Date: Jan. 16, 2009
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Detroit record: 22-15
Oklahoma City record: 7-33
Detroit probable starters:
PG- Rodney Stuckey
SG- Allen Iverson
SF- Richard Hamilton
PF- Tayshaun Prince
C- Rasheed Wallace
Oklahoma City probable starters:
PG- Russell Westbrook
SG- Desmond Mason
SF- Kevin Durant
PF- Jeff Green
C- Nick Collison
Spread: Detroit -4.5
Outlook: Talk about two teams going in opposite directions.
After starting the season 3-29, the Thunder have gone 4-4 in their last eight games.
The Pistons have lost three straight. They haven’t lost four in a row in nearly four years.
Oklahoma City has a solid young nucleus that seems to be gelling. The Thunder are a good rebounding team, which creates a problem for small ball.
Prince is the type of player who could defend Durant effectively. Instead that task will likely go to Hamilton.
Oklahoma City is talented and playing its best basketball of the season. An isolated loss wouldn’t be the end of the world.
But with the three-game losing streak and the widespread dislike of small ball, losing tonight would bring a lot of public scrutiny.