Game Preview: Phoenix Suns (49-26) Vs. Detroit Pistons (23-51)

Tonight, the Phoenix Suns go for their 10th win in a row versus the lowly Detroit Pistons in Mo Town. While the Suns have been doing what it takes to win on this road trip (and not necessarily in dominating fashion), the Pistons have been doing what it takes to lose, as they look to avoid a 10-game losing streak tonight.

Detroit's last debacle was against the Miami, a game they lost by 17 points (98-81). Disappointed Pistons coach John Kuester had this to say afterward:

"I don't think a lot of young guys understood the opportunity that they were presented. They need to take advantage of those situations."

 The Pistons obviously are holding end of season tryouts for their youngsters, as Jonas Jerebko, DaJuan Summers, and Austin Daye all saw significant action in the Miami game, while elders such as Charlie Villanueva and Chuckie Atkins sat on the pine. There's obviously a problem when Kwame Brown takes your minutes, and I can understand Villanueva's confusion/frustration at watching the Big Empty play in front of you (see link below for more on that situation).

 Master of the Obvious Commentary:

On paper this shouldn't be too difficult of a match up for the Suns. Yes Stuckey, Gordon, and Prince can play, but the Suns are the Suns and have no business losing this game. The question is one of motivation. The Suns are nearing the end of a 5 game East Coast road trip and are probably a smidge tired. And getting jacked up to face the likes of New Jersey and Detroit probably isn't easy for a squad on the verge of 50 wins. But this is no time to let up-on anyone. Further, the veteran Suns squad should be thinking about putting up big early numbers so they can rest up for the MIlwaukee game, which will no doubt be a tough one. Not to mention, the WC standings, which are certainly not settled, especially with the Nugs victory over the Blazers last night. On the other side, it appears that the Pistons have mailed it in. But if you're a youngster on that squad, you're playing for a job next season, and embarrassing a veteran-laden Western Conference squad on a 9 game win streak is an excellent opportunity for you.

Pistons Numbers:

Points
Richard Hamilton: 18.1

Rebounds
Ben Wallace: 9.0

Assists
Rodney Stuckey: 4.9

PPG:      93.5 (29th NBA)
FG%:      35.7 (27th NBA)
3-PT%:  35.7 (30th NBA)
RBPG:   40.8 (23rd NBA)
FT%:      72.3 (29th NBA)

 What You May or May Not Know:

  • The Suns last won 9 or more consecutive games from Dec 29, 2006 through January 28, 2007 during a franchise record 17-game winning streak.
  • The Suns went 12-2 in March and are an NBA-best 18-4 since the All-Star break
  • The Suns' 12 wins in March marks their second 12-win month of the season (November), and marks only the 3rd time in the last 17 seasons that the Suns have totaled multiple 12-win months in a single season. (Of course these all occurred with Stevie Nash in town as a Sun (2004-5, 2006-7) 
  • The Suns have won the last three meetings with Detroit by an average of 18.0 points
  • The Suns are an NBA-best 18-4 since the All-Star break

Quotable:

Alvin Gentry:

"I think we've been playing great, it's just usually if you have a run like that, you put yourself in a pretty good situation and you have separation...And the only one we've separated ourselves from is the fact that we're going to make the playoffs."

  Charlie Villanueva:

"I don't know what is going on. No one has said anything to me...All I can do is go out there, play if they put me in the game and cheer on my teammates if they don't."

 Devin Harris (on the Suns):

"You know they're going to make runs. They just made one at the beginning of the third quarter. There is no way we can challenge them when they put up 38 in a quarter. I thought we played them pretty well for three quarters but they got too much of a head start in the third quarter."


Paul Coro: Jared Dudley gaining followers via twitter

Detroit Bad Boys: Charlie Villanueva controversy

Suns vs Pistons coverage

Suns vs Pistons preview

Detroit Bad Boys

 

Other Links

Pistons' Charlie Villanueva miffed by long stay on bench | detnews.com | The Detroit News
On Thursday, Villanueva said he was surprised by not playing at all against Miami on Wednesday and added the he hasn't yet received a direct explanation from coach John Kuester.

The Pyrrhic Western Conference Playoffs - SLC Dunk
NBA fans should enjoy these playoffs as each of these 8 teams will be fighting (on mostly) equal footing. Whomever is lucky enough to win the West will have the added pressure of representing such a strong conference -- but also have the disadvantage of having to get to the finals through, essentially, Mordor. (No Toronto Raptors or Miami Heat in the West Playoffs) Whomever wins the west will have won three Pyrrhic victories to get there. In reality being a Western Conference Playoff team is the victory, itself. Everything else is just madness. (not of the March variety)

KTAR.com - Suns, Mavericks to play in 3rd NBA game outdoors
The NBA will return outdoors when the Phoenix Suns play host to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, October 9 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.

Phoenix Suns' Robin Lopez in good spirits despite injury, twin brother says
"It was just the way he played," Brook said. "He loved blocking shots and all that. I like scoring the ball a lot, so that's how it worked out. We still have a lot of strengths, but I guess it was a way to differentiate us besides the hair." Some who knew the twins, who turn 22 Thursday, or scouted them felt Robin could ultimately be better. "I totally agree," Brook said. "I think he can be a great player in the league. He's definitely going to keep working at it."

What’s going on in town? " Channing Frye's Blog
Hey, I was curious what kinda festivals, etc. are going on in Phoenix or Portland. I like to keep up on stuff like that just in case I get an extra day off or my friends or readers are bored one day. Let me know what's going on.

The Official Phoenix Suns Blog " Blog Archive " The Toughest Guy Named Robin
So, in the greater scheme of things, Robin Lopez fits right in as a Suns tough guy. And he’s only going to get better, he’s only going to get more chances, and he’s only going to get tougher. And he’s going to make the Suns tougher along with him, because hustle, attitude and even muscle can be infectious. This Robin may be a little big for a Boy Wonder, but it’s the kind of big Suns fans are happy to live with.

Lakers Dine on Another Slice of FAILcake - Silver Screen and Roll
This headline made me smile...

Orlando Magic Are Peaking at the Right Time, For Whatever That's Worth - Orlando Pinstriped Post
A quick look at just how well the Orlando Magic played in March, and how far they've come in a very short period of time.

Kevin Garnett Does Not Approve of Kevin Durant\'s Superstar Calls - Eric Freeman - The Baseline - Sporting News
Cry me a river....It should be no surprise to learn that Kevin Garnett is a really intense guy. He spends most of every game yapping at teammates and opponents on the court, often with foul language, and when his team loses, he takes it very hard.

The best 10-year-old hoops player in the U.S.? -- chicagotribune.com
Not Suns related, but always interesting to watch the dedication of up and coming hoopsters. Jaylin Fleming, a fifth-grader at Beasley Academic Center in Chicago, is regarded by some as the most talented basketball player his age in the country.

The Revenge of Steve Nash: Suns 111, Bulls 105 " By The Horns
Good article comparing Derrick Rose, the rising star, and Steve Nash, the former MVP. "Steve Nash gave D-Rose a lesson in fourth quarter heroics last night". You go, Steve.

NBA Playoff Simulations - National Basketball Association - ESPN
See how the NBA playoffs would play out with AccuScore's simulations on ESPN.com.

 

2nd try baby!!!

Playoff_predictor_medium

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