Pistons host Cavs before a brutal stretch begins

Essentials

  • Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons
  • Date: Dec. 28,  2011
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

  • Pistons: 0-1
  • Pacers: 0-1

Probable starters

Pistons:

Cavs:

  • Kyrie Irving
  • Anthony Parker
  • Omri Casspi
  • Antawn Jamison
  • Anderson Varejao

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons -6

Over/under: 193

Score: Pistons win, 99.5-93.5

Three things to watch

1. The schedule

Cleveland is a winnable game for the Pistons. After facing the Cavs, though, things get much tougher — Boston, Indiana, Orlando, Chicago (twice), Philadelphia, New York and Dallas follow before the Pistons get somewhat of a reprieve with games against the Bucks and Bobcats. In any event, not beating the Cavs in tonight’s home opener could be the difference between a bad start to the season and a historically bad start.

2. New era, part two

Things didn’t go so well in the first game of the Lawrence Frank era. The team didn’t rebound well, the defensive effort was questionable and there was little for fans to get excited about watching the opener against the Pacers. Cleveland is much worse than Indiana and the Pistons are at home, so they get a new chance to make a more positive impression the the direction the team is headed in.

3. Can someone rebound?

In limited minutes against the Pacers, Ben Wallace, Greg Monroe and Austin Daye led the team with seven rebounds each. Cleveland’s frontcourt has a pair of solid veteran rebounders in Varejao and Jamison as well as an active rookie in Tristan Thompson. The Pistons will need a much better effort on the glass from Jonas Jerebko (five rebounds vs. Indiana), Monroe and Jason Maxiell (0 rebounds in 16 minutes). In two preseason games against the Cavs, both teams shot poorly, so there should be plenty of boards to go around.

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