Detroit vs Toronto Open Thread – Hamilton coming off the bench, JO playing

This is a TSN2 game and stream links will appear under “Latest Web Articles” as game time approaches. The Live Chat which starts at 7:30PM also has a few in there. You can download the Opening Tip which tells you about Tayshaun Prince’s Hollywood career.

Raptors are in Detroit tonight trying to either get this season back on track or further push it down the garbage tube. Late news is that Jermaine O’Neal will play but Jose Calderon is still doubtful for the game. The Pistons have lost 6 of 8 after winning 7 straight. The Raptors have lost 6 straight. We lost the earlier meeting in Toronto which happened the day after the Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups trade. Devlin talked to us after the game and you can hear it in the game recap. Despite being shorthanded the Pistons won 100-93 as Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton combined for 49 points. It was the first loss of the season as it ended our then exciting 3-0 start.

If there’s any hope of salvaging this season we needed to start playing better yesterday and Bosh knows we’re awfully close to missing the playoffs entirely:

We’re running out of time. We’ve got to do it now or we’ll be watching the first round of the playoffs eating popcorn.

It’s starting to annoy me how Jay Triano continues to say that this team has the potential to be “pretty good”. Sure, we got a few good pieces but I just don’t see this Raptor bunch posing a threat to anybody:

I think we’re going to have to find a way to fight through this, and if we do I think we’ll be a pretty good basketball team.

It remains to be seen whether Anthony Parker gets the start against Rodney Stuckey, he’s started the last two games for us where he averaged 19 points, 8 assists and 7.5 rebounds. Joe Johnson covered him for most of the Atlanta game as the Hawks switched Bibby on the less threatening Moon. He had significant height advantages against Nash and Bibby which forced the defense to adjust but going up against the 6′ 5″ Stuckey is a different proposition. The Pistons can afford to play him straight-up without making any adjustments, we’ll see if Triano reverts back to Solomon or sticks with the hot Parker.

Allen Iverson, Rodney Stuckey and Richard Hamilton have been starting for Detroit but they’ve now decided to bring Hamilton off the bench. It was between him and Iverson and the Pistons went with the less-likely-to-disrupt-team-chemistry option. According to Pistons Powered, Will Byum is set to see minutes at the backup PG as Arron Afflalo is further pushed out of the Pistons’ plans.

The other matchup to watch is Wallace on Bosh, along with KG he poses Bosh the most problems of any matchup. Bosh had a decent statistical game of 26/13 but was held in check by Wallace in key moments of the game including the final three minutes. Aamir Johnson is starting for the Pistons and technically he should be guarding Bosh but I highly doubt ‘Sheed will give up the opportunity. Bargnani will have a tough matchup against the lanky Johnson who can cover a lot of ground defensively.

We haven’t beaten them in Detroit since falling 89-78 on April 2, 2003 and have beaten us by an average of 11.0 points during that stretch.

The Raptors are 5.5 point underdogs.

Here are the results of the latest poll which was about how you felt about the Bargnani/O’Neal situation. The new poll has to do with whether to tank the season or not.

I’m not saying the Pistons are hiring the Automotion Crew based on a specific criteria but they all seem to have a very common trait.

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