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Game Preview: Detroit vs. Milwaukee

Date: Feb. 17, 2009

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Detroit record: 27-24

Milwaukee record: 26-29

Detroit probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Rodney
Stuckey
Allen
Iverson
Tayshaun
Prince
Antonio
McDyess
Rasheed
Wallace

Milwaukee probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Ramon
Sessions
Luc
Mbah a Moute
Richard
Jefferson
Charlie
Villanueva
Francisco
Elson

Spread: Detroit -6.5

Outlook: The obvious key tonight is slowing Ramon Sessions, who torched the Pistons 44 points and 12 assists 10 days ago.

Although I’m against Michael Curry’s decision to start McDyess (you can read my previous thoughts on the subject here and here), the move could help with Sessions. Detroit’s guard didn’t keep Sessions in front of them, but the Pistons’ bigs continued failure to rotate was the real outrage. From Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

More than any other Pistons starter, Rasheed Wallace should benefit from McDyess’ transition.

“Another veteran who takes pride in defense,” Wallace said. “Now, I won’t have to cover as much floor. Hopefully, it’ll help out.”

McDyess, of course, is taking the move in stride. More from McCosky:

“I know we’ve been struggling this year and (coach Michael Curry) came to me and asked me, ‘Would you start?’” McDyess said. “I told him, ‘Yeah, whatever it takes.’ I know it’s already been tough this year. I don’t want to make it more complicated than it already is. It was easy for me to tell him yes.”

But, in his heart of hearts, McDyess would prefer to stay in his comfort zone, which is coming off the bench.

“At this point in my career, I thought I’d just continue to come off the bench and be a role player,” he said. “It’s still kind of tough to know at this age that I am starting. But it’s a good compliment. For me, it’s no problem. I just know I’ve got to do whatever I can, whether I am in there for 10 minutes or 20 minutes.”

McDyess starting shouldn’t hurt the Pistons’ bench scoring much with Rip Hamilton now a reserve. Hamilton averages 19.4 points per game since going to the bench, 2.7 more than when he was starting. And he scored 38 points the last time the last time these teams met. 

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