Charlotte Bobcats at Detroit Pistons preview 1/13
If you take the win % of Charlotte and add it to the % of games won by Detroit you get .997. Does that mean these two teams that will face each other tomorrow night at the Palace of Auburn Hill are polar opposites? Charlotte at .368 and Detroit at .629, ummm I'm going to have to go with yes? Is yes the right answer? Well lets look at the history: Charlotte is 4-12 all time against the Pistons, not the worst but close to it. The biggest most obvious angle is Larry Brown's history, but that goes for about a third of the league as well. Brown had largest success in Detroit. He found a group of guys who bought into what he wanted to do: play defense, pass the ball, find the open man, don't take stupid shots. He turned his 5 starters into All-Stars and the whole team into Champions. Larry was only there for 2 years but he came in and made it work. 54-28 both years and trips to the Finals both years...but those were not his best years, except for the one outcome in the Finals. Anyway, Larry returns to his last coaching job. What? You think I forgot one? I didn't. The stint "under" Isiah doesn't count. Usually Detroit jumps out to an early lead and sits on us like a mean older brother. If we fight back they start to hock loogies in our face, that loogie is usually Rasheed Wallace.
Rasheed is one of the most abrasive players in the NBA. Dude has gotten under more people's skin that Buffalo Bill. Technical fouls come this guy's way like ladies to The Beagle. I can't stand the guy. The attitude, the whining, the faces, the missing spot of hair on the back of his head, did i say attitude? Also, he hits shots when it matters and much like the last game in Charlotte, tells everyone to shut up.
I hate you Rasheed Wallace and you know what? There were wayy, waaaayay, too many cheers out of the Charlotte crowd there. If you're a Walmart Carolina fan and love Rasheed because of where he played his college ball, you can go ahead and shave that spot on your head just like he's got. (No dig on Walmart or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or even their basketball program but blind love for a guy like Sheed makes me sick) I got no love for you, as a Bobcats' fan, if you cheer for Rasheed. He's a jerk and he plays for "the bad guys." True enough when Detroit won their Championship, there was no team in Charlotte and I was rooting for them as a team who, wait for it...."played the right way." Really, I was cheering for Larry Brown's system. I couldn't stand Larry at the time because of the drama that surrounded his exit from Philadelphia, How the entrance to Detroit seemed all about him and how he was the face of that franchise. I came around after watching them play and nailing that coffin on the Kobe/Shaq Lakers shut.
So, wrap this up...who am I Michener? So going in, no real streaks, Detroit coming off a loss to Utah, where they got beat in almost every quarter. And Charlotte comes in after a win against the truly hapless, completely lowly Wizards. No runs there. Charlotte is on the road for the 3rd straight game but I don't know the travel, I mean did they come home between Saturday at Washington and Tuesday at Detroit? I think it bodes well that Charlotte almost came all the way back and won, almost, with Diaw and Bell seeing their first action in Charlotte. I also think the match-ups are looking pretty umm, okish for the Bobcats, assuming a couple things: 1) that Ray Felton doesn't let the trade talk affect him, or doesn't get traded before tomorrow night. 2) that Gerald and Larry can get along. The 'Cats will need his scoring with DJ and one of the white guys out. That was mean, I'm sorry Matt but dude, you're killing me lately. Sad to see anyone hurt but there's only so much standing in the corner I can watch. DJ presents a bit of a match-up problem, just based on speed and bodies. I almost forgot Allen Iverson is playing for Detroit now, Not good to forget something so big in a preview but hey, what was I saying? AI gets to the rim and gets foul calls. The only guys we have that are quick enough to guard him that are healthy are 'lil Sean and Raymond, and Ray's health, mental and physical, is in question right now.
Like all the games, this is why they throw that ball in the air to start, no one has the advantage that way, it's all about how things shake out. We shall see, and we'll see how these two big dilemmas I glazed over in the last paragraph shake out as well.