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The Other Side: Detroit Pistons

Thank you, thank you. You're far too kind. (Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards meet for the second time in eight days. Since the Wizards upset Detroit -- coming back from a 17-point deficit to win, 107-94 -- the Pistons haven't lost and the Wizards haven't won. The Pistons have won two in row, with wins over Indiana and Charlotte, and the new starting lineup with Rodney Stuckey at point guard will get another look at the Wizards tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills. A victory tonight would put them one game above .500 since acquiring Allen Iverson (they are 9-9), but they would also be 6-1 with Antonio McDyess in uniform. Here's what else you need to know about the rematch:

1. McDyess Is Happy Being Back in Detroit
The Detroit News's Chris McCosky has a great story here about why Antonio McDyess refused to return to Denver after he was traded, along with Chauncey Billups, last month.

2. Iverson Is Still Adjusting to His Surroundings
Iverson was fined $25,000 for making inappropriate comments to a fan during the Pistons' victory in Charlotte. It was the second time he was fined since joining the Pistons. The first fine was for skipping practice on Thanksgiving.
Iverson, however, was able to handle the late-game benching in Charlotte much better. When the Bobcats cut a 24-point fourth-period deficit down to one point, Coach Michael Curry put in all of his starters -- except Iverson. Iverson didn't complain afterward. "Obviously, when the situation gets like that, being the competitor that I am, I wanted to get back in to help my teammates. But the thing about it, we won the game. That's the decision he made, and I have to live with it."

3. Pistons Are Having Trouble Closing Teams Out
The Wizards learned last week that the Pistons let up after building big leads. Earlier this month, Detroit blew a 15-point lead in a loss to Philadelphia. In their past two wins, the Pistons had to hold on tight after building an 11-point against Indiana and a 29-point lead against Charlotte. The bench has been shaky, but Curry has confidence that he can depend on Rasheed Wallace, McDyess, Tayshaun Prince and either Iverson, Richard Hamilton or Rodney Stuckey to finish.

By Michael Lee  |  December 17, 2008; 3:31 PM ET
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Next: Wizards (4-18) at Pistons (13-9)


5 games in front of the Wiz...for shame...

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | December 17, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I did see most of one of the Charlotte game and have to say the Pistons do remind you a little bit of the Wiz -- meaning hot and cold streaks in the same game, even the same quarter. Doesn't look like the same team with somebody other than Billups handling the ball. That crisp discipline that seemed to mark the Pistons the past five or six years is virtually gone.

Not to say they can't win games -- just that they look really different doing it.

Nice to see Iverson having some success, however.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 17, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Obviously the Wizards organization must maintain they are still focused on making the playoffs...can barely type that with a straight face.

Since we do not have to concern ourselves with marketing, and understand the Skins have a better chance of making the playoffs than the Wiz right now, how does this affect Gil's return?

Will he try to be a leader and return at the soonest allowable timeframe? Lifting spirits, selling tickets and inspiring the kids to a new level but also potentially risking a top 3 lottery pick.


Does he rationalize there is no upside for him to return and scratch the year? Grotto should be near completion in the spring and it could be an amazing party season, DC will be hopping and Gil is on-board the Obama bandwagon now.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | December 17, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Deshawn should never see the floor ever again,3-9 including a gimme layup with 1 minute left that no one on detroit cared to even watch and 2-8 from the line, flat out embarrassing, you think he shot them all with eyes closed as am homage to jordan? didn't think so, that was his honest effort, his minutes should go straight to javale bumping aj, ab, cb each down a spot alongside james at point

Posted by: bford1kb | December 17, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

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