Game Preview: Detroit vs. Houston

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Date: Jan. 25, 2009

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Detroit record: 24-18

Houston record: 27-17

Detroit probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Rodney
Stuckey
Allen
Iverson
Tayshaun
Prince
Rasheed
Wallace
Kwame
Brown

Houston probable starters:

PG SG SF F C

Rafer
Alston
Von
Wafer
Shane
Battier
Luis
Scola
Yao
Ming

Spread: Detroit -2.5

Outlook: Even with nagging injury problems, the Rockets have been one of the better teams in the Western Conference.

Unsurprisingly, Houston has been at its best when more of its big three – Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest – play.

[TABLE=12]

The Rockets haven’t played any games without any of the three. Each of them are game-time decisions today.

The Pistons are 1-1 since returning to their big lineup. And they’ll go even bigger by starting Kwame Brown against Yao today.

But Detroit’s most important matchups might be in the back court, especially if Houston’s big three are limited with injuries.

In his last four games, Rafer Alston has averaged 20 points on 50-percent shooting, 7.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. And Von Wafer averages 16.4 points per game as a starter.

Rodney Stuckey and Allen Iverson will probably have to make those role players play like role players if the Pistons are going to win.

  • The game is available for free on ESPN360. Unfortunately, it’s not available to those with Comcast or Time Warner.
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