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Rodney Stuckey looks to stay hot against one-time scripted foe, Russell Westbrook

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons at Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Date: Jan. 23, 2012
  • Time: 8 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

  • Pistons: 4-13
  • Thunder: 13-3

Probable starters

Pistons:

Thunder:

  • Russell Westbrook
  • Thabo Sefolosha
  • Kevin Durant
  • Serge Ibaka
  • Kendrick Perkins

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +13.5

Over/under: 186.5

Score: Thunder win, 100-86.5

Three things to watch

1. Rodney Stuckey’s passion

Rodney Stuckey had his best game of the season against the Trail Blazers on Saturday, but he rarely shows supreme focus, drive and execution for two straight games.

Once upon a time, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com was certain Stuckey saw Russell Westbrook making the USA Select Team ahead of him as a slight. History hasn’t quite vindicated that opinion. Patrick and I recently debated whether Westbrook is one of the NBA’s top 10 players. I’m not convinced Stuckey belongs in the top 100.

If Stuckey has his competitive juices flowing tonight, I’ll be surprised – and pleased.

2. Greg Monroe vs. two good defenders

When players legitimately become offensive centerpieces, they often see opponents throw different types defenders at them throughout a game. Royce Young of Daily Thunder expects the physically imposing Kendrick Perkins and fleet-of-foot Serge Ibaka to each guard Monroe tonight. It will be a good test for Monroe as he moves toward becoming the focal point of the Pistons’ offense.

3. No sneaking

The Thunder are an elite team, but like all elite teams, they’re not invincible. A loss of focus, and even one of the NBA’s worst teams could beat them. Unfortunately for the Pistons, Oklahoma City already had its slipup – a loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, which was the Thunder’s only loss in their last nine games.

5 Comments

  • Jan 23, 20128:46 pm
    by Willie

    Reply

    I think Stuckey single handedly was the pistons offense in the first quater.  I saw the box when he had 9 points then a minute later the three was taken away.  Then a bad charge at the other end took a two away.   I’m sorry you don’t think Stuckey is in the top 100, that could come and bite you farely hard my friend.

    • Jan 23, 20128:55 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’m sure everyone hopes it does. But unfortunately, based on his body of work the last four years, if he’s in the top 100, he’s just barely there. ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS and NBC all did top 100 lists during the lockout. Stuckey only cracked the top 100 in a couple, and in those, it was in the 85-99 range.

  • Jan 23, 20129:35 pm
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    Stuckey is playing through pain and gettin buckets…no passion MY ASS lol honestly idc what anyone says I think right now Stuckey’s our best option, its too bad he has little to no help on the offensive end

  • Jan 23, 20129:58 pm
    by Willie

    Reply

    I think those others CBS, NBC who ever had it right.  65-85 range.  No one else has been attacking tonight, no bench depth.  Monore has 14 shots at the end of the third, that is too much especially against OKC bigs.  Of course not enough assists.  OKC is for sure top 2 ish.

    • Jan 23, 201210:45 pm
      by neutes

      Reply

      When you’re on a team this bad it’s not hard to look better than you are, you just have to look better than the rest of the crap to fool people.

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