The Bucks are in town, and the luster of former Pistons assistant GM John Hammond has worn off some in Milwaukee

Essentials

Teams: Milwaukee at Detroit Pistons

Date: April 8,  2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Records

Pistons: 27-51

Bucks: 32-46

Probable starters

Pistons:

Bucks:

  • Brandon Jennings
  • John Salmons
  • Carlos Delfino
  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
  • Andrew Bogut

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +1.5

Over/under: 185

Score: Bucks win, 93-91.5

Three things to watch

1. The mighty have fallen

When John Hammond left the Detroit Pistons to become the general manager in Milwaukee and put together a team that had some success last season while the Pistons were falling flat, a common refrain from Pistons fans was that Hammond must’ve been the brains of the operation. Now though, the Bucks haven’t followed up last season’s surprise well. They’ve taken a giant step back, and the team’s star point guard, Brandon Jennings, isn’t pleased with the personnel moves made by Hammond this offseason:

“Some guys have the mind-set of winning on the team and some guys just don’t,” Jennings said.

Jennings then indirectly took a shot at Bucks general manager John Hammond, assistant general manager Jeff Weltman and coach Scott Skiles, the three biggest personnel decision-makers in the organization next to owner Herb Kohl.

“We traded a lot of pieces I feel like we should have kept,” Jennings said. “But that’s part of the business and you’ve got to roll with it.”

Now, the Bucks losing has more to do with not having a healthy Andrew Bogut this season than any player they added or subtracted this season (and, I would add, Jennings hasn’t exactly had a stellar follow-up to a promising rookie season). But Hammond’s quick rise and fall is a good example of how quickly guys can go from genius to idiot in this league, something Dumars has found out all too well over the last couple years.

2. Another late season winning streak?

The Pistons have won three games in a row only once this season. After beating New Jersey Wednesday, they have games against Milwaukee tonight, Charlotte Sunday and Cleveland Monday. Those, my friends, are as winnable as games get for the Pistons before closing the season out against Philadelphia. Last season’s infamous stretch of winning four of the final six games cost the Pistons lottery position and thoroughly annoyed some fans, but the schedule is once again favorable for the Pistons to close the season with a few wins.

3. What will Stuckey do?

A motivated Rodney Stuckey returned to the lineup for the Pistons after sitting two games for disciplinary reasons. He had a great game against New Jersey. The story with him has never been talent, it has been consistency. Stuckey has a long way to go to prove he’s the building block this organization thought he was, but he can start rebuilding that trust by building on the New Jersey game and closing out this season by playing hard, efficient and most importantly, consistent basketball.

3B. Get more PistonPowered

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