Game Preview: Spurs vs Pistons

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Gimpy Spurs Overcome the Young Pistons?

San Antonio Spurs vs Detroit Pistons

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
March 3, 2013, 6:00 PM Spurs Time
V: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

Sunday night basketball time, as the Detroit Pistons come to San Antonio to play the Spurs. When last these two teams met, the Pistons were thought to be able to make a push for the number 8 seed in the East...but that was not to be. Future all-star Andre Drummond is hurt, and with that injury the Pistons playoff hopes went out the window. That's not to say, though, that the game will be a walk in the park: the Pistons managed to beat the Spurs during the Rodeo Road Trip, mostly behind hot shooting from "Chunky" Charlie Villaneuva, the dominance of Duncan-ish big man Greg "Moose" Monroe, and a solid all around game from Brandon Knight. This Detroit team is maddeningly inconsistent. They play their toughest against the top teams, and seem to play down to their competition against other standing cellar dwellers. I suppose that's one of the problems that goes along with rebuilding a young team.

Speaking of young, while I've already mentioned Monroe and Knight, the player I'd recommend paying extra attention to is swing man Kyle Singler. After starting most of the season at shooting guard next to Brandon Knight, since the acquisition of Jose Calderon, Singler has been playing his more natural position of small forward. At 6'8, he's got the size to play either the 3 or as a small ball 4, but is still quick enough to cover shooting guards if the situation calls for it. Much like Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, he'll make an impact but you won't notice until you look at the box score. Look for him to put up 10-15 points in a relatively efficient manner, play solid defense, and grab any loose ball he can get his hands on.

Also, in case you haven't heard, Tony Parker had to have his foot amputated, and is expected to miss the remainder of his career. Actually, he's out for probably the next four weeks with a pretty severe ankle sprain. Get well soon, Tony, we need you back. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see who starts at point guard and how the injury effects the rotations.The Spurs have Patty Mills, Gary Neal, and Nando de Colo all somewhat capable of running the offense. Neal, though, is doubtful with a calf strain. Patty is the most similar player to Tony in regards to quickness and penetrating ability. Nando, though, is the best distributor of the three. Also available, and the player who I suspect will see some serious playing time, is Corey Joseph. Joseph is probably the most sound defender of the three, is capable of running the offense, but offers probably the least scoring punch out of the available options. In spite of that, look for him to scratch his way into the rotation for the next three weeks. With Jackson and Diaw also likely out, expect lots of three guard lineups featuring Nando and Manu playing on the wing.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Patty Mills
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
Manu Ginobili
Nando De Colo
Blair/Bonner/Joseph

Head Coach
Pop

Lineups

Starters
PG: Jose Calderon
SG: Brandon Knight
SF: Kyle Singler
PF: Greg Monroe
C: Jason Maxiell

Key Bench Players
Rodney Stuckey
Jonas Jerebko
Will Bynum


Head Coach

Lawrence Frank

Pistons perspective can be found here: Detroit Bad Boys

Game Prediction: Spurs by 6.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game 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.

Get your San Antonio Spurs tickets here!

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