Game Preview: Detroit at Memphis

Date: Jan. 19, 2009

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Detroit record: 22-17

Memphis record: 11-28

Detroit probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Rodney
Stuckey
Allen
Iverson
Richard
Hamilton
Tayshaun
Prince
Rasheed
Wallace

Memphis probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Kyle
Lowry
O.J.
Mayo
Rudy
Gay
Darrell
Arthur
Marc
Gasol

Spread: Detroit -4

Outlook: The Grizzlies are a bad team on a five-game losing streak.

The Pistons are a team on a five-game losing streak. What kind of team remains to be seen. Detroit surely isn’t as bad as Memphis, but the gap might be closer than desired.

This is the final game of Piston coach Michael Curry’s self-set evaluation period for small ball. A loss today, and it’s hard to believe the starting lineup won’t be changed. But for better or worse, a win would probably keep small ball alive a bit longer.

Rudy Gay could cause some problems for Richard Hamilton at small forward, when Tayshaun Prince is the type of defender that could slow Gay (18.5 rebounds per game).

O.J. Mayo (19.4 points per game) has been impressive as rookie. He’s a strong guard that could pose problems for Iverson. The best move might be to have Rodney Stuckey guard Mayo and have Iverson defend Kyle Lowry.

Memphis is a poor rebounding and defensive team, so the Grizzlies probably won’t take advantage of the advantages Detroit’s small lineup creates for them.

Also, a groin injury is nagging Prince. If he doesn’t start, it will end a streak of  394 consecutive games started. If he doesn’t play, his streak of 451 straight games played will end.

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