Game Vitals

Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI

When: 7.30 p.m. ET; Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014

Watch: FSD

Exceptionally Basic Analysis

The Lakers suck.  The Pistons suck even more.  Who will suck just enough to lose this one?

Slightly Expanded Analysis

The Pistons are on an amazing eight-game losing streak, and six-game home losing streak, with the last blunder coming against the admittedly amazing Golden State Warriors in a Sunday matinee, 104-93.  Brandon Jennings made his return from a hyperextended left thumb, and finally saw D.J. Augustin get relegated to his rightful bench spot where his dribbling is welcomed and celebrated.  Sunday's game also saw a semblance of life in Stan Van Gundy, as he proved to everyone that he was still alive and alert and actually changed the starting lineup.  About time Moose started and Smith came off the bench, Moose was benched for Singler, and Smith started?  SVGIAFI OMG MCINAFI.  In all seriousness, it wasn't the change many of the armchair experts here at DBB wanted, myself included, but it did at least mean the jumbo was killed.  Let's hope it stays that way.

The Pistons did have a balanced scoring punch in that defeat, with KCP leading the way with 23. Brandon Jennings also added 22, and Josh Smith was one rebound short of a triple double with 14 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds.  Greg Monroe also added 13 & 10.  However, it was a regression for Andre Drummond, who finished with a beastly two points and seven rebounds.  Spare tires, man.

The Lakers drummed up a surprising win against the East-leading Toronto Raptors, 129-122 in OT on Sunday night.  Kobe Bryant actually recorded a triple-double with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in the surprise win.  The Lakers are now 3-0 against the East this season, after wins against Toronto, Atlanta and Charlotte.  Their only other win of their current 4-13 record was a defeat of the Houston Rockets, so the Lakers have already claimed some respectable scalps after starting the season 0-5.  The return of Brandon Jennings' zen master, Swaggy P, Nick Young, is only going to help add points to this outfit, and a tight game may ensue.

Players To Watch

Pistons: Pick whoever you want.

It seems that every game, someone different turns up to lead the squad to an inefficient loss.  Which is bad, because we have no offensive or defensive alpha dog to take over in crunch time, a reason for our poor fourth quarter production.  Brandon Jennings is probably our closest alternative, but, as much as I like him, I really don't feel comfortable having him as the clutch man down the stretch.  Greg Monroe could be that guy, but his posterior is firmly planted on the pine in crunch time (whenever the Pistons are actually still close in the fourth quarter).

Lakers: Kobe Bryant

This will be a good chance for KCP to learn how to defend without fouling, or play through foul trouble, as Kobe will get the "superstar calls".  The, "hey ref, he stepped on my shoelace!", or "yo ref, he blinked while I was shootin!!!" fouls.  I personally hate this phenomenon, because it is basically favoritism, and can alter the game to an outcome which favors the superstar.  This is why rookies can get hacked by six-year vets and it's like their face is actually part of the ball.  Anyway, KCP has a tough one tonight.

Score Prediction

I'm predicting that my return to the previews after a layoff will be a good omen.  As the hive mind appears to think, we live and die by Smith's long twos -- if he makes them, we win, and vice versa.  This is the game Smith shoots 8-9 on long twos, gets 25 points overall with 1 rebound, 8 assists and 4 blocks, being the polarizing, infuriating combination of skills that he is, and we win by 2.

Pistons 106, Lakers 104

Lineup Prediction

Game notes indicate no jumbo, and Kyle Singler might not have too hard a time on Wesley Johnson.  Sure he's athletic, but he's a dodgy shooter, and people seem to forget that he was picked three spots ahead of the Moose in the 2010 Draft.

Pistons: Jennings, Caldwell-Pope, Singler, Smith, Drummond

Lakers: Lin, Bryant, Johnson, Boozer, Hill

Injured/In Doubt

You thought our injury problems were bad.  Take a look at the Lakers' hospital ward.

Pistons: Meeks (back)

Lakers: Nash (back), Randle (broken tibia), Kelly (torn hamstring), Henry (torn Achilles)

Community Question

Would you rather trade Smith to Charlotte for Lance Stephenson, or Monroe to NOLA for Anderson and Gordon?

Catching Up With The Fabulous Lot At DBB

Hey guys, the King of Previews is back.  Those other previews masquerading in the format I created, please, leave it to the pros.  I just finished sitting my university finals, so now my life once again consists of watching Pistons basketball, DBB, watching soccer, gaming, and sleep, in that order of importance.  In another interesting piece of news, some of you already know, but I was seriously considering applying to go on exchange to an American college for one semester next year.  Well, on Sunday I submitted my application, and these were the schools I listed (in order of preference).

1. Michigan State

2. Washington

3. Arizona State

4. Butler

5. Colorado State

Washington and ASU are the most likely because MSU has a bit of a quota problem, but let's pray eh?