Streaking: Detroit Pistons try to end longstanding futility against Utah Jazz

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons at Utah Jazz

Date: Jan. 3, 2011

Time: 9 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 11-22

Jazz: 23-11

Probable starters

Pistons:

Jazz:

  • Deron Williams
  • Raja Bell
  • Andrei Kirilenko
  • Paul Milsap
  • Al Jefferson

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +9.5

Over/under: 193

Score: Jazz win, 101.25-91.75

Three things to watch

1.What strategies will coaches Villanueva and Gordon come up with?

Villanueva and Gordon have both questioned the team’s (read: coaching staff’s) ability to make adjustments over the last week. John Kuester responded by inviting players who have suggestions on how to do things better to offer them up.

Here’s an idea for the players, however: play better. Adjustments are required less when players play well.

2. Can the Pistons end the streak?

No team has had the Pistons’ number like Utah over the years, even when the Pistons were one of the best teams in the NBA. The Jazz have won 11 straight over Detroit. It’s unlikely after getting blown out by a mediocre Phoenix team that Detroit can win on the road against one of the league’s best teams in one of the toughest arena’s for visiting players, but hey, no one thought the Pistons would beat Boston either, so there’s a chance I guess.

3. Right on track …

At 11-22, the Pistons have won exactly one third of their games. Why is that significant? That puts them right on pace for 27 wins this season. If you remember, that’s the number of games they won last season, decimated by injuries. This year, with relatively better health (minus the Jerebko injury), the Pistons have managed to play at about the same level as last season. The record is not a surprise to many, who expected the team to be bad. But it surely is a surprise to team brass, who thought that once everyone got healthy, the team would automatically be in the playoffs.

Pregame Reading