Maybe Greg Monroe will make Pistons fans forget about DeMarcus Cousins

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons vs. Sacramento Kings

Date: Jan. 15, 2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Records

Pistons: 13-26

Kings: 9-28

Probable starters

Pistons:

Kings:

  • Beno Udrih
  • Tyreke Evans
  • Francisco Garcia
  • Jason Thompson
  • DeMarcus Cousins

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons -5

Over/under: 198.5

Score: Pistons win, 101.75-96.75

Three things to watch

1. Battle of the big men

The last time these teams met, DeMarcus Cousins was clearly viewed as the bigger impact rookie out of the lottery when compared to Greg Monroe. Now, Monroe has closed the gap significantly, so much so that he’s arguably an All-Rookie First Teamer at this point. Cousins provides a challenge because he’s much stronger than Monroe, and like the Pistons’ rookie big man, has been playing great lately. He’s scored 16 or more points in eight of his last nine and he’s averaging more than 8 rebounds per game over that same stretch.

2. Ailing Evans

‘Reke Havoc has suffered with the same painful injury, plantar fasciitis, that severely hindered Charlie Villanueva last season. Evans hasn’t had his trademark explosiveness and his 17 points per game are three points lower than his 20 per game last year when he was the Rookie of the Year. Evans returned to the Kings’ lineup last night after missing three games and scored just nine points on 4-for-15 shooting.

3. A season sweep?

The Pistons beat the Kings 100-94 in Sacramento in November to give the team a season-high two game winning streak. Yeah. The Pistons haven’t won more than two games in a row all season. But if they beat the Kings, they host a Dallas team on Monday that is without Dirk Nowitzki still. Dare I look ahead? I’m going for it. I’m predicting the Pistons’ first three-game win streak of the season this weekend.

Pregame reading

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