Teams: Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons
Date: Feb. 22, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus
- Kyle Lowery
- Kevin Martin
- Shane Battier
- Luis Scola
- Chuck Hayes
Las Vegas projection
Spread: Pistons +1.5
Score: Rockets win, 101.5-100
Three things to watch
1. The Rockets aren’t defending shooters well.
Houston allowed the 76ers to shoot 55 percent from the field in the Rockets’ last game before the All-Star break. They also allowed the Mavericks to hit 55 percent in a loss Feb. 12. The Pistons are a team capable of shooting a high percentage on jumpers against teams that don’t close out on shooters well. Detroit is a pretty easy team to defend. They have a pattern this season — put a hand in the face of their shooters, and chances are they are going to miss shots and aren’t going to work for better ones. The Pistons live and die with the perimeter game, but have looked good on a few occasions this season against teams like Houston that sometimes play lax perimeter defense.
2. Shane Battier or Tayshaun Prince?
It’s not secret Prince wouldn’t mind playing for a contender. But his biggest competition in that regard might be the availibility of Battier. Both are looked at as good complimentary players who defend, are comfortable in secondary roles and are versatile. Battier is probably a little better defensively. Prince is probably a little better offensively. Battier is a tad cheaper. There are only a handful of teams looking for an expensive veteran role player to rent for half a season. If a team lands Battier this week, that’s one less suitor for Prince, and vice versa.
3. Size advantage in the backcourt.
With McGrady and Stuckey as the starting backcourt, the Pistons have a significant size advantage over Houston’s Lowery-Martin combo. And even Aaron Brooks off the bench is on the slight side. The Pistons should be able to use both McGrady and Stuckey in the post some, at least early. McGrady has always been comfortable with his back to the basket and that part of Stuckey’s game is better this season than it has been in the past. Since the team lacks a post presence, with apologies to Monroe, who gets most of his buckets off of cutting and moving without the ball, Detroit’s best bet to get points inside should be posting up the guards.
- Jacob Mustafa of Red94 discusses why Boston is a poor trading partner for Houston (and Detroit for that matter)
- The Basketball Jones had by far the best All-Star Weekend coverage of any news outlet
- Terry Foster is still talking playoffs
- Will pride motivate the Pistons?
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