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Game Thread: Bucks/Pistons

Wait, what are we talking about?

Bucks (7-10, 4-7 road) @ Pistons (9-5, 4-2 home)

Gametime: 7:00 p.m. central time (FSN-W)

Bucks Position Pistons
Luke Ridnour PG Rodney Stuckey
Charlie Bell SG Rip Hamilton
Richard Jefferson SF Tayshaun Prince
Luc Mbah a Moute PF Rasheed Wallace
Dan Gadzuric
C Kwame Brown

Injuries:

Bucks: Michael Redd (sprained ankle) and Andrew Bogut (knee) are out. Luke Ridnour (knee) is expected to play.

Pistons: Pistons players are never hurt. What the hell's with that?

07/08 Series:

Dec 1: Pistons 117, @Bucks 91

Dec 31: @Pistons 114, Bucks 69

Feb 20: @Bucks 103, Pistons 98

Feb 22: @Pistons 127, Bucks 100

08/09 Advanced Stats:

Bucks: Offense: 26th (102.4 points/100 possessions) Defense: 10th (103.9) Pace: 17th (91.5)

Pistons: Offense: 9th (107.3 points/100 possessions) Defense: 21st (107.1) Pace: 24th (90.2)

Three points:

  • Practice? Allen Iverson's "practice" press conference (above) is perhaps the most-replayed presser in NBA history. Heck, Joe Dumars even made a joke about it at Iverson's unveiling in Detroit. So naturally everyone in the Motor City must be enjoying the irony of Iverson's decision to skip Thanksgiving practice. Oh, apparently not. Michael Curry has already announced Iverson will not start tonight, but it's not yet clear if he'll be allowed to come off the bench. Rodney Stuckey takes over the starting PG spot after scoring 13 along with a career-high 11 assists in the Pistons' win over New York on Wednesday. Stuckey is 2-0 as a starter this year, having guided the Pistons to road wins over the Bobs and Raps before Iverson arrived.

  • MiniBucks. Without Andrew Bogut's services, Scott Skiles opted to go small for most of the second half in Atlanta, a strategy that could have paid off if Charlie Villanueva (15 fourth quarter points) had gotten into the game a bit earlier. On the other side, Curry has switched around his starting big men this season based on matchups, and Bogut's absence could affect who takes the tip on Friday. They've recently started two bigs in Kwame Brown and Rasheed Wallace, but don't expect to see too much of Brown--he hasn't played more than 21 minutes in any of the last five games. That leaves Wallace to play center much of the game, though the Bucks will probably see more of Amir Johnson as well. Like his predecessor Flip Saunders, Curry has been surprisingly loathe to use the 21-year old Johnson in spite of his always-above-average per minute numbers. But that might be changing after Johnson registered season highs of 32 minutes, 12 points, 13 boards, and three blocks against the Knicks.
  • Pistons misfiring? I'd be lying if I said I knew what the heck was going on Detroit at this point. As an unabashed Chauncey Billups admirer, I thought the Iverson deal was a major downgrade from a Detroit basketball perspective; yeah, cap space is great, but basketball-wise I thought the Nuggets made out like bandits. Still, the post-Chauncey Pistons have definitely had their moments with a huge road win over the Lakers and a home win against the Cavs. And yet in that same period the C's throttled them twice by an average of 15 points and they suffered a rather incomprehensible 26-point home loss to Minnesota. Maybe this is still a 50-win team, but a championship contender? Getting back Antonio McDyess in the next couple weeks will help, but at the moment I don't see how this team gets by Boston or Cleveland in the East.

Coverage:

Detroit Bad Boys / Need4Sheed / True Blue Pistons