Date: Jan. 4, 2009
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Detroit record: 20-11
Los Angeles record: 8-24
Spread: No line
Outlook: Detroit could extend its season-high six-game win streak, but it must do so without Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of Booth Newspapers. And judging by Antonio McDyess’s description of his injury, it doesn’t sound like he’ll play, either.
“If it was Game 7 of the Finals, I couldn’t make it. That’s how bad it hurt.”
The Clippers have their own injury problems. Chris Kaman, Zach Randolph, Mike Taylor and Ricky Davis are out, and Baron Davis is doubtful with a bruised tailbone. His backup, Jason Hart, left Los Angeles’s last game with right elbow tendinitis.
But the Clippers still have Marcus Camby, who has scored 16.5 points on 53-percent shooting and grabbed 19 rebounds per game in his last four. Starting in place of Wallace against the Kings, Kwame Brown didn’t do much – two points, four rebounds, a block, a turnover and three fouls in 16 minutes. Brown was brought to Detroit play some defense and grab some rebounds. This afternoon will be a good measuring stick for his ability to fill that role.
Many are declaring Rodney Stuckey’s greatness after he scored 38 points against the Kings, about a week and a half after pouring in 40 against the Bulls. But, even with Fred Jones guarding him, he’s in line to take a step back today. Camby, second in the NBA with 2.82 blocks per game, will have something to say about Stuckey’s drives to the rim.
Clipper rookie guard Eric Gordon is a solid defender, and he could slow Allen Iverson. The Piston might need more balanced production tonight than they had against the Kings, when their three perimiter players – Stuckey, Iverson and Tayshaun Prince – combined for 84 of Detroit’s 98 points.
This wouldn’t be a bad time for Jason Maxiell to provide some low-post production off the bench.