Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva – UPDATE: and Tracy McGrady for Rodney Stuckey – will start for Detroit Pistons against New Orleans Hornets

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons vs. New Orleans Hornets

Date: Dec. 19, 2010

Time: 6 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Records

Pistons: 8-19

Hornets: 16-10

Probable starters

Pistons:

Hornets:

  • Chris Paul
  • Marco Belinelli
  • Trevor Ariza
  • David West
  • Emeka Okafor

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +4.5

Over/under: 184.5

Score: Hornets win, 94.5-90

Three things to watch

1. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva starting

John Kuester said the starting lineup would be a game-time decision today, according to Chris Iott. I don’t think Iott is blindly guessing when he says Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva will start.

This is the move everyone has been clamoring for – and part of what Patrick called for Friday. I think it’s time, too. Obviously we’ll be keeping a close eye on those two. Is Villanueva the missing piece for the starting lineup? Will Gordon look like himself again?

I’m also extremely curious how Richard Hamilton will take the news.

UPDATE: Tracy McGrady will also start in place of an injured Rodney Stuckey, according to Keith Langlois. And it turns out Hamilton is sick, according to Iott.

2. Pride?

Do the Pistons have any pride? The way they played against the Clippers on Friday and the Hornets 11 days ago suggests no. They have to know what fans think of them after that Clippers loss, and they couldn’t have forgotten about the Hornets loss already.

3. Hornets’ focus

Speaking of pride, Michael McNamara of Hornets247.com alerted me to an interesting trend.

The Hornets are just 1-3 on Sundays. Although two of those losses came to the Spurs, neither was close. The Hornets’ loss to the 76ers wasn’t close, either. And New Orleans’ win came by just four points over the Kings.

As Pistons fans should know, Sunday losses might not be a coincidence.

Pregame Reading

Tags: Ben Gordon Charlie Villanueva Richard Hamilton

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