‘Twas the night before the trade deadline, when all through the (Conseco Field-) house, the Pistons play the Pacers

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers

Date: Feb. 23, 2011

Time: 7 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 21-37

Pacers: 25-30

Probable starters

Pistons:

Pacers:

  • Darren Collison
  • Mike Dunleavy
  • Danny Granger
  • Josh McRoberts
  • Roy Hibbert

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +8

Over/under: 204

Score: Pacers win, 106-98

Three things to watch

1.  Pistons’ trade chips

The Pistons have plenty of players who would make sense in a deal as we approach tomorrow’s trade deadline – primarily Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox. The Pistons are unlikely to make a trade, but just in case, it wouldn’t hurt for those three to play well tonight, or in Hamilton’s case, play.

2. Building blocks

As we move past the trade deadline and the playoffs drift out of reach, our coverage will shift toward evaluating the players who are part of the Pistons’ future. Greg Monroe excelled last night. Austin Daye didn’t. How will they play tonight, and what will it mean for next year’s Pistons?

3. Tayshaun Prince’s attitude

Tayshaun Prince shot 0-for-9 last night after saying it would be “pretty much impossible” for the Pistons to win the requisite number of games to make the playoffs. Like Patrick, I think that had more to do with Shane Battier’s defense than a lack of effort or focus. But last night should serve as a red flag.

The Pacers don’t have anyone who can guard him well. So, if Prince clearly sulks tonight, Joe Dumars might have to look harder at trading Prince.

Pregame Reading

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Tags: Chris Wilcox Richard Hamilton Tayshaun Prince

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