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Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva – UPDATE: and Tracy McGrady for Rodney Stuckey – will start for Detroit Pistons against New Orleans Hornets

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons vs. New Orleans Hornets

Date: Dec. 19, 2010

Time: 6 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus

Records

Pistons: 8-19

Hornets: 16-10

Probable starters

Pistons:

Hornets:

  • Chris Paul
  • Marco Belinelli
  • Trevor Ariza
  • David West
  • Emeka Okafor

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +4.5

Over/under: 184.5

Score: Hornets win, 94.5-90

Three things to watch

1. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva starting

John Kuester said the starting lineup would be a game-time decision today, according to Chris Iott. I don’t think Iott is blindly guessing when he says Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva will start.

This is the move everyone has been clamoring for – and part of what Patrick called for Friday. I think it’s time, too. Obviously we’ll be keeping a close eye on those two. Is Villanueva the missing piece for the starting lineup? Will Gordon look like himself again?

I’m also extremely curious how Richard Hamilton will take the news.

UPDATE: Tracy McGrady will also start in place of an injured Rodney Stuckey, according to Keith Langlois. And it turns out Hamilton is sick, according to Iott.

2. Pride?

Do the Pistons have any pride? The way they played against the Clippers on Friday and the Hornets 11 days ago suggests no. They have to know what fans think of them after that Clippers loss, and they couldn’t have forgotten about the Hornets loss already.

3. Hornets’ focus

Speaking of pride, Michael McNamara of Hornets247.com alerted me to an interesting trend.

The Hornets are just 1-3 on Sundays. Although two of those losses came to the Spurs, neither was close. The Hornets’ loss to the 76ers wasn’t close, either. And New Orleans’ win came by just four points over the Kings.

As Pistons fans should know, Sunday losses might not be a coincidence.

Pregame Reading

4 Comments

  • Dec 19, 20106:04 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    personally i would have stuck with monroe and wallace up front for a little while, because i don’t think monroe’s been a problem, and there’s something appealing about villanueva coming off the bench behind two guys who make legitimate sense as a starting point guard. but my hunch is that starting villa will soften the blow (uh, a little) to rip.
     
    so, mixed feelings about villa starting so soon, but he did come off the bench after an atrocious start and hit two threes to make it almost look like a ball game. kelser said something like, “charlie was sitting there on the bench thinking, ‘hey coach, i got what you need!’” like there was something cute about it. but there’s nothing cute about any of this. and now there’s the little matter of the bench. joe dumars, idiot that he is, his plan of going to the bench with no drop-off is dead. not much firepower left behind these guys.
     
    now i see stuckey is injured too. so t-mac is starting. love to see this stick, with stuckey coming off the bench. god knows the bench will need his scoring with ben and villa starting.
     
    the good news: we’re moving on with this mess and doing something i’ve advocated for a while. the bad news: rip’s not getting traded. ever.
     
    as for sunday games, the philly game was a noon start. take that as you will, but it was a noon game.

  • Dec 19, 20106:05 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    haha “starting point guard” should have read “starting front court.” it’s been a long weird weekend.

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  • Dec 19, 20106:11 pm
    by BIG MARV

    Reply

    Wait a min Blaha Just said stuckey out with a sore big toe and rip out with a sour stomach! LMAO… can we say that they just got Benched! yeah rip is sick alright sick of this team

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