Will Darko Milicic version 2.0 miss his chance to show the Pistons his new and improved game?



Teams: Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves

Date: Dec. 10, 2010

Time: 8 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus


Pistons: 7-16

T-Wolves: 5-17

Probable starters



  • Luke Ridnour
  • Wes Johnson
  • Michael Beasley
  • Kevin Love
  • Darko Milicic (if healthy)

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +4

Over/under: 201

Score: T-Wolves win, 102.5-98.5

Three things to watch

1. Darko has to play, right?

It’s no secret how Darko Milicic feels about his former team. I would guess that, with Detroit’s penchant for giving up huge games to big men and Darko’s well-documented resurgence this season, Darko has been looking forward to this game.

As a Pistons fan, I have not been. The season is bad enough without Darko putting a quadruple double on the Pistons or something. I don’t know if I could handle that. So it’s probably good news that Darko is questionable for tonight’s game with a quadriceps strain. He missed Minnesota’s game Wednesday and didn’t practice yesterday.

2. Darko is not the only resurgent Wolf

Michael Beasley is scoring 22 points with 6 boards per game, unleashing the scoring potential that made some actually argue the Bulls should’ve picked him over Derrick Rose when the two were picked 1-2 in the 2008 NBA Draft. Beasley is strong enough to play in the post and has range out to the 3-point line. He can also play either forward spot, and might slide to the four if Darko is out, moving Kevin Love to center. Either way, Beasley is a brutal matchup for Prince or Maxiell.

3. Can the Pistons salvage a road trip?

The Pistons end a three-game road trip tonight. Tonight’s game and Tuesday’s game against Houston can’t be considered games against quality opponents, and although New Orleans has a good record, that team is hardly among the NBA’s elite. In short, an 0-3 performance on a road trip against three average or below teams, with a travel schedule that wasn’t all that brutal (at least compared to some more difficult road trips) and one blowout loss already, would just about kill any interest in the team until something newsworthy — think: team is sold, trade is made, veteran is benched typ of event — happens.

On the flip side, if the Pistons win tonight and can win tomorrow’s home game vs. Toronto, they’ll conclude a 3-2 week, get a couple days off and then get five of their next six games at home against non-elite opponents before they have to host Boston the day after Christmas.

Pregame Reading: