Teams: Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Hornets
Date: Dec. 8, 2010
Time: 8 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports Detroit
- Chris Paul
- Marco Belinelli
- Trevor Ariza
- David West
- Emeka Okafor
Las Vegas projection
Spread: Pistons +10
Score: Hornets win, 98.5-88.5
Three things to watch
1. Chris Paul’s tempo management
Nobody thinks Chris Paul is slow, right? Since Paul joined the Hornets, they’ve had the league’s 21st, 23rd, 26th, 28th, 15th (when Paul played just 45 games) and 26th. He’s a master at using his speed within a halfcourt offense.
I understand Rodney Stuckey wants to run more, but if I’m John Kuester, I tell Stuckey to pay attention to Paul tonight. If Stuckey learns to play quickly in the halfcourt, that could make everyone a lot happier.
2. Interior matchups
I think David West is a tough assignment for Jason Maxiell. I’ll be surprised if Maxiell can bother West’s mid-range jumpers. (Then again, I was surprised how well Maxiell handled Rashard Lewis.)
I still think Maxiell is best against low-post threats, even those with significant height advantages on the Piston power forward. Maxiell has the strength to push opponents off the block, and that would be helpful against Emeka Okafor.
Ben Wallace, who’s more comfortable on the perimeter than Maxiell, would probably have an easier time with West.
I’m curious whether the Pistons invert their power forward-center defensive assignments.
3. Charlie Villanueva’s return
- Ryan Schwan previews the game for Hornets247.com.
- Kevin Sawyer previews the game for Detroit Bad Boys.
- TrueHoop Network bloggers examine the under-reported storylines for Western Conference teams.
- George Blaha appreciates Ben Wallace’s “Amazing story.”
- Tracy McGrady said he doesn’t know his role on this team, according to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM (hat tip: Detroit Bad Boys).