Game Preview: Detroit vs. Cleveland, Game Three

Essentials

Date: April 24, 2009

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Television: ESPN and Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Detroit: 39-43

Cleveland: 66-16

Series: Cleveland leads, 2-0

Probable starters

Detroit:

PG SG SF PF C

Rodney
Stuckey
Richard
Hamilton
Tayshaun
Prince
Antonio
McDyess
Rasheed
Wallace

Cleveland:

PG SG SF PF C

Mo
Wiliams
Delonte
West
LeBron
James
Anderson
Varejao
Zydrunas
Ilgauskas

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Detroit +5.5

Over/under: 178.5

Score: Cleveland wins 95-83

Statistical projection

Detroit offensive rating: 107.4 (21st)

Detroit defensive rating: 108.0 (16th)

Detroit pace: 86.7 (29th)

Cleveland offensive rating: 112.4 (4th)

Cleveland defensive rating: 102.4 (3rd)

Cleveland pace: 88.7 (25th)

Score: Cleveland wins 92-87

Outlook

Don’t count on the home-court advantage providing much for the Pistons tonight.

Detroit is one of two playoff teams to have a worse home record than its opponent’s road record (Philadelphia is the other). The Pistons are 21-20 at home, and Cleveland is 27-14 on the road (Orlando’s road record is just three games better than the 76ers home record). 

And the Palace might be filled with plenty of Cavs fans.

I think the most drama tonight will watching the Pistons atempting to try just hard enough to not embarrass themselves, but not to hard that they push back their vacation with a return to Cleveland for a game five.

  • Tonight’s game is available on ESPN 360.

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