Teams: Miami Heat at Detroit Pistons
Date: March 23, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Mike Bibby
- Dwyane Wade
- LeBron James
- Chris Bosh
- Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Las Vegas projection
Spread: Pistons +8.5
Score: Heat win, 103.25-94.75
Three things to watch
1. Extended look at Chris Wilcox
He’s certainly an intriguing player – a free-agent-to-be big man who’s playing well for a team that desperately needs positive contributors, especially inside. He’s also 28 – right on the edge between young and and old, making him all the more perplexing.
We’ll get an excellent chance to evaluate him tonight. He’ll start and guard Chris Bosh, according to Matt Dery of 97.1 The Ticket.
2. Tayshaun Prince’s defense
Very quietly, Tayshaun Prince has nearly reverted to form defensively this season. As the Pistons’ contending run wilted, so did Prince’s defense. But not only has he broken that downward trend, he’s excelling on that end of the floor.
I still don’t think he defends as well as he did in his defensive prime, but he could go a long way toward making the case tonight. Even at his best, he never defended LeBron James or extremely powerful forwards all that well, but he at least held his own. If he can do that tonight, it’d be a huge success.
The Pistons aren’t making the playoffs. It’s been a painstakingly long year, and the team has given up long ago. John Kuester is a lame duck. The trade deadline has passed. Basically, everyone is just waiting for this season to end.
But last I checked, the Heat are the only team that gets full-time coverage on ESPN. If you beat them, people notice. Winning is more fun than losing – and that’s true of everyone on the winner’s side from the players to the fans. So, maybe the Pistons will muster up some energy and focus, even just for the first few quarters?