Official Game #54 Thread

Statistical Breakdown:
Time: Tonight 6:30 p.m. CST
Place: Palace of Auburn Hills
DET record: 18-33
MIN record: 13-40
DET home record: 12-15
MIN road record: 4-22
DET record v. Western Conf: 4-16
MIN record v. Eastern conf: 6-14
DET PPG: 91.7 (29th)
MIN PPG: 98.1 (20th)
DET opponents PPG: 96.7 (10th)
MIN opponents PPG: 106.6 (28th)
DET RPG: 41.1 (T-18th)
MIN RPG: 43.5 (3rd)
DET RPG Diff: 1.6 (T-9th)
MIN RPG Diff: 0.5 (15th)
DET AST/TO: 18.0/12.9
MIN AST/TO: 19.7/15.3
DET FG%: 43.4% (T-28th)
MIN FG%: 44.7% (23rd)
DET opponents FG%: 47.0% (23rd)
MIN opponents FG%: 47.5% (27th)
DET 3PT%: 29.3% (30th)
MIN 3PT%: 33.4% (25th)
DET FT%: 72.6% (28th)
MIN FT%: 74.3% (20th)
Last meeting: 1st meeting of the season
My prediction: DET 97-94

Preview: Tonight’s game will be interesting if for no other reason than both teams are bad……I don’t mean like Michael Jackson “Bad” I mean like they stink. Because they both stink you don’t really know what is going to happen. Maybe Ben Gordon and Rip Hamilton both snap out of their slumps, or maybe Big Al finally decides to show up in the first half and drop a 30 point and 20 rebound game on the Pistons. Detroit is a better rebounding team and the Wolves have been getting outrebounded pretty badly as of late. Minnesota is far better shooting team (whether it’s inside, outside, or from the line) but the Pistons are better defensively.
I think if I am Kurt Rambis I am matching Big Al up with Big Ben and I place Hollins on Jerebko. Rodney Stuckeys size and strength at the point is going to be hard to stop as will Tayshaun’s length at the three. Both matchups favor the Pistons and might prove to be the difference in the game. Many of the players (Brewer, Love, Hollins, Hamilton, and Gordon) on both teams coming into tonight’s game have been struggling as of late. If a couple of those players from either team show up and play like they are capable of playing they might be able to change the outcome.
At the start of the game I think Kurt needs to have his defense fall back and force Detroit to shoot from the outside. If they start hitting their 3-pointers then obviously expand the D, but make them show you they can hit it first. Luckily the Wolves shouldn’t have to worry about giving up too many points in the paint but Detroit does offer more depth with Charlie Villanueva, the great Kwame Brown, and Jason Maxiell coming off the bench. Athletically I don’t like this matchup for the T-Wolves. Villanueva, Prince, Stuckey, and Daye all offer matchup problems. I don’t think Minnesota will be able to outlast the Detroit bench and that is way I believe they’ll lose to that obnoxious “Detroit Basketball!”

Key Matchups: The “Bigs” (Big Ben v. Big Al), Prince v. Gomes, Stuckey v. Flynn, and Minnesota’s depth v. Detroit’s bench

Projected Starting Lineups:
Detroit Pistons
PG Rodney Stuckey 17.3 pts, 4.8/2.3 Ast/TO
SG Rip Hamilton 17.6 pts, 4.8 ast
SF Tayshaun Prince 10.4 pts, 4.3 reb
PF Jonas Jerebko 8.6 pts, 5.7 reb
C Ben Wallace 5.4 pts, 9.0 reb

Minnesota Timberwolves
PG Jonny Flynn 13.9 Pts, 4.3/2.8 Ast/TO
SG Corey Brewer 13.2 Pts, 3.8 Reb
SF Ryan Gomes 11.0 Pts, 4.4 Reb
PF Al Jefferson 17.7 Pts, 9.8 Reb
C Ryan Hollins 6.1 Pts, 3.0 reb
Go Wolves!!!!!!!!!!

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