Should the Pistons tank? Question crucial as they host the New Jersey Nets

Essentials

Teams: New Jersey Nets at Detroit Pistons

Date: April 6,  2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: None

Radio: WWJ 950 AM

Records

Pistons: 26-51

Nets: 24-53

Probable starters

Pistons:

Nets:

  • Jordan Farmar
  • Anthony Morrow
  • Travis Outlaw
  • Kris Humphries
  • Brook Lopez

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons -7

Over/under: 198.5

Score: Pistons win, 102.75-95.75

Three things to watch

1. Lottery implications

Detroit leads the Nets by two games. The Pistons are fairly locked into the No. 7 seed in the lottery, but no team is as close to them in the standings as the Nets are. A loss tonight would give Detroit a better chance at the No. 6 seed.

Does that mean you’re you rooting for the Nets?

If you are, I don’t have a problem with it. I just disagree.

I’m not in favor of purposefully losing under any circumstances. As long as you’re selling tickets to a game, I think the players on the court have a duty to do their best to win.

There are plenty of talented teams in the NBA. A will to win separates them. Instilling a winning environment is a continuous process and ordering players to lose – for any circumstances – disrupts that. These players need to develop a win-at-all-costs mentality, and the organization will no longer be able to convey that if it asks them lose tonight.

That said, I wouldn’t have a problem with the Pistons giving their younger players more experience, even if that lowered Detroit’s chances of winning. But those young players better give it their all.

I think we can all agree on this, though: discussions about tanking suck. The Pistons should just make the playoffs next season, so we don’t have to worry about it again.

2. Who the heck will play?

Ben Wallace is out and Ben Gordon is questionable, according to Chris Iott of MLive.com. The Nets’ Deron Williams will also miss the game, according to Al Iannazzone of The Record.

That leaves the biggest question mark of all, Rodney Stuckey. According to Dave Pemberton of The Oakland Press, John Kuester said:

To be determined.

3. Not your television

I know it’s listed above, but I just wanted to reiterate: tonight’s game isn’t televised locally. Grab a radio or ESPN’s Gamecast.

Pregame (and without the game on television, maybe in-game) reading

Tags: Ben Gordon Ben Wallace John Kuester Rodney Stuckey