Detroit Pistons vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview and Pick

Detroit Pistons +4 (10-7) at San Antonio Spurs -4 (9-7) O/U 184 8:30 PM ET Tuesday December 2, 2008
By Jason Green at

Tonight the Pistons travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs. The Spurs are finally looking like the team that has won 3 championships, as Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are back from their ankle injuries. The Pistons are only 6-6 since they traded for Allen Iverson and the Answer is averaging only 13.4 ppg in his last 5 games and is playing 10 minutes less per game than he is used to. It does not look like “The Answer” is the answer that the Pistons were looking for. In their last 10 games the Pistons are 6-4 and the Spurs are 7-3.

This season the Spurs are 5-4 at home and the Pistons are 5-3 away from the Motor City. Currently the Pistons are in 2nd place in the Central Division 3.5 games back on the Cavaliers and the Spurs are in 3rd place in the Southwest Division only 1 game back of the 1st place Rockets.

Basketball bookies have the Spurs as 4-point favorites with a total around 184. The Spurs are posted at -220 as home favorites and the Pistons are posted at +180 as away dogs.

The Pistons come into this game after losing to the Portland Trailblazers 96-85 on Sunday night. The high scorer in that game for the Pistons was Rip Hamilton going for 18 points on 6/12 shooting. For the game the Pistons did not shoot well going 30/69 from the field for a FG% of 43.5%. The Pistons did not play good D in that game, as they allowed the Blazers to shoot 36/69 for a FG% of 52.2%.

The Spurs come into this game after getting crushed by the Houston Rockets, losing 103-84. The high scorer for the Spurs in that game was Tim Duncan going for 17 points, but he only shot 6/18 from the field. The Spurs were laying bricks in that game, as they only shot 29/77 for a paltry FG% of 37.7%. The Spurs took the night off defensively, as they allowed the Rockets to shoot 39/81 from the floor for a FG% of 48.1%.

Neither of these 2 teams are high scoring ones, as the Pistons rank 20th (96.7 ppg) and the Spurs rank 26th (93.6 ppg). However, both teams are shooting a good FG% and 3 point FG%. San Antonio is one of the better defensive teams in the league, as they rank 5th in points allowed (93 ppg), while the Pistons rank 12th (96.6 ppg). The Pistons are a better rebound team, but not by much, as they have a rebound differential of +. 01 rpg while the Spurs are at -1.3 rpg.

Both teams are 8-8 ATS and in terms of Over/Under games the Pistons are 10-8 and the Spurs are 7-10.

On the injury front Tony Parker is day-to-day for the Spurs and the Pistons are reporting no significant injuries.

The Pistons are struggling to find their game while the Spurs are now healthy and ready to get back to one of the premier teams in the league.

Even though the Spurs lost their last game they had won their previous 4.

For the Spurs to be successful they have to play good perimeter D and now allow Iverson and Hamilton to hit the long ball. Conversely, if the Answer and Rip cant knock down their shots tonight the Pistons will be in trouble.

Rasheed Wallace will have to play good defense on Duncan and if he does not the Pistons will have to drop down and pack the lane, which is not good since Parker, Ginobili, and Bruce Bowen can all knock down the 3.

The Answer will have to keep Parker from penetrating and scoring. If Parker has a big game the Spurs will be successful, as it will open up the court for Duncan and Ginobili.

Ginobili is getting stronger every game back, but he is only averaging 13 points and has played only around 20 minutes a game.

The Spurs have the advantage, as they have a couple of defensive stoppers in Bowen and Duncan and if they clamp down and play good D they will be sitting pretty tonight.

Look for a slow-low scoring game with the Spurs covering the spread.