- Teams: Detroit Pistons at Houston Rockets
- Date: Jan. 17, 2012
- Time: 8 p.m.
- Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus
- Pistons: 3-10
- Rockets: 6-7
- Kyle Lowry
- Kevin Martin
- Chandler Parsons
- Luis Scola
- Samuel Dalembert
Las Vegas projection
Spread: Pistons +7.5
Score: Pistons win, 98.25-90.75
Three things to watch
1. Ben Wallace starting
#Pistons shake up lineup: Ben Wallace starts due to upcoming rash of post scorers. Jonas to the bench.
LFrank says need to protect paint better, so Big Ben starts for now. Plan is he plays 1st 6 mins of each half, spotted in 2nd, 4th quarters.
Makes sense to me.
2. Brandon Knight’s offense vs. Kyle Lowry
If the Pistons continue to start Brandon Knight, it’s clearly to challenge him. Tonight, he’ll face a stiff test. Kyle Lowry is one of the NBA’s best defensive point guards, and he averages a robust 2.1 steals per game. Knight’s turnovers have been problematic, and unless Knight has made real progress – which he might have – Lowry will exploit this matchup.
Favian Pua of Red94 also sees this as a key matchup, but probably for optimistic reasons than I do.
3. Greg Monroe’s defense vs. Samuel Dalembert
After the Rockets win over the Wizards yesterday, Kyle Lowry said Samuel Dalembert was still working his way back into playing shape. Dalembert still scored 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting against Washington, but at 30 and maybe a touch out of shape, he’s not relying on the type of athleticism that often gives Greg Monroe trouble. Instead, Dalembert frequently established strong inside position, which allowed for plenty of layups and tip-ins.
Monroe’s lack of foot speed makes defense difficult for him, but I think he has the physical attributes – or at least, can more easily develop them – to use his weight to keep bigs out of the paint. Dalembert will be a good gauge of Monroe’s progress in this regard.