Pistons, Grizzlies both hope to get on track tonight

Essentials

Date: Nov. 24, 2010

Time: 8 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 5-9

Grizzlies: 5-9

Probable starters

Detroit:

Grizzlies:

  • Mike Conley
  • O.J. Mayo
  • Rudy Gay
  • Zach Randolph
  • Marc Gasol

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Detroit +6.5

Over/under: 196

Score: Grizzlies win, 104.5-91.5

Three things to watch

1. Memphis is a little dysfunctional right now too.

After a promising, out of nowhere season a year ago, the Grizzlies have backslid a little. Zach Randolph isn’t thrilled about not getting an extension. Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo are both shooting below 42 percent (Conley is at 41, Mayo at 38). And despite being arguably their most efficient offensive player, Marc Gasol is only getting 7.5 shots a game, fifth on the team behind the other four starters and Darrell Arthur. Memphis has more talent than Detroit, but the Pistons are certainly in position to beat the Grizz if they shoot the ball well.

2. Was Ben Wallace being saved for tonight?

Dan Feldman raised the issue again last night: Wallace was on the bench in the fourth quarter of a close game once again. One possible explanation (and I’m not saying it’s a good one)? Memphis has a massive frontline and the Pistons will undoubtedly need a heavy does of Wallace tonight to take turns guarding Gasol and Randolph. Perhaps John Kuester was getting him some time off last night with that in mind?

3. Will Conley continue to get the best of Stuckey?

Mike Conley and Rodney Stuckey are frequently compared to each other for obvious reasons — same draft class, same position, same inconsistency and relatively similar career numbers. Head-to-head, though, Conley has got the better of Stuckey. Here’s how they measure up:

  • Conley: 11.8 points, 4.3 assists, 52 percent shooting
  • Stuckey: 9.4 points, 5.2 assists, 42 percent shooting

Honestly, this is a matchup that Stuckey should dominate. Conley is smaller than him, not a particularly good defender and not a dominant offensive player. Stuckey has been a bit more assertive this season. This is a matchup against a smaller guard that, if he’s ever going to be a really good NBA player, he has to dominate.

Pregame Reading

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