|4:30 PM Pacific / 7:30 PM Eastern|
|TV: MY45 HD, NBA League Pass|
|Steve Nash||PG||Chauncey Billups|
|Raja Bell||SG||Rip Hamilton|
|Grant Hill||SF||Tyshaun Prince|
|Amare Stoudemire||PF||Antonio McDyess|
|Shaquille O'Neal||C||Rasheed Wallace|
The Pistons are one of the biggest enigmas in the association. They beat the Spurs, Hornets and Nuggets in three straight games and then drop the next two to the Cavs and Wizards. When they decide to show up and play they are clearly a top team and I would fully expect them to show up tonight. Unless they don't.
The strength of this Pistons team is its experience playing together and their depth and versatility. They bring solid players off the bench in Jarvis Hayes and Jason Maxile along with a handful of others. The Suns play a tight 8 man rotation while the Pistons spread the minutes among about 10 different players.
The Billups/Hamilton backcourt leads the team in PPG at 17 each and then Rasheed and Prince come in at 13 a piece.
They are known for a slow down effecient offense that uses the clock and doesn't turn the ball over. They make you play D for 20+ seconds. But as we saw here and here they can run up the score fast if you give them opportunities. And of course they are a great defensive team.
srp's Key's to Fantastic Achievement
- Start fast. The Suns have done a great job lately getting off to solid starts and in this game it's critical. If the Suns can jump this Piston's team that played last night and build an early lead we might be treated to fewer annoying "deeeeeeetroit basketbaaaal" cheers. And we might just convince Sheed to save his energy for their next game.
- Pound the middle. The Pistons don't have a traditional center other then the player best known for his "expiring contract". The smaller Detroit front line will try and exploit Shaq by pulling him from the basket and on the other end The Deisel needs to abuse their much smaller front line players.
- Make their guards drive. Neither Billups or Hamilton are known as drive and finish type guards. Nash and Raja need to play these guys tight and work hard to fight through screens to prevent them getting open looks. Make them put the ball on the floor and create or drive. Nash and Bell really should focus on D and let Amare and Shaq carry the scoring load.
- Contain their bench. Boris and GG need prevent Hayes and Maxile (or Afflalo and Amir Johnson) from getting hot. I don't think we need a ton of offensive production as much as preventing their guys from doing too much damage.
While I understand why some consider this a "Must Win" for us to avenge the Sunday Masacre and prove ourselves against the best. I don't think I will be too disappointed with a loss as long as the game is close. Let's hope the team doesn't feel like me and they come out guns blazing. I think they will.
Suns win 105 - 97
I am not sure of TexSuns' live blogging situation for this game. Have fun with it either way!
With the early start here in the PHX, I will be watching about 3 hours delayed so don't except to hear much from me until late tonight w/ the recap.
I will also be looking for a post-game summary from MichiganSunsFan who will be representing BSoS at The Palace!