Nightly wrap up + Spurs at Pistons preview

Steve Francis kicks courtside photographer
Oh, that's good. I haven't seen the clip yet, so I can't comment on possible severities of suspensions. But as is repeatedly noted around the web, the Worm got 11 games for this sort of thing about eight years back. Normally I'd expect similar punishment, but with what happened on old November 19th, it'll probably be more severe. Orlando has 17 games left, I wouldn't be shocked if he has all of them off. So much for the chances of the Magic making the playoffs.

Bulls 94, 76ers 88
You'd think Iverson committing 11 turnovers, Rodney Rogers starting, Othella Harrington scoring 24 points on 10-15 shooting and shooting 27-76 from the field as a team (35.5%) would add up to more than a six point loss for Philly, but I guess not. Funny how things work sometimes. What is up with the 76ers? I realize Webber's been having trouble as of late, but you'd think a lineup of Iverson, Iguodala, Korver, Webber and Dalembert would be effective. I figured after the Webber trade that they'd be in trouble in a year or two because of Webber's likely upcoming decline, but that they'd explode head this year. Somehow, the Celtics add one of the biggest wastes of money in the league (that's Antoine Walker, though I must say he's been extremely hot since returning home) and are now roaring ahead on a spurt of now eleven wins in twelve games since adding him. Those two are strange, I already mentioned the Raptors' troubles last night, Zeke got rid of Nazr Mohammed for a late first rounder plus an overpaid stiff and the Nets think they're dangerous with a frontcourt of Cliff Robinson and Nenad Krstic. Logic doesn't seem to exist in the Atlantic division anymore.

Wizards 96, Jazz 95
AK47 is overly dominant, his teammates most play terribly and the Jazz get snubbed. Where have I seen this before? His line goes something like 6-9 from two, 1-3 from three, 13-17 from the line, 7 boards, 6 assists, 3 steals, 5 blocks and 28 points. Almost another five by five night. It's too bad his team stinks and he missed time, he'd be a shoo-in for MVP. Dude's Roland Rating was like 50 a week or two into the year, that's how important he is to the club. As for the Wizards, Laron Profit got the start, putting heights of 6'4, 6'5 and 6'3 in the starting lineup of the Wizards for the night. Maybe Profit getting the start's not that weird, Smush Parker did get a start for the Pistons earlier in the year.

Heat 97, Knicks 82
Seemingly taking a page from Latrell Sprewell's department of "I shoot, that is all", Eddie Jones put up a statline of 13 points, 0 boards, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 28 minutes. Beautiful. Fortunately for him, Shaq and Haslem combined for 33 boards, while Damon Jones, Wade and Shandon Anderson combined for 12 assists. Not a real shocker of a game, one of the best centres of all time goes up against a team with no true centres on the roster and dominates. Like the Raptors, the Knicks ought to just turn it in and play the young guys (Ariza should have many more than twelve starts so far on the year) early and often.

Now for the preview
Ah, this one should be wicked. It's on ABC and is a showdown of the two of the best defensive teams in the league... sounds like my kind of basketball. I believe Ginobili's still dinged up, so the Pistons should have a nice boost in their chance to win this. The last time they met, in San Antonio, the Spurs won 80-77. However, this was in the middle of the Pistons' starting the year 12-12, so I'm dismissing it and starting fresh. The Spurs are 19-12 on the road and the Pistons are 24-7 at home, so there's an advantage for the Pistons, as is often the case between home and road teams (except Phoenix, which has odd home and road records of 23-9 and 25-7 resectively). The Pistons finally got Delfino back for the Raptor game, so the bench should be improved, what with having a talented guy backing up the 2 and the 3 instead of Ronald Dupree. Gar Heard is still coaching the team in Brown's absence, which normally would be a decent dropoff in overall team usefulness, but he is 4-0 during this stretch. If you'll recall, he was 2-3 earlier in the year, but this was also during the 12-12 period so this is also dismissed to me. So, I think the Pistons will be just fine with this game. I'm a large believer in the "a win is a win" philosophy, so I won't give an estimate on how much the difference will be between the teams at the end of the game. However, I am saying that I believe the home team will be victorious, as is often the case in the NBA these days.


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