Pace: Cavs 94.2 (21st) vs. Pistons 90.1 (30th)
Offensive Efficiency: Cleveland 105.7 (9th) vs. Pistons 101.8 (21st)
Defensive Efficiency: Cleveland 100.5 (9th) vs. Pistons 104.4 (18th)
The Pistons are a team with a lot of nice players, but no real superstars. The way teams like that usually try to win is to try and play crazy lineups to exploit mismatches or try and form a crushing defense, since defense doesn’t require a superstar to be played well. Since they’re the slowest team in the league, Detroit appears to be trying for the latter, but outside of Ben Wallace Detroit just doesn’t have that much defensive talent.
A big reason for Detroit’s early struggles has been the abysmal offensive play of Rodney Stuckey, who was supposed to be the future of the franchise not all that long ago. Stuckey’s been shooting the ball terribly, hasn’t finished at the rim, and has never been a true point guard. All of that has been at the core of a disappointing season thus far for Detroit, although the play of the objectively awesome Will Bynum off the bench has been a welcome diversion.
Villanueva is yet another stretch four to test out Hickson. Hopefully JJ can get a lot of help from whoever is marking Ben Wallace at the defensive end.
The X factor is Ben Gordon-cue up another round of “I wish Delonte West was going to be chasing this guy around for 40 minutes.” He can go off on you. However, the Pistons’ relatively anemic offense and dawdling pace should make them just what the doctor ordered for the Cavs’ defense. We’ll see how it goes.
Chat During The Game Over At:
Daily Dime Live. I’ll be there, but you should come anyways.