Game Preview: Detroit at Cleveland

Date: Feb. 22, 2009

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Detroit record: 27-26

Cleveland record: 42-11

Detroit probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Rodney
Stuckey
Allen
Iverson
Tayshaun
Prince
Antonio
McDyess
Rasheed
Wallace

Cleveland probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Mo
Williams
Tarence
Kinsey
Lebron
James
Ben
Wallace
Zydrunas
Ilgauskas

Spread: Detroit +9

Outlook: Mo Williams, who averages 17.7 points per game, is the highest-scoring teammates Lebron James has had.

That’s a huge reason why the Cavaliers are on pace to win 65 games, 15 more games than James has won in any other season.

Williams scored 23.5 points per game in Cleveland’s two matchups with the Pistons this season, a split series. And he has scored 28.0 points on 61.1 percent shooting during the Cavaliers’ current three-game winning streak.

Rodney Stuckey or Allen Iverson slowing Williams will go a long way in helping the Pistons to the upset. But given the way opposing point guards have torched Detroit lately, that’s unlikely to happen.

A silver lining might be the Pistons’ road record, or at least they claim it is. Tayshaun Prince, via Booth Newspapers:

“A lot of times, your concentration seems better on the road from the standpoint of, you’re by yourself against all odds. It’s better to play that way when you’re struggling.”

The Pistons are one of just four teams to have a better record at home than on the road. The Nets, Timberwolves and Clippers are the others.

But if the Pistons don’t win three games on this five-game road trip, they’ll join the rest of the league with a better home record than road record. And then it will even tougher for them to find straws to grasp at for inspiration.

  • Tonight’s game will be available on ESPN360. Unfortunately, the service is unavailable to those with Comcast or Time Warner.