Thursday, December 28, 2006

Waiting on the Pacers vs. Pistons

The Pacers make their first trip of the year to the Palace at Auburn Hills on Friday. The Pistons are coming off a crazy 3 OT loss to the Knicks and should be plenty hungry to get back to their winning ways. After starting out 3-5 in their first eight games, the Pistons have only lost 4 of their last 19 games to establish themselves as the class of the Eastern Conference. Here are some items to consider prior to the opening tip:

  • Here is Bruno's preview of Friday's game. He points out how the Pacers defense has improved of late, but since these are the Pacers and they appear to feel more comfortable hovering around the .500 mark, the offense has gone in the tank. Stephen Jackson took his turn with the weekly lament of the Pacers inconsistent play.
    "We can't keep trying to make up for losing games. We need to put some wins together because we're putting ourselves in a bad position. In order to change that, we have to start now.

    "We're not where we want to be. We're two games over .500 but we've got a lot of work to do. We've got to get guys healthy; it was definitely tough out there without (O'Neal). We've just got to keep grinding and get guys ready to play."

  • After the Pacers beat the Pistons at Conseco earlier this month, I mentioned the different feel to this Pistons team, lacking that 'Bad Boy' aura of the past. The glaring issue was the less than stellar play of the Pistons' front court, namely Nazr Mohammed and Antonio McDyess. Well, since playing the Pacers last, Jason Maxiell has emerged as a productive piece to the front court puzzle. Here is a Detroit Free Press article on how Flip Saunders is shuffling minutes depending on the situation and who is playing well.
  • Jermaine O'Neal should be back although he's still not fully recovered from whatever has been ailing him. I imagine he'll make every effort possible to show up at the Palace and take on his bud, Rasheed. Stephen Jackson missed practice yesterday to rest his knee. He'll definitely be playing on Friday.
  • Speaking of Sheed, if you want more information about what's going on with the Pistons, check out Need4Sheed and Detroit Bad Boys for everything you need to know about the Pistons, and more.

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