Greg Monroe's next test as a starter hopefully includes not getting dunked on by Blake Griffin

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Date: Dec. 17, 2010

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Records

Pistons: 8-18

Clippers: 5-21

Probable starters

Pistons:

Clippers:

  • Baron Davis
  • Eric Gordon
  • Ryan Gomes
  • Blake Griffin
  • DeAndre Jordan

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons -2.5

Over/under: 191

Score: Pistons win, 96.75-94.25

Three things to watch

1. Greg Monroe gets a crack at Blake Griffin

The first time the Pistons played the Clippers, Griffin had a great game, scoring 18 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. The Clips out-rebounded the Pistons 49-34 in that game, although Detroit managed to hold on and win in overtime. Monroe only played 6 minutes. Now, Monroe will be making his second straight start and will hopefully keep the Pistons more competitive on the glass.

2. Baron Davis is safe here

For those who missed the latest example of why Clippers owner Donald Sterling is possibly the worst person associated with the NBA, multiple outlets reported last week that he’s been heckling Baron Davis from his courtside seats in L.A. as Davis tries to recover from an injury that caused him to miss several weeks this season. Davis is no saint. He’s notoriously had issues staying in shape throughout his career, and he’s paid handsomely. But in any confrontation between Donald Sterling and another human being, Sterling is always going to be the sleazeball. At least Davis doesn’t have to deal with that on the road.

3. Will the lineup combos work another game?

The Pistons have a chance to win two straight games for only the third time this season. Whether they do or not largely depends on whether the changes to the rotation that took hold against Atlanta prove to be more than a flash in the pan. The Clippers are struggling as bad as any team in the NBA, and at home, this has to be a win the Pistons come away with.

Pregame Reading

  • This isn’t Pistons related, but Mike Tillery, one of the best sports writers in the biz, asked me to participate in an interesting roundtable on LeBron James and the Heat this week. It’s well worth a read, full of perspectives from writers who try to think about sports issues from more than just the traditional angles. Check it out if you have time.
  • If you’re brushing up on your pro basketball skills and think you can play, SLAM introduces a site that can connect you with an agent.
  • Ben Gulker steps in to assist Joe Dumars in answering some of Keith Lanlois’ questions.
  • ClipperBlog discusses what’s going on with the team’s backcourt.

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