Spurs take 'Rodeo Road Trip' to Detroit

Essentials

Teams: San Antonio Spurs at Detroit Pistons

Date: Feb. 8, 2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 19-32

Spurs: 42-8

Probable starters

Pistons:

Spurs:

  • Tony Parker
  • Manu Ginobili
  • Richard Jefferson
  • Tim Duncan
  • Dejuan Blair

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +8.5

Over/under: 189.5

Score: Spurs win, 99-90.5

Three things to watch

1. The return of Antonio McDyess

I think it’s pretty safe to say that, of all the ex-Pistons around the league, ‘Dyess is by far the most beloved by his former team. He’s giving his typical solid production in limited minutes for the Spurs and, in case you missed it, he had a game-winning tip in to beat the Lakers last week.

2. So how do you beat the Spurs exactly?

The Spurs only have eight losses this year. Seven of those were against teams likely to be in the playoffs: Boston, Orlando, Dallas, New Orleans (twice), Portland and New York. The other loss? The Clippers got them and had the somewhat flukey benefit of Parker, Ginobili and Duncan all shooting the ball poorly on the same night. The Spurs have few weaknesses, but one thing they’ve at times struggled with (as evidenced by the two New Orleans losses) is strong penetrating guards, making Rodney Stuckey’s possible return a plus for the Pistons. They need to attack San Antonio’s bigs, hopefully causing some foul trouble, and hope for a poor shooting night from Parker or Ginobili. And on top of that, Wallace and Monroe have to be competitive on the glass. That’s a lot to expect from the Pistons as the Spurs undoubtedly want to start their road trip with a win against a very beatable team.

3. The Rip Watch continues

Hamilton continues to be a lightning rod. If you write that he should play, you’re an unabashed Rip apologist. If you write that sitting him is justified, you’re a moron who doesn’t understand that it’s just smart basketball to build your team around a 33-year-old one-dimensional SG. Needless to say, I’m tired of writing about Hamilton. But unfortunately, he’s still a story considering he could be right back to DNP-CD stats if Stuckey returns despite the fact that he was pretty good in the team’s win at Milwaukee.

Pregame Reading

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