Game Preview: Detroit vs. Denver

Date: March 3, 2009

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Detroit record: 29-29

Denver record: 39-21

Detroit probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Rodney
Stuckey
Richard
Hamilton
Tayshaun
Prince
Antonio
McDyess
Rasheed
Wallace

Denver probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Chauncey
Billups
Dahntay
Jones
Linas
Kleiza
Glen
Davis
Nene

Spread: Detroit -3

Projected score: Denver wins 98-96

Outlook: As you might have heard, Chauncey Billups is returning to the Palace of Auburn Hills tonight. There are plenty of poignant articles on the subject:

Billups leaving bigger impression: Pistons, fans now feeling guard’s loss,” by the Detroit News’s Bob Wojnowski

Billups back in town tonight,” by the Detroit Free Press’s Vince Ellis

Chauncey Billups back at The Palace with Denver,” by Booth Newspapers’ A. Sherrod Blakely

But Jamie Samuelson of the Free Press may have had the the most interesting line: 

He is the greatest free-agent signing in Detroit sports history. 

I never thought about Billups like that, but Samuelson is right. I’m not not even sure who’s No. 2? Ivan Rodriguez with the Tigers? Brett Hull with the the Red Wings?

Could Marian Hossa pass all three with the Wings? Maybe. But for now, Samuelson is right. Billups is No. 1.

Although Billups is the main attraction tonight, both teams will be missing their leading scorer.

Allen Iverson is still traveling the country, one step ahead of the Pistons with his sore back.

And the Nuggets suspended Carmelo Anthony for refusing to leave the game, according to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post.

That tradeoff seems to bode well for the Pistons.

So does this: Denver hasn’t won at the Palace of Auburn Hills since March 10, 1995. No player on either team was in the NBA then.

Also, check out Roundball Mining Company’s preview.

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