Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons Preview and Pick – 28852

Cleveland Cavaliers +3.5 (9-2) at Detroit Pistons -3.5 (7-3) O/U 192.5 7:30 PM ET Wednesday November 19, 2008
By Jason Green at

Tonight the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to the Motor City to play the Pistons. These are 2 teams that have high hopes for the season and this may be a preview of a late round playoff match up, maybe even the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Celtics may have a say about that. The Pistons are 2-1 at home this season and the Cavaliers are 3-2 in away games.

Basketball bookies are listing the Pistons as 3.5-point favorites with a total around 192.5. The Pistons are posted at -240 as home favorites and the Cavaliers are posted at +200 as away dogs.

The Cavs come into this game after smoking the New Jersey Nets 106-82 last night. The high scorer for the Cavs in that game was LeBron James going for 31 points on 9/20 shooting and in the process became the youngest player in NBA history to score 11,000 points. For the game the Cavs shot 33/75 from the field for a FG% of 44%. On defense the Cavs really clamped down, as they held the Nets to 29-79 shooting for a paltry FG% of 36.7%.

The Pistons come into this game losing to the Phoenix Suns 104-86. The
high scorer for the Pistons in that game was Rip Hamilton going for 19 points
on 7/13 shooting. For the game the Pistons shot 33/83 from the field for
a FG% of 39.8%. On defense the Pistons, well they did not really play any,
allowed the Suns to shoot a scorching 41/72 from the field for a FG% of
56.9%. Weren’t the Pistons supposed to be a legit team on D? Not in this

The Cavs are one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA, as they rank 4th (101.5 ppg) while the Pistons rank a respectable 9th (98.9 ppg). The Cavs are shooting lights out, as they have a FG% over 47%. Both teams are pretty even in terms of 3-pt FG% and FT%.

On defense the Cavs rank 9th (93.6 ppg) and the Pistons rank 15th (96.3 ppg). Even though the Pistons rank 15th in opponents points allowed per game, they are allowing opponents to shoot over 46% from the field. The Cavs are having trouble defending the long ball, as they are allowing opponents to shoot almost 40% from downtown. Both teams have a +2.4 rpg differential.

This season the Cavs are 7-3 ATS and the Pistons are 5-5. In terms of Over/Under games the Cavs are 8-3 and the Pistons are 9-3.

On the injury front neither team is reporting any significant injuries.

The Cavs are looking to win their 9th straight game tonight while trying to snap a 3 game losing streak to the Pistons. The Cavs have lost 9 of their last 11 games against the Pistons.

King James is the reason the Cavs are flying high, as after a bad start he is now the league’s leading scorer and during the recent streak he has been on fire scoring an average of 33.8 ppg on 51.4% shooting and even grabbing 8.1 rpg.

The Pistons are 3-3 since acquiring Allen Iverson, but he was surely not the answer in their last game shooting only 4/17 from the field. The Pistons may have had a victory hangover in their last loss, as 2 days before had handed the LA Lakers their first loss of the season. Since coming to Detroit the Answer has averaged just over 20 points and 6 assists a game.

King James is going to get his buckets, but how successful the Cavs are tonight will be if another player can step up. Their big season addition is Mo Williams (15.9 ppg) who has been decent as the 2nd scorer.

A key match up in this game will be Zydrunas Ilgauskas and who guards him, either Kwame Brown or Big Ben Wallace. If Ilgauskas is draining the outside shot it will open up the lane for James and Williams to operate, but if not Wallace will be waiting for whatever Cavs get into the lane.

Tayshaun Prince will probably guard LeBron and he is 6’9″ with long arms and if he can keep LeBron from scoring a ton of points the Pistons will be successful in this game.

The Cavs perimeter D has to play well in this game, as there are a lot of Pistons that can shoo the pill.

Both teams do not really match up well with each other, but the team that can step up and play some D will have a great chance to win this game.


Jason’s Pick: I like the Cavs to win straight up as an underdog tonight.