Tracy McGrady, now an Atlanta Hawk, returns to Detroit

Essentials

  • Teams: Atlanta Hawks at Detroit Pistons
  • Date: Jan. 27, 2012
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

  • Pistons: 4-15
  • Hawks: 13-6

Probable starters

Pistons:

Hawks:

  • Jeff Teague
  • Joe Johnson
  • Marvin Williams
  • Josh Smith
  • Zaza Pachulia

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +6

Over/under: 180.5

Score: Hawks win, 93.25-87.25

Three things to watch

1. Austin Daye

After his breakout game against the Heat on Wednesday, all eyes will be on Austin Daye tonight to see how he responds. The narrative that he ended his slump once his personal trainer flew to Detroit to work with him fits perfectly. Is it just a good story, a coincidental strong game for an otherwise weak player, or is Daye really back on track as a result of Joe Abunassar’s help? We’ll get a better idea tonight.

2. Another tough opponent

The Pistons interrupt their string of division-leading opponents – Thunder on Monday, Heat on Wednesday and 76ers tomorrow – with tonight’s game against the 13-6 Hawks. Yup, should be super easy.

3. Containing Joe Johnson

Matt Tanner of Hoopinion:

At this point it has become cliché to to rip on Joe Johnson and his max contract, and to start the season he was doing little to assuage the criticism. Johnson averaged 16.7 points per game through the first eleven with a healthy Al Horford, and while obviously a small sample size, it would have been his lowest average as a Hawk if he continued at that pace.

Since Horford went down however, Johnson has upped his scoring average to 22 points per game and has been demonstrably more of a leader on the court. Watching Johnson play like Robin when we want so desperately for him to be Batman has always been maddening, but perhaps the Horford injury will force him to seize the spotlight. (And yes, I know that is quite possibly the biggest reach at a silver lining in the history of silver linings).

That was written before Johnson struggled against the Spurs on Wednesday, but I’d guess Johnson is eying the opportunity to get back on track against a porous defense. The onus will likely be on Rodney Stuckey to stop him.

Next Pistons Game Full schedule »
Sunday, Oct 2626 Oct7:30Atlanta HawksBuy Tickets

Tags: Austin Daye Rodney Stuckey

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