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Pistons vs. Mavericks preview: Just form a f-cking wall!

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Will the wall prophesized by Stan Van Gundy withstand the brutal assault from Dallas?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The last time a Detroit team visited Dallas, it wasn't pretty. Let's hope this one is a fair game.

Game Vitals

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

When: 8:30 p.m. ET, Wed., Jan. 7, 2015

Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Exceptionally Detailed Analysis

The chips continue to fall our way, as a botched inbounds pass and an unlikely Jennings runner gave the Pistons a last second 105-104 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.  I say unlikely because Jennings had one of his dud games, which he is susceptible to. Fortunately, D.J. Augustin provided good guard play and finished with 19 points while Jennings added 13, none more crucial than the last two. Andre Drummond had another beastly game with 20 and 17 while Greg Monroe lifted his game to the tune of 17 and 11 in only 27:47 of action. Gratifyingly, Monroe was also the hardest celebrating when $WAG hit the running glasser with 0.1 left on the clock.

What was surprising about this game was the use of the bench from SVG.  D.J. Augustin and Jodie Meeks got their usual 25 minutes or so, but, curiously, Anthony Tolliver played 22:30, including most of crunch time, with Greg Monroe sitting, except for rebounding purposes when the Spurs were at the line.  Many have hypothesized that Tolliver was there for shooting purposes, but it didn't help that he shot only 1-5 (0-4 3PT).  Also, the interior offense was a strength of the Pistons whereas they only made 3-19 from deep, despite the red-hot streak of late.  Drumroe combined for 15-20 on mostly post-ups and dunks, so it was surprising to see SVG abandon that late. Also, Jerebko only played 11 minutes and Caron Butler a shade under 10.  Joel Anthony played the last tenth of a second.

The Mavs are tied with Detroit for the longest active winning streak at six and their schedule has been no harder than ours.  Wins have come against some good teams like a resurgent OKC and young Washington, but there have also been wins against very underwhelming teams such as the one-man Lakers, geriatric Nets, self-destructing Cavaliers and mediocre Celtics.  Since acquiring Rajon Rondo, the team has played well, and has even found a spot in the rotation for Charlie Villanueva.  However, Rondo is being asked to play off the ball, so as not to disrupt Monta Ellis' rhythm.  It has worked so far, but Rondo's shooting woes can only be hidden for so long before defenses sag off him completely, a la Josh Smith.

Players To Watch

Pistons: Brandon Jennings

Jennings came back down to earth a little in the win over the Spurs, shooting 5-18 (1-5 3PT) on his way to 13 points.  I doubt anyone really cares considering one of his five makes was fairly crucial, but he will have another tough assignment tonight against Rajon Rondo.  Rondo's effect on Dallas has largely been on defense, helping raise them from a bottom 10 defense to a top 10 defense, and Jennings may struggle with Rondo's length and bulk.  Conversely, as mentioned, Rondo is an off-the-ball player at the moment, so Jennings' defensive responsibility may be somewhat mitigated this game.

Mavericks: Charlie Villanueva

This is somewhat backhanded, but Charlie V has actually worked his way into the Mavs rotation as a stretch basketball player 4.  Due to the Rondo trade, Dallas gave up Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder, some minutes opened up in the frontcourt and Charlie V appears to be a beneficiary.  Wouldn't it be funny if he scored 25?  Ah memories.

Last Time We Met

Dec. 17, 2014, Dallas won 117-106

The Pistons fell to 5-21 on the back of 32 points from Chandler Parsons, despite the best efforts of Andre Drummond (19 points, 24 rebounds), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14 pts) and Jonas Jerebko (13 pts).  This would be Josh Smith's 3rd-to-last game in a Piston uniform, mercifully.

Connectionz

- Pistons F Caron Butler won a championship in Dallas in 2010-11

- Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle coached the Pistons from 2001-03

- Pistons G Brandon Jennings and Mavericks G Monta Ellis played together in Milwaukee from 2011-13

- Pistons G D.J. Augustin and Mavericks G Raymond Felton played together in Charlotte from 2008-10

- Mavericks F Charlie Villanueva played 256 games for Detroit from 2009-14

- Pistons asst. coach Malik Allen played in Dallas in 2007-08

- Pistons asst. coach Tim Hardaway played in Dallas in 2001-02

- Pistons G Jodie Meeks and Mavericks F Al-Farouq Aminu attended Norcross High School in Atlanta, GA

Score Prediction

The swag train may end tonight, but not until I see it to believe it.

Pistons 108-104

Lineup Prediction

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

Mavericks: Rondo, Ellis, Parsons, Nowitzki, Chandler

Injured/In Doubt

Pistons: None

Mavericks: None

Community Question

Did you form walls in your own homes?