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Tracy McGrady, now an Atlanta Hawk, returns to Detroit

Essentials

  • Teams: Atlanta Hawks at Detroit Pistons
  • Date: Jan. 27, 2012
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

  • Pistons: 4-15
  • Hawks: 13-6

Probable starters

Pistons:

Hawks:

  • Jeff Teague
  • Joe Johnson
  • Marvin Williams
  • Josh Smith
  • Zaza Pachulia

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +6

Over/under: 180.5

Score: Hawks win, 93.25-87.25

Three things to watch

1. Austin Daye

After his breakout game against the Heat on Wednesday, all eyes will be on Austin Daye tonight to see how he responds. The narrative that he ended his slump once his personal trainer flew to Detroit to work with him fits perfectly. Is it just a good story, a coincidental strong game for an otherwise weak player, or is Daye really back on track as a result of Joe Abunassar’s help? We’ll get a better idea tonight.

2. Another tough opponent

The Pistons interrupt their string of division-leading opponents – Thunder on Monday, Heat on Wednesday and 76ers tomorrow – with tonight’s game against the 13-6 Hawks. Yup, should be super easy.

3. Containing Joe Johnson

Matt Tanner of Hoopinion:

At this point it has become cliché to to rip on Joe Johnson and his max contract, and to start the season he was doing little to assuage the criticism. Johnson averaged 16.7 points per game through the first eleven with a healthy Al Horford, and while obviously a small sample size, it would have been his lowest average as a Hawk if he continued at that pace.

Since Horford went down however, Johnson has upped his scoring average to 22 points per game and has been demonstrably more of a leader on the court. Watching Johnson play like Robin when we want so desperately for him to be Batman has always been maddening, but perhaps the Horford injury will force him to seize the spotlight. (And yes, I know that is quite possibly the biggest reach at a silver lining in the history of silver linings).

That was written before Johnson struggled against the Spurs on Wednesday, but I’d guess Johnson is eying the opportunity to get back on track against a porous defense. The onus will likely be on Rodney Stuckey to stop him.

14 Comments

  • Jan 27, 20128:04 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Take a good look at Stuckey’s three with 4 minutes to go in the first and ask yourself if his three point jumper ever looked that smooth in seasons past whether it went in or not.   His jumper just looks different and more effortless.
    There was a post in the earlier thread that detailed that he is taking less long 2s.  Long 2s are generally considered the worst shot in basketball and taking more 3s as well as playing less PG should account for at least some of the difference.

  • Jan 27, 20128:09 pm
    by Shane

    Reply

    The big question is what will Daye be like tonight? Will he play well like last game or will he revert to his old self

  • Jan 27, 20128:39 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    I see Maxiell has got himself a shooting coach too. Good for him!

  • Jan 27, 20128:40 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Well, Daye didn’t score in the first half, but he made a couple of nice passes and more importantly didn’t look lost out there.
    Gotta say; I like the backcourt lately with no BG.

    • Jan 27, 20128:41 pm
      by Shane

      Reply

      Same but it looked like Tmac abused Daye when they were matched up LOL

  • Jan 27, 20128:57 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Yeah and he fouled prior to an inbound but I don’t want to pick him apart.  The main thing is that he is competing and isn’t pushing things  the way he did earlier.

  • Jan 27, 20129:03 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Hey, what player did they say lived his entire playing career in a hotel?

  • Jan 27, 20129:13 pm
    by Tangen

    Reply

    Anyone seen Prince? Is he hurt?

  • Jan 27, 20129:29 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Maxiell is answering the haters tonight—that was some foul/block on Josh Smith.

  • Jan 27, 20129:34 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Daye for three!   Did Blaha actually say earlier, “Jonas tomorrow for the Pistons vs….”?

  • Jan 27, 20129:50 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Teague went down a while back and you can see Heinrich sucking wind after just coming back.

  • Jan 27, 20129:59 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Tough turnover by Stuck and just an unbelievable shot by JJohnson.

  • Jan 27, 201210:07 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Shame to have everything collapse in OT.

  • Jan 27, 201210:09 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    For all the good Maxiell did tonight he wasted it by leaving Zaza Pachulia open 3-4 times for easy dunks
     

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