Pistons and Knicks battle for the right to be losers of 9 of their last 11 games

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks
  • Date: Jan. 31, 2012
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

  • Pistons: 4-18
  • Knicks: 7-13

Probable starters

Pistons:

Knicks:

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +8.5

Over/under: 183

Score: Knicks win, 95.75-87.25

Three things to watch

1. Can Knight bounce back?

Brandon Knight played poorly last night against Milwaukee and, for the first time in his young career, got benched. The plus side? He should be rested tonight after playing just 24 minutes (the first time he’s played fewer than 30 minutes since becoming a starter) and he has a favorable matchup. The Knicks have not got much production out of their point guard spot. Toney Douglas is shooting 32 percent and rookie Iman Shumpert is shooting just 37 percent. How Knight responds to his worst performance of the season will be interesting.

2. Can Greg Monroe have a big impact against Tyson Chandler?

In the first meeting between the Pistons and Knicks, Greg Monroe was decent scoring the ball (15 points on 7-for-11 shooting), but he only grabbed five rebounds and Tyson Chandler defended him well, coming up with a couple steals when Monroe was trying to make moves inside. The Pistons need Monroe to be his usual self offensively, but they also need him to be a much stronger presence rebounding the ball this time around.

3. Can they defend ‘Melo/Amar’e again?

The first time these teams played, Detroit held Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire to 35 points on combined 13-for-29 shooting. That’s pretty good, considering how the Pistons have struggled defensively and considering how both of those guys are dynamic scorers. What was bad was Mike Bibby, Josh Harrellson and Iman Shumpert all having great shooting nights and reaching double figures. The Knicks are struggling, but probably a bit better than their record suggests and a home game against arguably the worst team in the league is coming along at the right time for them. I wouldn’t bet on bad games from Anthony and Stoudemire tonight.

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