The Pistons host the ailing 27-17 Houston Rockets this evening at The Palace.
The Rockets could be without their top three scorers, Yao left Friday night’s loss in Indiana because of a sore right knee. Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest haven’t seen action for Houston in some time.
That doesn’t mean a cakewalk for Detroit by any means. Houston has a talented team and Detroit…… nothing is guaranteed right now. Well maybe a game against the Flint Tropics is a given……maybe.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit New has a great piece on The Pistons struggles, I suggest you read the entire thing but couple of things stuck out, especially since most of us have been clearly upset with small ball and the fact that this team, this defensive minded grind it out team…..is one of the worst teams in the league defensively.
On The Rip Situation
“We will see how it goes,” Prince said. “I’ve been saying all along that with the bigger lineup we are a better defensive team and a better rebounding team, and that’s something we have always took pride in here.”
Iverson is caught in the middle. It’s not his call, obviously, but he can’t change who he is as a player, either. He can’t all of a sudden be a Billups-like point guard or a high-percentage shooter and high-efficiency scorer.
“I can’t say I necessarily like it,” Iverson said about the new lineup. “It is what it is. It’s something we have to adjust to. You are faced with a situation and you deal with it.”
The key to it all is Hamilton, and thus far, he is handling it like the team-first professional that he is
“You can be ticked off and think it’s about yourself and things like that, but I’m not about that,” he said. “I’m about winning. I’m about trying to get back to the promised land and get that feeling again with that gold ball (championship trophy). I just said to myself, ‘You’ve got to figure it out. You’ve got to go back to the drawing board and find a whole new different game plan and you can help your teammates win.’”
Understand this, though. No matter who starts or who comes off the bench, nothing is going to work unless Wallace gets rejuvenated and reengaged. Among all the reasons for the Pistons inconsistencies to date, Wallace’s struggles have to be near the top.
His statistics are down across the board and worse, his presence on the defensive end has been minimal. There is a chance he’s just worn down. He is 34 and has played heavy minutes, first when McDyess was gone and then when the Pistons went to the smaller lineup. On top of that, he injured his right foot and that set his conditioning back.
This could just be a lull, a slump — something he can work himself through. That’s what the organization is banking on. Curry plans to reduce his playing time over the next 20 games to facilitate some fresher legs and spirit. But if that doesn’t work, the Pistons will be facing the worst-case scenario — that his legs are gone, that Father Time has finally caught up to Wallace.
Good News/Bad News
- Will the Sunday blues continue?
- Rasheed Wallace will be playing PF and Kwame Brown is starting, which means traditional basketball, unless Mr. Curry goes back to his small thinking midway through the game.
- The Pistons have lost 3 out of 4 at the Palace.
- Houston has lost 11 of its last 12 road games against Detroit.
Tip off is at 6:30 P.M. and will be Nationally televised on ESPN. If you can’t watch the broadcast, tune into 1130 AM WDFN The Fan, with pre-game coverage starting at 5:30 P.M. with Matt Dery. Can’t do either? Follow the game on NBA.com.
UPDATE: Artest and TMac will play for Houston