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Game Thread: Bucks/Pistons

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Is a haircut The Answer to a Spike in production?  (image via Ross D. Franklin / AP)

vs.

 
26-29 (10-20 road)

27-24 (14-13 home)
February 17, 2009 - 6:30PM CT
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Radio: 620 WTMJ   TV: FS Wisconsin

Probable starters:

Ramon Sessions PG Rodney Stuckey
Charlie Bell* SG Allen Iverson
Richard Jefferson SF Tayshaun Prince
Charlie Villanueva PF  Antonio McDyess
Francisco Elson C  Rasheed Wallace
104.6 (17th) Off

103.8 (20th)

104.3 (12th) Def 104.3 (13th)
94.3 (14th) Pace 89.7 (29th)
28.8 (6th) OReb 26.3 (18th)
74.2 (12th) DReb  73.7 (15th)

08/09 Series:

Nov. 28: @Pistons 107 Bucks 97

Dec. 27: Pistons 87 @Bucks 76

Feb. 7: Pistons 126 @Bucks 121 OT

Injuries

Bucks: Michael Redd is out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL. Andrew Bogut is out with a stress fracture in his lower back. Luke Ridnour is out with a broken thumb.

Pistons: Rasheed Wallace is probable with knee tendinitis.

Three Points

  • Head-to-headache. This is a case where head-to-head matchups have proven quite pivotal, and pitiful for Milwaukee's matter. As you'll note in the standings, the Bucks are three games back of the Motown boys. And as you probably noticed above, the Pistons have won all three head-to-head contests to date. Not a whole lot separating these two -- except when they play each other. Interestingly, the Bucks also have a positive point differential (+14) this year, while the Pistons (-21) do not.
  • Best in midwest? Are there any teams in the league that could have a more contentious debate about who is the top player than Milwaukee and Detroit? Before the injuries (and injuries and injuries and...), Andrew Bogut led votes among BrewHoopers, but there were certainly those in the Michael Redd and Richard Jefferson camps before the year. Among actives, Charlie Villanueva has asserted himself as the go-to guy, but Ramon Sessions is making a pretty good case for himself, and Jefferson can't be too far off in the discussion without the big two (or can he?). Meanwhile in Detroit, it was Allen Iverson who made the All-Star team but he also was pinpointed by many as the least deserving. Rasheed Wallace is still unguardable when on, and Richard Hamilton is pretty tough to keep track of when he's on the court, which doesn't seem to be often enough. Then again, Tayshaun Prince is the defensive ace and probably the best two-way Piston. And I'm guessing there is a Rodney Stuckey cult.
  • Drive slow. You wouldn't think so based on the last game these two played (126-121 in OT), or based on that them having the jet quick Iverson/Hamilton and an agile, three-point shooting center, but... the Pistons are generally slow to move. They have the second slowest pace in the NBA, averaging under 90 possessions per game. To illustrate that point, a full 21 % of Detroit's shots are attempted 21 seconds or later in the shot clock, compared to 10 % for Milwaukee. The Bucks have successfully pushed the pace since injuries depleted their roster so it will be interesting to see how quickly tis game moves.

Coverage:

Bucks.com / Detroit Bad Boys / Need 4 Sheed / PistonsNationBlog / MLive