Here's the thing, when you dig yourselves a 3-13 hole and you still have playoff aspirations, you don't get the luxury of trap games. Tonight may be the second night of a back-to-back against a team that hasn't laced 'em up since Tuesday, but the Sixers just need to look at it as win, right there for the taking. Preview and game thread, all in one.
Detroit is really a miserable team. When I took a look at their stats, one thing stood out right away. Their coach just hasn't settled on any kind of rotation. At all. The Pistons have 11 players who average 15+ minutes/game and they've all played more than 25 games. It must be like a game of musical chairs getting that many minutes for that many guys.
The Pistons are pretty much equally bad on both ends of the floor (22nd in OFR, 25th in DFR). There really isn't a whole lot more to say about their team. They've got a bunch of guys who can shoot the three, including a couple bigs. Rodney Stuckey and Bynum like to drive (and can't shoot), Charlie Villaneuva likes to shoot and can't spell defense. Tayshaun Prince is trying desperately to play his way out of Detroit. Ben Wallace has the lowest usage rate I've ever seen (8.7%).
Attacking the Pistons defense shouldn't be too complicated. Anyone being guarded by Ben Gordon or Charlie V should get the ball early and often. Tayshaun Prince isn't what he once was on the defensive end, but I'd say he won't have much of a problem locking Nocioni down. Ben Wallace has clearly lost a step, but he's still better than anyone we have on to protect the rim. Daye is weak. Monroe is an unknown. Bynum should be posted up mercilessly.
Basically, there are a ton of weak spots to exploit when the Sixers have the ball, and chasing guys off the three-point line should be the priority when on defense. Play a solid game and you'll get the win. Come out flat, let Detroit hang around in their return home from a 3-game west coast swing and you're going to be in for a battle. Let's avoid that.
- PG: Jrue Holiday vs. Rodney Stuckey
- SG: Jodie Meeks vs. Ben Gordon
- SF: Andres Nocioni vs. Tayshaun Prince
- PF: Elton Brand vs. Charlie Villaneuva
- C: Spencer Hawes vs. Ben Wallace
Sixers 105, Pistons 97
This is your game thread. I'll be right here throughout. Join me if you want to see the Sixers slide right by the Pacers for the #7 seed.