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The playoff push starts now: Favorable remaining schedule begins in Cleveland tonight

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers

Date: March 25,  2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 25-46

Cavs: 13-57

Probable starters

Pistons:

Cavs:

  • Ramon Sessions
  • Anthony Parker
  • Alonzo Gee
  • Samardo Samuels
  • J.J. Hickson

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons -1.5

Over/under: 200.5

Score: Pistons win, 101-99.5

Three things to watch

1. Bad final stretch for lottery position

The end of the season is near for the Pistons, but for fans hoping not to have a repeat of last year’s meaningless season-ending win streak that cost the Pistons a few lottery balls, the schedule isn’t going to cooperate. The Pistons play Cleveland (twice), Indiana (twice), Washington, New Jersey, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. The only games against good teams are against Boston and Chicago. Now, it’s sill to assume the Pistons are better than any of those bad teams I just listed, but it’s also totally feasible for the Pistons to win seven or eight of those 11 games, which is sure to provide plenty of fodder for the, "OMG! Stop winning meaningless games!" crowd. Relax, though, everyone. Last year, things worked out OK. The Pistons may slipped back in the draft, but still may have ended up with the second best player in the draft in Greg Monroe.

2. Stopping Ramon Sessions

There are no bright spots for the Cavs this season, but Sessions has finally got the chance at a full-time starting job, and he’s been pretty good. On top of that, he always shreds the Pistons. In eight games vs. Detroit in his career, Sessions is averaging nearly 18 points per game, his highest scoring average against any team.

3. Manny Harris still seeing time

For an undrafted free agent, Manny Harris has been a pretty sound fine for the Cavs. He’s probably not a future All-Star, but he at least looks like he’ll be a reliable backup in the NBA. He’s only shooting 39 percent on the season, but he started off in a pretty bad shooting slump, and his 38 percent 3-point shooting is a decent mark considering he hit that shot inconsistently at Michigan.

Pregame Reading

4 Comments

  • Mar 25, 20115:44 pm
    by Davey Kim

    Reply

    you have Cleveland with a 48-22 record.  this isn’t last year.  they’re 13-57.
    great website though.  read you guys everyday.

  • Mar 25, 20117:52 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    I think we are pretty locked into the 7th worst seed unless the nets catch us with their new point guard. Greg Monroe should have a great opportunity for a decent game here with their set of bigs.

  • Mar 26, 201112:04 am
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Patrick i am pretty sure i am in the group of hoping the pistons don’t win many more games this year so we can get some more lottery balls. We only got Monroe because Golden State didn’t want an non mobile big in Monroe or else we probably would of selected Ed Davis or Udoh. Anyways i am not going to apologize for not wanting any more meaningless wins this season because the NBA lottery system clearly rewards mediocrity for losing more games. If the lottery was today the pistons would be in 7th position with a 4.3% chance of the top pick with New Jersey 1.5 games behind them in 6th position with a 6.3% chance of the top pick. If NJ can overtake us that extra 3.0% could be the difference between getting Sullinger, Jones, Kanter or neither of them.
    30-42 Milwaukee (1.5%)
    28-44 LA Clippers* (2.8%) *traded to Cleveland
    25-47 Detroit (4.3%)
    23-48 New Jersey* (6.3%) *traded to Utah
    20-51 Toronto (8.8%)
    19-52 Sacramento (11.9%)
    17-54 Washington (15.6%)
    17-56 Minnesota (19.9%)
    14-57 Cleveland (25.0%)
     
    Pistons have 10 games left against:
    Pacers (H), Pacers, (A), Bulls (H), Celtics (A), Wizards (A), Nets (H), Bucks (H), Bobcats (A), Cavs (H), 76ers (A). I think we might win 5 of 10 at best & 3 of 10 at worst.


    New Jersey have 11 games left against:
    Atlanta (A), Rockets (H), Knicks (A), 76ers (A), Heat (H), T-Wolves (H), Pistons (A), Knicks (H), Raptors (A), Bobcats (H), Bulls (A). I think they could win between 4 or 5 of those games.
     
    The 6th or 7th pick might just come down to the game the pistons and nets play on April 6th. I really hate being in the position as a fan to hope your team loses a couple of extra games so they can hopefully gain a slightly better chance to improve the team through the draft. We lucked out with Monroe in last years draft but this one looks like it is going to be a lot weaker so the more balls we have in it the better.

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