Game 12 in the series to be known as the Trail of Shrugged Shoulders, brings the Detroit Pistons to Time Warner Cable Arena. These two teams are, well, they aren’t good, Russ. Over their last 12 combined games, these teams are 1-11. 1012-1187, 84.3-98.9, 14.6. That string of numbers is basically saying each team is horrible. Over each team’s 6 games, including the lone win (by the Bobcats over the Knicks), the teams are collectively behind by 14.6 points per game.
Tonight, one team breaks a 5 game losing streak, the other, continues their 6 game losing streak. That’s right, I’m predicting a Bobcats win. I don’t know why, really, the Pistons have some players I’d consider better than the Bobcats. Greg Monroe, Ben Gordon….wait. Name me 3 more Pistons, without looking. Yeah, Bobcats win. Greg Monroe is having a hell of a year. No one gives him credit except the geeks, because he doesn’t make Sportscenter and he’s still on a bad team. Manu Ginobili, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Greg Monroe, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Corey Brewer, Ryan Anderson, Kevin Love, Ok Hollinger’s PER isn’t failsafe, but it is a good berometer. So is BAsketball-Reference.com’s Win Shares Per 48, 13th on the list on a team with very few wins.
Brandon Knight has started the last 5 games for the Pistons. The second best point guard in the draft is averaging 12.2 points, which is good, but 2.7 assists and 3.4 turnovers, which is not so good. The Pistons still have Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace leftover from their run of good years, but they’re both a shell of their former selves. It seems like every player the Pistons have added since that run of Eastern Conference Championship games and that one Championship that validated every hiring of Larry Brown, hasn’t worked out. I don’t know if that means Joe Dumars is a bad judge of talent or if these guys somehow get bad once they get to Detroit. Charlie Villanueva was suspended for the first 4 games of the year and no has a sprained ankle, he’s scored 0 points in 6 minutes. Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum are still there, and they’ve each had strong games against the Bobcats in he past, but are, again, shells of their former selves.
So, the Pistons are an old bad team with young guys sprinkled in. The Bobcats are a young bad team with a few older guys sprinkled in. One way or another, one team will end a long losing streak tonight. One team will be 3-9 and the other 2-10. It’s an early battle for the most ping-pong balls in next year’s draft lottery. CATCH THE EXCITEMENT!