The Mavericks will try for their third five-game winning streak of the season tonight against the Detroit Pistons. The Mavs split their meetings with the Pistons last season and Detroit was one of only three Eastern Conference teams to beat the Mavs. Their next and final meeting of the season against Detroit is February 3.
Tops, yet again
It seems like every year that the Pistons get the short end of the preseason predictions on winning their division, and every year they respond by winning their division, sometimes by a large margin. They've won three straight Central division titles and are well on their way to winning their fourth and currently hold a nine-game lead. The trendy pick to win the Central, the Chicago Bulls, are 12 games back.
The children are our future
The Pistons have undergone very few major changes over the last few years. They let Ben Wallace walk to the Bulls for an exorbitant contract, and that was really their only major change. They haven't made any big free-agent splashes, and they have drafted smart and retained the players that needed to be retained. President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars has made many shrewd moves to keep the Pistons from aging and has put talented youngsters Jason Maxiell, Jarvis Hayes, Rodney Stuckey and Aaron Afflalo in place to help the Pistons retain depth for the long haul and compliment their current core. For the most part, they have held on to their draft picks over the last several years, and that has certainly paid off and will continue to pay dividends for years to come.
As efficient as it gets
Coach Flip Saunders has the reputation for lacking on coaching defense, but the Pistons aren't showing any signs of that being true. Since Saunders arrived in 2005, the Pistons have ranked third in 2005-06, second last season and second this season in defense. They also don't commit many turnovers and are first in the league in the category for the third consecutive season. They are fifth in field-goal percentage and sixth in three-point percentage. Bottom line: they are efficient, and make very few mistakes. If the Mavs want to stay with them, they'll need to exploit theie rebounding edge over the Pistons and keep up with the Pistons guards.
- Rasheed Wallace and company wish you a Merry Christmas.
- Learn from the master.
- Jason Maxiell will chew you up. Rasheed's reaction at the end of this is classic.
Random useless fact
Rasheed Wallace is from Philadelphia and is a fan of the Phillies and Flyers, but not the Eagles. He's a Chiefs fan. At least he has a little taste.
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd