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Pistons/Bucks: Preview

Pistons (39-14, 18-9 road, 2nd East) @ Bucks (19-34, 13-11 home, 12th East)

Gametime: 7:00 pm CT
TV: FSN Wisconsin/League Pass/Free NBA Broadband
Radio: 620 WTMJ/Stream Free @NBA.com

Bucks Stats: Offense 20th (101.1 pts/100 poss), Defense 29th (108.0), Rebounding 19th (.499 rr), Pace 23rd (92.7)
Pistons Stats: Offense 7th (108.0 pts/100 poss), Defense 3rd (99.7), Rebounding 11th (.509 rr), Pace 30th (90.0)

Bucks Lineup:  Mo Williams / Michael Redd / Desmond Mason / Charlie Villanueva / Andrew Bogut
Pistons Lineup: Chauncey Billups / Richard Hamilton / Tayshaun Prince / Antonio McDyess / Rasheed Wallace

Bucks Injuries: Ramon Sessions is out with a broken left hand.
Pistons Injuries: None really.

07/08 Series: Pistons 2-0. The Pistons came to the Bradley Center and crushed the Bucks 117-91 on Dec. 1. The Bucks also went into the Palace on Dec. 31 and were destroyed 114-69.

Key Points:

  • The Pistons rolled into the All-Star break on a ten-game winning streak, going almost a month without losing after falling to the Magic on Jan. 21. Last night the Pistons took a 25-20 lead into the second quarter before that same Magic club took control for an impressive 103-85 win. The Magic win came without a big night from Dwight Howard, who, fresh off his super All-Star weekend, scored eight points on 2-9 shooting along with eight rebounds. Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 16 points off the bench.
  • Stuckey is averaging 11.4 points and is shooting 49.2 % from the field in 21.9 minutes in February. The 15th overall pick in the draft missed the first month and a half of the season after undergoing hand surgery.
  • The Pistons sit atop the Central Division, which is familiar territory. They have won the Central each of the past three years since the divisional format changed from two in each conference to four. The Bucks are also in a familiar, but not so proud place: last place. The Bucks have finished last each year since the divisions shrunk.
  • The voters have spoken, and BucksNation is asking for Mo Williams/Michael Redd/Charlie Villanueva/Yi Jianlian/Andrew Bogut to start. The Bucks don't plan to accomodate the fans in this regard, as Tom Enlund reports Villanueva will start at power forward with Yi coming off the bench. Since Krystkowiak has obviously given up on feeling it doesn't matter who starts, there is some hope he'll get more experimental and try Yi/Villanueva together, though nothing has indicated that yet.

    "I’d like to maybe have a bit more veteran consistency with what’s going on," said Krystkowiak. "I think this might be a good time to let (Charlie) play this out. The reality is maybe he’s better as a starter."

  • Richard Hamilton leads the Pistons in scoring, averaging 18.3 points, topping only Danny Granger (17.8) as a team-leading scorer. For the Pistons, who have four players averaging more than 12.0 points, it's all about balance.
  • Mo Williams is averaging career-highs in points (17.5), assists (6.5), steals (1.3), field goal percentage (47.6), three point percentage (39.6), and free throw percentage (85.7).
  • The trade deadline is tomorrow, and unlike many teams, the Bucks have been quiet. Activity isn't necessary a good thing anyway. Despair is high in these bleak times, but making a move for the sake making a move isn't wise. Regardless of whether Larry Harris or Herb Kohl is in control, we should be thankful the Zach Randolph rumors are dead. Admittedly, it is tough to watch counterparts like the Nets and Hawks acquire talents such Devin Harris and Mike Bibby while the Bucks hold onto the status quo.
  • For more coverage of tonight's opponent, check out Need4Sheed, Detroit Bad Boys, and PistonsNationBlog.