- Teams: Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers
- Date: Jan. 28, 2012
- Time: 7 p.m.
- Television: Fox Sports Detroit
- Pistons: 4-16
- Sixers: 13-6
- Jrue Holiday
- Jodie Meeks
- Andre Iguodala
- Elton Brand
- Tony Battie
Las Vegas projection
Spread: Pistons +14.5
Score: Sixers win, 96.5-82
Three things to watch
1. Can they score at the rim?
In a double-digit loss at Philadelphia earlier this month, the Pistons got plenty of shots near the basket, they just struggled to finish them. In tonight’s game, one of the Philadelphia players who bothered a lot of those shots, Spencer Hawes, is out of the lineup, so that should remove one obstacle. Still, Philly has a lot of length on its front line and the Pistons will need to take advantage of opportunities inside to have any chance.
2. Can they score from the perimeter?
The other issue in the previous meeting between these teams was Detroit’s horrible 3-point shooting. The Pistons shot 0-for-10 from distance, and many of those shots were good, open looks. With Austin Daye‘s shot seemingly straightened out, hopefully the Pistons are a bit more successful from outside tonight.
3. Matching the potent Philly bench
Philadelphia has several players having good seasons, but surprisingly, their leading scorer is sixth man Lou Williams. Williams averages nearly 16 a game off the Philadelphia bench. Thad Young is averaging 12.3 points per game as a reserve and Evan Turner is right on the verge of giving Philly three double figures scorers of its bench at 9.9 points per game.
Bench play has been a weakness for the Pistons most of the season, but with Daye’s improved shooting over the last two games as well as Jason Maxiell‘s re-emergence as a living, breathing NBA player and the energy that Jonas Jerebko and Walker Russell provide, the Philly bench vs. Detroit bench shouldn’t be nearly the mismatch it would’ve been a couple weeks ago.
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