Pistons face another quality opponent (Lakers), will they try this time?

Essentials

Date: Nov. 17, 2010

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 4-7

Lakers: 9-2

Probable starters

Detroit:

Lakers:

  • Derek Fisher
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Ron Artest
  • Lamar Odom
  • Pau Gasol

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Detroit +7.5

Over/under: 202.5

Score: Lakers win, 105-97.5

Three things to watch

1. Detroit’s mental approach

This will be the Pistons’ third game against a top team. In the previous two, against the Celtics and Trail Blazers, they showed no heart. The Pistons have followed the same formula in all their games – quit against good teams and play reasonably hard against mediocre and lesser opponents.

Just once (at least to start), I’d like to see Detroit bring it against a good team. Tonight, in the first game back after a long road trip, probably isn’t a likely time for it to happen, but I can hope.

2. Chance to score

Surprisingly, the Lakers rank only 23rd in defensive efficiency. They’ve flipped the switch off (Remember when the Pistons used to do that? Fun times), so they’re not as effective as the could be. If the Pistons actually try tonight – see No. 1 – they should score fairly effectively.

Austin Daye, and maybe Ben Gordon if he doesn’t need his dribble to get in rhythm, might be able to catch the Lakers sleeping and make some open jumpers.

3. Stuckey’s assertiveness

Plenty of people have been down on Rodney Stuckey’s play in the fourth quarter, when he’s not nearly as assertive. That can’t happen tonight.

If Detroit has one matchup advantage tonight, it’s Derek Fisher guarding Stuckey. Not only will Stuckey have to be sharp in the fourth, he’ll have to be assertive the entire game. Stuckey will probably need to dominate the point-guard matchup for Detroit to have any chance.

Pregame Reading

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Tags: Austin Daye John Kuester Rodney Stuckey Tayshaun Prince

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