Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets get together and wonder what could’ve been

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons vs. New Jersey Nets

Date: Jan. 21, 2011

Time: 7 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 15-27

Nets: 11-31

Probable starters

Pistons:

Nets:

  • Devin Harris
  • Stephen Graham
  • Travis Outlaw
  • Derrick Favors
  • Brook Lopez

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +4.0

Over/under: 190.5

Score: Nets win, 97.25-93.25

Three things to watch

1. Will Rip Hamilton get dusted off?

Many believed that Hamilton had not been playing because the Pistons didn’t want to risk an injury that would’ve jeopardized the proposed trade that would send him to New Jersey. Then, news broke during the Boston game that said trade had fallen apart. Maybe Detroit will give Hamilton an up-close audition to see if maybe they can entice the Nets into taking Hamilton anyway? Very wishful thinking on my part, but hopefully Rip scores 35 off the bench tonight and New Jersey immediately decides he’s exactly what they need.

2. Monroe matches up with another rookie big.

Monroe has already seen DeMarcus Cousins and Blake Griffin. Now, he’ll see how he matches up against another highly touted rookie big, Derrick Favors. When the Pistons opened the season against the Nets, Monroe received a DNP-CD, so this will be his first crack at Favors, who is averaging about 7 points and 5 rebounds per game in 19 minutes this season.

3. A frontline advantage?

Brook Lopez is still scoring the ball well, averaging 19 points per game. But he’s been non-existent on the glass, averaging only six boards per game. He’s had double figures in rebounds only twice this season. With a team that routinely gets it handed to them on the boards, the Pistons bigs should be looking forward to a rare chance to actually have a rebounding advantage for a change.

Pregame reading