Game Preview #33: Detroit Pistons @ San Antonio Spurs

That was fun, wasn't it? Just when you thought the Spurs were totally out of the game, they clawed their way back in, just to fall short at the end. I would have preferred to lose by double digits.

However, all is not lost - we have been playing well lately. The guys should have had enough time to recover, with fully rested legs. At least, let's hope so.

Someone gave me cookies over the holidays. In honor of me not having to bake, I give you this musical selection:


Now for the actual preview:

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Detroit Pistons @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: January 6, 2010; 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSN SW (San Antonio); NBA LP


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How They Stack Up
14-5 Home 8-8
6-7 Road 3-14
101.8
Offense 91.5
95.6 Defense 95.8
48.4 FG% 43.5
38.9
3-pt% 28.7
74.5
FT% 72.4
42.3
Rebounds 41.2
14.43
TOs 14.2
8-2 Last 10 0-10
Lost 1
Streak Lost 10
2nd, Southwest Position 4th, Central

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 10:30 PM
West Coast
5:30 PM
Philippines 9:30 AM
Central Europe 2:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 3:30 AM
East Coast 8:30 PM
Mountains
6:30 PM
Perth, AUS 9:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 10:30 AM
Sydney, AUS 11:30 AM

Spurs
(20-12)
Matchups

Pistons
(11-22)

Tony Parker
Wee Frenchman

Point Guard

Tony seems to be back to normal and singlehandedly kept us in the game against the Raptors. TP's stats are still below normal, but he's bouncing back. Stuckey still seems to be struggling replacing Billups. His 12.5 ppg and 4.1 apg are okay, but not at Tony's level.

Advantage: Spurs


Rodney Stuckey
Not Chauncey

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Manu Ginobili
The Chemist

Shooting Guard

Manu is playing the most minutes at this position, so he gets the head shot. Thank the FSM that Manu is finally playing to form. It would seem his lack of legs against the Raps was due to illness. Hopefully rest will cure that. Rip's ppg and shooting percentage(s) are down this year from his career averages. Manu has the more complete game, but has been ill. Hamilton is still more than capable of ripping the net, so it's a tie.

Advantage: Tied


Richard Hamilton
Face Mask

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Richard Jefferson
Rage

Small Forward

RJ is showing promise on both ends. He was one of the few that showed up against the Raps. Prince's offensive numbers are down this year (this is a theme with the Pistons), but he still has those long arms that make George look like an alligator. I'll give Jefferson the offensive end, and Prince the defensive end, resulting in a tie.

Advantage: Tied


Tayshaun Prince
Freakish Wingspan

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Tim Duncan
GOAT PUFF

Power Forward

It doesn't matter whether I put Timmeh at the 4 or the 5 - he's a better player than Maxiell, Wallace, Villanueva and Brown combined. However, tonight his counterpart will probably be Jerebko, a rookie averaging 8.7 ppg and 5.5 rpg. No matter how surprising Jonas' game has been, he's not Timmeh. The MSSW are finally starting to notice Duncan may not be washed up.

Advantage: Spurs


Jonas Jerebko
Unknown Swede

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DeJuan Blair
DeBeast

Center

Did you know that Yahoo! Sports still doesn't have a head shot of Blair? That's not acceptable. Tonight Blair meets the original undersized, rebounding center. However, Wallace is old, and Blair's got more offense. Both are atrocious FT shooters. Advantage goes to the young buck based on production per minute.

Advantage: Spurs


Ben Wallace
Headband Man

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George Hill
Ninja Bot

Bench & Role Players

George continues to show why RC and Pop drafted the unknown from IUPUI. Mason lit it up against his old team, pulling our fannies from the fire. And McDyess seems more acclimated from the bench. The majority of the bench minutes for the Pistons go to two chuckers - Gordon and Villanueva. BAM FTW!

Advantage: Spurs


Ben Gordon
Chucker

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Gregg Popovich
GOML

Coach

Once again, Pop's mind is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. I have no idea why he brought Timmeh off the bench, although that particular strategy didn't work in the last game. John Kuester has a reputation as an offensive mind, but the Pistons work on that end this year brings up a huge question mark. Pop may be crazy, but he's still better than a rookie.

Advantage: Spurs


John Kuester
Unknown Quantity
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

The Spurs are pretty good at home. The Pistons are very bad on the road and are in the midst of a very ugly losing streak.

Advantage: Spurs

Mojo

Although that loss to the Raptors was gut-wrenching, for once the Spurs are facing a team with less continuity. Both Hamilton and Prince have only played 7 games this season, due to injuries.

Advantage: Spurs

Winner: The Spurs

Everything lines up for a Spurs victory, but who knows.
Prediction: Spurs win.

Keys To The Game

  • Defense - The Pistons are not a great shooting team at this point. Now would not be the time to allow Detroit to bust out.
  • Offense - Against Toronto, the Spurs (excepting Tony) couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. The Spurs need to be aggressive early and drive to the hole if the jumpers aren't falling. A fast start would be nice.
  • FT Shooting - 16-27 (59.3%) from the line is not acceptable even for an 8th grade girls basketball team. Hope you've been working with Chip during the days off.

Strength of Schedule

This is a home game after two days of rest. This should help our guys get their legs back.

The Pistons are coming off of a close road loss to the Mavs. And this a road SEGABABA for them.

Last Time They Met

We haven't played Detroit yet this year. Our last meeting was last year in Detroit, which the Spur won 83-79. Tony had 19 points and 11 assists, which Timmeh topped with 18 points and 18 boards.

Here's the NBA TV recap:


Some Other Reading

Pistons

Detroit Bad Bays: The Pistons' SBN blog has a lot of content and game threads/previews rolled into one. And I love the name.
Piston Powered: The TrueHoop blog for Detroit. Good content and updated regularly, but the format is not so great.
Need4Sheed: Wow. Must read. Great content with a slick layout. Gotta check out the photos and screensavers.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: Best damn TrueHoop affiliate out there. Always a must visit Spurs site.
Project Spurs: Check out their regular podcasts. I think they love Manu as much as we do.

Twitter Musings

I was too tired to figure out the LOLs, but you can always find all the official Spurs Sports & Entertainment Twitter accounts here: http://twitter.com/spurs/official/members

Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired on FSN Southwest. If you have cable or satellite, you'll have to look up your individual channel. And of course, there's always League Pass for the haves. For the have nots, read on.

Online

As always, NBA League Pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Most Spurs games will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to dmenendez@gmail.com for more assistance.

NBA League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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