Date: Nov. 14, 2010
Time: 6 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports Detroit
Las Vegas projection
Spread: Detroit +5
Score: Kings win, 104.5-94.5
Three things to watch
1. Are the Kings tired of DeMarcus Cousins?
Depending on who you believed, the Pistons tried between extremely hard and very hard to move up in the NBA Draft to get DeMarcus Cousins, but couldn’t convince Minnesota to switch places and couldn’t convince the Kings not to draft Cousins. Even Worldwide Wes reportedly wanted to see Cousins in Detroit. It didn’t work out, of course, but this week reports emerged that things haven’t been perfect so far in Sacramento. I doubt the Kings would give up on a young talented player so soon, especially one who is averaging 11 points and 6 boards in just 20 minutes a game. But you can bet the Pistons will watch closely. I’m sure the franchise’s love of Cousins’ game hasn’t waned, and the desperate need for a big with his skills is certainly still as great as it was over the summer.
2. Expect a good start by Detroit.
Yahoo! points out that the Kings have been a really bad first half team, giving up an average of 58 points per first half this season. The Pistons have been a good first half team. Those two forces should conspire to help the Pistons play well early. Holding the lead in the second half is another matter, but the Kings have been struggling defensively this season.
3. Tayshaun Prince owned the Kings last year.
The Kings for some reason had a hard time defending Tayshaun Prince. He had two of his best all-around games of the season against Sacramento a year ago. The teams split their season series. Prince had 22 and 23 points in those games and shot a combined 22-for-32.
Fourth thing to watch
OK … had to give this its own sub-head. John Kuester, after two days ago saying he wouldn’t tinker with the lineup, has tinkered with the lineup, moving Jason Maxiell into the starting lineup for Austin Daye. I don’t dislike moving Daye out of that four spot, and I’ve written as much several times this season. But in favor of Maxiell? Presumably, the move was made because the Kings are a good rebounding team with a good frontline. The problem? Maxiell hasn’t rebounded well this year. Daye’s total rebound rate is better than Maxiell’s. Greg Monroe‘s rebound rate is also higher. So I’m not convinced that starting Maxiell is going to give them any significant boost on the boards. Plus, Chris Wilcox is active today for the first time. Presumably he’ll play some, because why would you activate him if he’s not going to play? It will be interesting to see how Daye’s minutes are affected by all of this.